Disagreements about taste

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148 Scopus citations


I argue for the possibility of substantive aesthetic disagreements in which both parties speak truly. The possibility of such disputes undermines an argument mobilized by relativists such as Lasersohn (Linguist Philos 28:643-686, 2005) and MacFarlane (Philos Stud 132:17-31, 2007) against contextualism about aesthetic terminology. In describing the facts of aesthetic disagreement, I distinguish between the intuition of dispute on the one hand and the felicity of denial on the other. Considered separately, neither of those phenomena requires that there be a single proposition asserted by one party to an aesthetic dispute and denied by the other. I suggest instead that many such disputes be analyzed as disputes over the selection or appropriateness of a contextually salient aesthetic standard.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-288
Number of pages22
JournalPhilosophical Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 2011


  • Aesthetics
  • Contextualism
  • Disagreement
  • Philosophy of language
  • Relativism
  • Taste

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy


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