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ERIC Number: EJ701801
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1063-2913
David Hume on Competent Judges
Eaton, Marcia Muelder
Arts Education Policy Review, v105 n3 p34 Jan-Feb 2004
This essay is the eighth in an occasional series on past treatments of major issues in arts education policy from antiquity through the twentieth century. The essay on which it is based, David Hume's "Of the Standard of Taste," originally published in 1757, is too extensive to be reprinted here, but it is easily accessible in the public domain. David Hume, a Scottish empirical philosopher, readily admitted that most people agree that tastes differ and they do not feel an urge to explain this. However, something about taste puzzled Hume: Given that we expect people to differ so widely about what is beautiful or ugly, boring or exciting, delicious or disgusting, how is it that we sometimes expect people to agree? Hume describes what we might call the "job qualifications" of a competent judge, and his list suggests why they are so rare. Judges must be open-minded, sensitive, attentive, clear headed, perceptive, and they must perfect these qualities through practice and experience (for example, familiarity with a wide range of objects and events) that enable them to make sound comparative judgments. Agreement among such individuals provides us with a standard by which we can assess the aptness of our own judgments and according to which we can direct our own attention to valuable objects and events. (Contains 3 endnotes.)
Heldref Publications, Helen Dwight Reid Educational Foundation, 1319 Eighteenth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036-1802. Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia; North America