Reading David Hume’s “Of the Standard of Taste”




2022.06.04 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews

Babette Babich (ed.), Reading David Hume’s “Of the Standard of Taste,” De Gruyter, 2019, 333pp., $25.99 (pbk), ISBN 9783110585643.

Reviewed by Stephanie Ross, University of Missouri–St. Louis

 This book edited by Babette Babich is a welcome addition to scholarship focusing on Hume’s famous piece on aesthetics. Babich has assembled 12 papers as well as a copy of Hume’s 1757 essay that the papers address. The selections are grouped in three clusters titled “Of Taste and Standards,” “Causal Theory and the Problem, Dispositional Critique and the Classic,” and “Comparisons, Art, Anatomies,” but the collection might just as easily have been partitioned differently. For example, one alternative organization might first present papers that seek to explicate Hume’s theory and trace its relations to his classic earlier writings, then present papers that investigate possible flaws in Hume’s argument for a standard, next cluster papers that seek to show the Essay’s application…

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