CFP: Philosophies: "''The Great Variety'': Perspectives on Hume's Standard of Taste"

Submission deadline: July 15, 2023

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Dear Colleagues,

David Hume’s classic 1757 essay, “Of the Standard of Taste”, covers many issues in philosophy, philosophy of art and history of “aesthetics” or “criticism”. These include relativism, emotion, subjectivism versus objectivism, the development of good taste, the conditions of aesthetic judging, qualities of good art, the practice of art criticism, the qualities and role of art critics, the role of reason, the relation between art and morality, and those seeming contradictions that suggested the ironic reading of the essay. The essay remains today an object of study and controversy. While there is general agreement on the importance of the essay, there is still and probably will remain disagreement (“a great variety”) on precisely how to evaluate and interpret it.

We are pleased to invite you to contribute essays to a Special Issue of Philosophies, titled “‘The great variety’: Perspectives on Hume’s Standard of Taste”. The aim of this Special Issue is to explore a variety of approaches to Hume’s “Of the Standard of Taste”, its sources, its targets, its influences, its coherence, and its impact. Topics may include but are certainly not limited to:

  • Hume on aesthetic skepticism or relativism;
  • What really is Hume’s “standard of taste”?
  • How the essay “Of the Standard of Taste” relates to Hume’s other works on art in other works such as A Treatise of Human Nature and the Essays (“Of Tragedy”, “Of the Delicacy of Taste and Passion”. etc.);
  • How “Of the Standard of Taste” connects to his account of emotion and moral theory more generally;
  • Hume on art critics: problems and/or prospects;
  • Influences on Hume’s essay (e.g., Addison, Shaftesbury, Du Bos, Hutcheson, Gerard), Hume’s targets, and Hume’s influence on or relation to subsequent writings on taste (e.g., Burke, Kant);
  • Hume’s legacy in contemporary philosophy of art;
  • Criticism, morals, and religion in Hume’s “Standard of Taste”;
  • Hume’s “Standard of Taste”, its seeming, contradictions and the ironic reading;
  • Hume’s “Standard of Taste” and the “controversy concerning ancient and modern learning”.

Dr. Emilio Mazza
Dr. Tina Baceski
Dr. Angela Coventry
Guest Editors

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