Tuesday, February 08, 2022

Feeling, Discussion, and Taste

 It is easy, then, to perceive, that in our estimate of things, we not only differ from each other, but also from ourselves, when our judgments are deduced from our immediate feelings, and not from any previous knowledge of the matter. This error in our judgments, extends not only to matters of taste, but prevails in every subject of human inquiry, connected with our passions, and capable of engaging or interesting our affections. To prefer feeling, therefore, to discussion, in ascertaining the beauty of any production either of nature or of art, is to be guided by a standard which is never the same, except in men whose equanimity of temper renders them superior to the influence of times and circumstances. Such men, however, are rarely to be met with, even in the most polished and refined nations; and it is only in such nations we can expect to meet with them.

Martin MacDermot, A Critical Dissertation on the Nature and Principles of Taste, p. 69.