In Jeremy Wyatt, Dan Zeman & Julia Zakkou (eds.), Perspectives on Taste. Routledge. pp. 260-285 (2022)

Rachel Etta Rudolph
Auburn University
In theoretical work about the language of personal taste, the canonical example is the simple predicate of personal taste, 'tasty'. We can also express the same positive gustatory evaluation with the complex expression, 'taste good'. But there is a challenge for an analysis of 'taste good': While it can be used equivalently with 'tasty', it need not be (for instance, imagine it used by someone who can identify good wines by taste but doesn't enjoy them). This kind of two-faced behavior systematically arises with complex sensory-evaluative predicates, including those with other appearance verbs, such as 'look splendid' and 'sound nice'. I examine two strategies for capturing these different uses: one that posits an ambiguity in appearance verbs, and one that does not. The former is in line with an approach to 'look'-statements prominent in work in philosophy of perception, and I consider how the motivation given in that tradition carries over to the present context. I then show how the data used to support the verbal ambiguity approach can equally be captured on the second strategy, which appeals only to independently-motivated flexibility in adjective meaning. I close by discussing some considerations that are relevant for choosing between the two options.
Keywords predicates of personal taste  appearance language  perception  gradable adjectives  multidimensionality
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References found in this work BETA

Epiphenomenal Qualia.Frank Jackson - 1982 - Philosophical Quarterly 32 (April):127-136.
The Language of Morals.Richard Mervyn Hare - 1952 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
Perception: A Representative Theory.Frank Jackson - 1977 - Cambridge University Press.
What Mary Didn't Know.Frank Jackson - 1986 - Journal of Philosophy 83 (5):291-295.

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Tastes and the Ontology of Impersonal Perception Reports.Friederike Moltmann - forthcoming - In Dan Zeman, Julia Zakkou & Jeremy Wyatt (eds.), Perspectives on Taste. New York City: Routledge.

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