Well, David, you're of course right: my position is waaaay overly complicated for ordinarly life, or even for the bump uplevel to this board. BUT, I'm just sayin'...
My position is encumbered by the fact that I do this for a living, and what I do for a living is not fun to watch, listen to, read, or, tooo frequently, participate in. Philosophy, as my pal Norman Schwartz has argued, is a blood sport
All that having been said, I agree, yes, your description of what I think it would take to correctly say, for example, This is a fine wine
, is essentially correct. I first struggled to get my thoughts on the 'this is good' vs. 'I like it' issue clear in '76, in an article called "Are Some Aesthetic Judgments Empirically True?" (Amer. Philsophical Quarterly
) I've been struggling with it ever since, publishing a couple of articles on the subject in two of so-called Epicurean Trilogy
. My position might in the end be hopeless, but it's mine, I've worked on it, and I'm gonna stick with it until it fails.
Let me at least try to justify my trying to work out a position like this. It really does seem to me that the claim "I like this" is about me, my psychology, my autobiography. It simply doesn't say any
thing about the features of whatever 'this' is. However, if I know you well, and I respect your taste, then it's at least plausible that your claim to like 'this' suggests that I *might* like it too. Maybe that's the only reason art (movies, food, restos, etc) criticism exists??
I'm interested in the countering case, too. I have been in the situation where I was faced with a really fine example of an 'x', a really virtuous x, and an x suitable for aesthetic appraisal, but, even tho' I knew x was a good one of its kind, I didn't like it.
In this situation, the psychological and the aesthetic judgments are quite evidently distinct. I want to ultimately be able to account for this gap between the judgments.
If, in the end, we allow that "like" equals "good", then the whole realm that you and I and all our wonderful colleagues on this board share such a passion for, collapses into pure relativism. Namely, everything liked is good, nothing disliked is good, but everybody dislikes something sometime; hence, nothing's good. (Whew, where did THAT come from??)
Anyway, here's a tiny attempt at a précis of where I'm at/coming from.
Sorry this is so rambling and incoherent...
Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this*
will do the trick!