Erkenntnis

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What Jancis Robinson Didn’t Know May Have Helped Her

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Abstract

A position has been advanced by a number of philosophers, notably by Burnham and Skilleås, that certain knowledge is required to aesthetically appreciate a fine wine. They further argue that pleasure is not an integral part of aesthetically appreciating wine. Their position implies that a novice cannot aesthetically appreciate a fine wine. This paper draws on research into tasting and psychology to rebut these claims. I argue that there is strong evidence from both the average consumer and from wine experts that they are unable to separate enjoyment from aesthetic evaluation; secondly, I argue that wine knowledge may actually preclude tasting of the wine as it exists in the glass due to perceptual bias. I conclude by arguing that it is unclear how exactly knowledge of things like terroir is supposed to affect the taste, as well as question what role conforming to a certain style plays in aesthetic success, as arguments that require knowledge for appreciation typically emphasize knowledge of styles of wine.

Notes

Acknowledgements

My thanks to Rasmus Rosenberg Larsen for reading and commenting on several versions of this paper. Thanks also to the editors and reviewers at Erkenntnis for their helpful comments.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Arapahoe Community CollegeLittletonUSA

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