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Tasting, rating and our imperfect brain

“Our brain has been designed to believe itself, wired so that our prejudices feel like facts, our opinions indistinguishable from the actual sensation.”

This link goes to a discussion about wine and numbers and might remind you about previous discussions about the value of blind tastings. Nonetheless if you cross out wine and pencil in beer I think it still makes sense:

“we can’t quantify a wine beer by trying to listen to our tongue. This is because what we experience is not what we sense. Rather, experience is what happens when our senses are interpreted by our subjective brain, which brings to the moment its entire library of personal memories and idiosyncratic desires. As the philosopher Donald Davidson argued, it is ultimately impossible to distinguish between a subjective contribution to knowledge that comes from our selves (what he calls our ‘scheme’) and an objective contribution that comes from the outside world (‘the content’). Instead, in Davidson’s influential epistemology, the ‘organizing system and something waiting to be organized’ are hopelessly interdependent. Without our subjectivity we could never decipher our sensations, and without our sensations we would have nothing to be subjective about. Before you can taste the wine beer you have to judge it.”

 

6 Responses to Tasting, rating and our imperfect brain

  1. Alan October 22, 2009 at 2:52 pm #

    I was going to say poppycock. Heck, I will. Poppycock.

    We each only live in our own subjective space. Using this sort of an analysis with a pop culture consumer product bodes very much unwell and might even smack of something. Taste only exists in the theatre of the mouth.

  2. Stan Hieronymus October 22, 2009 at 3:58 pm #

    “Taste only exists in the theatre of the mouth.”

    Alan, if you don’t trademark that I will have to.

  3. Alan October 22, 2009 at 5:11 pm #

    I am shocked that you have forgotten.

  4. Stan Hieronymus October 22, 2009 at 5:53 pm #

    I see that was one day after my birthday. I was surely hung over.

  5. Alan October 22, 2009 at 7:06 pm #

    You are forgiven.

  6. Ed Carson October 23, 2009 at 5:27 am #

    Rule #5 and Rule #8.

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