Thanks to listener David Emerson for suggesting this video on plurality of tastes (in response to some of the things we said back on our Danto episode, but equally applicable to our other aesthetics one on Goodman):
The point is not that people’s tastes differ, that everyone has different favorites (i.e. that taste is subjective) but that there are different ideals, and once an ideal is selected, then you can talk about how best to meet that ideal. Gladwell, though, doesn’t seem to distinguish between plurality and subjectivity here. His hair is f’ing crazy looking qua hair but pretty damn cool qua ‘fro. The fact that I have to consider it aesthetically according to its category doesn’t mean that we get rid of standards altogether, though of course I may not be immersed enough in the world of that breed of hair to adequately assess his ‘fro within that category.