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    Aug 12, 2009 4:29 PM GMT
    Is taste something natural or something cultural?
  • shirty

    Posts: 290

    Aug 12, 2009 5:42 PM GMT
    For me, it's a mix of both. Kinda like the nature vs. nurture theory. Some of my tastes are innate, and don't stem from external influences. Others are blatantly influenced by my environment.

    You've been general here, so I assume you mean taste as in preference in things? Such as food, clothing, climate, people, etc...
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    Aug 12, 2009 5:47 PM GMT
    Fashions (e.g., liking the look of one thing but not of another) have been demonstrated to be cultural and can be wildly adjusted even within a single individual.

    EDIT: Other types of preferences -- like the literal sense of taste -- can have a strong natural component. For example, some people can literally taste compounds that others cannot perceive, which has an impact on their preferences.
  • crush09

    Posts: 117

    Aug 12, 2009 8:05 PM GMT
    its actually a combination of both....

    evolutionary speaking, imbedded from our ancestors or biological taxonomy, are certain taste for certain things or liking that could persuade us to choose certain things over the other, this certain taste might have been past down as a means of survival for the the ancestor (like certain sounds used to perform in everyday life of our ancestor, might have an effect on the type of music we like)... combine that with enviromental factors that sets off "happy" signals to our brain when we choose certain things (like for me would be buying a new pair of pretty shoes... lol), it creates our certain taste...

    this is all based on my biological evolutionary class... lol
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Aug 12, 2009 9:53 PM GMT
    like fashion or food?
  • danisnotstr8

    Posts: 2579

    Aug 13, 2009 3:26 AM GMT
    "Fashion is something barbarous, for it produces innovation without reason and imitation without benefit."
    -George Santayana

    Suggested reading: The Sense of Beauty, also by Santayana

    I believe that people who think more deeply about life have better taste. Good taste is unique to the human race... great art, food, music, etc., is a product of our ability to improve upon things we've observed. Good taste is the biproduct of the ability to reason through it.

    Most people don't have any taste because they don't think on their own. But great intellects (from mathematicians to archaeologists to botanists to... blah blah...) will agree that Bach and Picasso reach deeply into our souls.

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    Aug 13, 2009 5:12 AM GMT
    I believe it was Mark Kingwell that said, and I'm paraphrasing here, "regardless of what bohemian ideals would like us to believe, taste has always been a signifier of class."

    Beyond the sense, I'd say it is cultural and economic.
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    Aug 13, 2009 5:34 AM GMT
    i taste just like chicken!!!icon_razz.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 13, 2009 9:28 AM GMT
    Taste is a sensory function of the central nervous system. I'd have to say it's natural.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 13, 2009 9:42 AM GMT
    I agree that it is a combination of both nature and culture... especially when eating yogurt.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 13, 2009 1:28 PM GMT
    How nice to see that the questions you have been posing fit so well with the tradition of the "salone Siciliane". I don't think I have seen anyone else on RJ who lives in Sicily.

    I think taste is about trying things out and discovering if they work or don't work. In that sense I think we develop taste by learning to discriminate and discern the differences between things that we have actually tried.

    A journey into taste is, also, the greatest eduction. If we try one thing and like it, and then keep an open mind to try the next thing, before long we will get into the habit of adventure and learning.

    Of course, adventure and learning don't have anything to do with travel. There are people who have never left the village where they were born who have incredible taste and sophistication. I have been lucky enough to meet some of those people who spend a lifetime investigating the subtle differences between the different elements of their environment and their passions.

    To me that is the difference between a provincial mentality and an urbane mentality, the willingness to ask questions, experiment, and refine or disrupt tradition.

    Perhaps the fundamental tendency to question is something that has a genetic component. Otherwise, it seems a question of individual progression whether or not a person will develop taste.

    Also, at some times in history certain places have had social climates that really encouraged the high refinement of taste. One and off this has been the history of Sicily for thousands of years.

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    Aug 13, 2009 2:00 PM GMT
    I'd say its a combination of the two.

    I know while growing up my family really did eat a very predicatable sets of food, but despite that, I could never bring myself to eat potato salad. Something about the taste of it always made me nauseated. So I guess thats the more natural side of it.

    Cultural. I find that foods that I am not very use to sometimes have an odd taste. Its not thats it disgusting, but rather the combination of flavors and textures are just so odd to me. I could never eat egg drop soup, and even a lot of greek combinations I just don't particularly care for.

    Depending on what it is, foods from different cultures sometimes require transition period for me, before I can genuinely crave it. This doesn't, however, stop me from trying knew things.
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    Aug 13, 2009 2:22 PM GMT
    Its like style, its something your born with.........simples