Culture as shared taste. Subjective is not the same thing as individual. Taste is subjective, but not unique. In other words, taste is a property of the subject—the person doing the judging—but it is not necessarily unique to that subject, given that: 1) we share more than we differ on, not only biologically, but culturally, and 2) we can agree on the things we like—i.e. we discuss and develop taste collaboratively, not just in isolation. What someone deems good will be their judgement, but not only theirs. Shared taste—i.e. shared values—is what we call culture.

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“For even falsehood, uttered by the tongue of man, seemed like truth and light before this hopelessly-deaf and unresponsive silence.”

My new book: a translation of selected short stories by Leonid Andreyev, the father of Russian Expressionism from the Silver Age of Russian literature. A piercing, pitiless glance into the heart of the human condition.

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Further Reading

Proust wrote that the true voyage of discovery is not to visit strange lands, but to possess other eyes, to behold a hundred universes that each of them beholds. Thus, in the words of Ruskin, what good books give us is not mere knowledge, but sight.

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