On Taste and Connoisseurship

| March 1, 2018 | 0 Comments

Is it important or worthwhile to cultivate refined taste or connoisseurship in one’s aesthetic preferences? This often seems to be one of the aims of formal education. We’ll look at some Western thinking around the notion of refined pleasures, and then look at some of the Buddha’s thoughts on the same topic.

Some suttas mentioned:

Puṇṇovāda Sutta (SN 35.88)
Kalahavivāda Sutta (Snp. 4.11)
Spiritual (SN 36.31)

Other texts:

Massimo Pigliucci: On Becoming a Stoic
On the Skillfulness of Refined Taste
Richard Gombrich, “Buddhist Aesthetics?” JOCBS 2013 (5), 136-160.

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Doug Smith

About the Author ()

Doug is Study Director of the Secular Buddhist Association. He has a PhD in Philosophy, with a minor in Buddhist philosophy and Sanskrit. In 2013 he completed the year-long Integrated Study and Practice Program with the BCBS and NYIMC. A long time scientific skeptic, he pursues a naturalized approach to practice. He is also interested in scholarship about the Tipiṭaka, and the theoretical and historical origins of the dhamma. He posts videos at Doug's Secular Dharma on YouTube. Some of his writing can be found at academia.edu.

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