Sunday, October 29, 2017

The VIIIth International Wassard Elea Symposium: call for papers

Taste, Bad Taste, Tastelessness

May 25-28, 2018
Ascea, Italy

~call for papers~

Taste is a common sense concept. Almost everyone thinks that they have taste – indeed, thinks they have good taste – in such things as conduct, arts, dress, design, cuisine, and so on. But many of them are also wrong. Frank Sibley described taste as an ability involving perceptiveness, sensitivity, aesthetic discrimination, and appreciation, and further noted that taste “is a somewhat more rare capacity than other human capacities”; relativists and skeptics would dispute this, and argue that taste is little more than liking, or preferring, some things over others. This call is for fresh and detailed examinations of the logic of the concept of ‘taste’. Rehearsals and exegesis of tradition or history (e.g. Hume, Kant, etc.), sociology (e.g. Bourdieu), empiricism (e.g. Brunius) fall outside the scope of this conference as does criticism of such types of speculations unless significantly advancing philosophical explication of the concept of ‘taste’.

The VIIIth International Wassard Elea Symposium is dedicated to ransacking this core topic in aesthetics. We seek to engage philosophers and scholars in a conceptual analysis of what it means to have – or lack – taste. To this end, we invite papers that focus on, e.g., the following topics:

1. Taste as liking the right things for the right reasons—and bad taste as the reverse;
2. Taste as a capacity, and how it can be improved;
3. Distinction(s) between bad taste and tastelessness;
4. Relationships between liking and appraising or appreciating;
5. Taste being a kind of judgement, verdict or valuation;
6. Distinction(s) between lapses and mistakes of taste and flaws in taste.

Wassard Elea invites philosophers and aestheticians to submit papers on the topics of this year’s theme. Sessions of 90 min. include speaker, commentator and open discussion (40/20/30). Participants whose papers are accepted are expected to also prepare a commentary on another presentation at the meeting. All suitable contributions are published in our journal, Wassard Elea Rivista.

Inquiries are welcome. Full papers (format: word) should be sent directly to co-organizers: Prof. Lars Aagaard-Mogensen, Italy:, or Prof. Jane Forsey, University of Winnipeg, Canada:

Deadline for submissions: February 15, 2018.

There is no registration fee; details about accommodations will be posted in due course.

Wassard Elea
Refugium for writers, artists, composers, and scholars in Southern Italy