Question involving the logic of taste perception.

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inaccessiblecardinal
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Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2014 2:17 am

Question involving the logic of taste perception.

Post by inaccessiblecardinal » Sun Nov 23, 2014 2:41 am

Suppose that person A has a tongue such that he is well endowed with taste buds in area X of the tongue, and person B has a tongue such that he is well endowed with taste buds in area Y of the tongue. As a consequence of this dissimilarity, A says that he likes the taste of, say, bananas, whereas B says that he dislikes the taste of bananas.

Suppose now the reverse, that is to say that A is well endowed at Y and B at X, in which case B now says he likes the taste of bananas and A says he does not.

In my scenario, one might say that A and B don’t really have different tastes. Or what explains their different tastes has nothing to do with any difference in their minds, but with their having a different distribution of taste buds on their tongues. If their tongues had identical taste bud distributions then they would both agree about their liking for bananas.

(How much of our taste preference has to do with cognitive contingencies like knowing what is good for us? Is it because we know that sugar and salt is bad for us that we say that we don’t like the taste of sugary and salty food? Let us suppose that our subjects are unaware of health issues or unconcerned about them. Possibly texture and crunchiness are also involved. I shall leave those questions to one side too.)

Suppose now that two individuals have the same taste bud distributions, so that they have the same phenomenological experience when eating bananas. (Of course we cannot know that they are having an identical experience since the experience of tasting bananas is a private mental event, and their experience can never be completely identical since A experiences “A having such and such an experience”, whilst B experiences “B having such and such an experience”). But supposing that they are having the same experience, as near as this can be. Would it then still be possible for them to sincerely disagree regarding whether or not bananas taste nice?

In summary: Can two people have the same taste experience and yet one describe the experience as pleasurable and the other not? I have tried to represent the two cases schematically below.

FOOD EXPERIENCE VERDICT

Case 1 BANANAS A has sensation U LIKE THE TASTE
B has sensation V DISLIKE THE TASTE

Case 2 BANANAS A has sensation U LIKE THE TASTE
B has sensation U DISLIKE THE TASTE


Is case 2 possible?

HexHammer
Posts: 2841
Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 8:19 pm

Re: Question involving the logic of taste perception.

Post by HexHammer » Tue Nov 25, 2014 6:39 am

..sigh! ..another rain main comes to the forum and ask silly questions!

Any reasonable intelligent person would know that this scenario is irrelevant and navel gazing.

Taste is subjective!!!

Please go elsewhere and ask your silly questions.

Philosophy Explorer
Posts: 4383
Joined: Sun Aug 31, 2014 7:39 am

Re: Question involving the logic of taste perception.

Post by Philosophy Explorer » Tue Nov 25, 2014 7:20 am

Taste isn't in the taste buds, but (ultimately) in the brain. What the buds do is start the process of tasting, but it's the brain that, so to speak, makes the final decision on taste.

PhilX

Brent.Allsop
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2015 9:06 pm

Re: Question involving the logic of taste perception.

Post by Brent.Allsop » Mon Nov 16, 2015 8:24 pm

Philosophy Explorer wrote:Taste isn't in the taste buds, but (ultimately) in the brain. What the buds do is start the process of tasting, but it's the brain that, so to speak, makes the final decision on taste.
PhilX
Yes, PhilX has it right. This is a diversity of qualia or diversity of knowledge issue. A better example of diversity of qualia is simply inverted colors, such as one person's redness could be more like anther's greenness. Not only is this possible, it is likely, for at least some people.

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