Taste: Je ne sais quoi


“Taste” is among those philosophical categories that are the most difficult to fully characterize. Reflection on taste, on the experience and concept of taste, flourished in modern times. It went through its history from dynamic development in the seventeenth century and theoretical career in the eighteenth century. One gets the impression that “taste” became the central category of philosophy of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. In the nineteenth century, interest in taste diminished significantly. Considerations of taste were closely integrated into the general philosophical attitudes of thinkers of the period. They generated disputes that form the canvas of later considerations that are already less emotional. The social transformations that we have been observing in the last few decades are forcing a renewed interest in the category of taste.
At the same time, it is a colloquial category, commonly used. It is present if not in every European dictionary, then in most. In some languages it also has numerous synonyms that provide clues as to how various psycho-social states are expressed through these terms. Most often they are limited to the physiological sense of taste and are linked to cuisine, customs, recipes, and health. Taste, however, cannot just be confined to physiology – although the importance of the social functioning of taste understood in this way cannot be denied.

How to cite:

Rosińska, Zofia. “Taste: Je ne sais quoi.” Eidos. A Journal for Philosophy of Culture 8, no. 1 (2024):  1-12. https://doi.org/10.14394/eidos.jpc.2024.0001.


Zofia Rosińska (Professor Emerita)
Faculty of Philosophy, University of Warsaw
Krakowskie Przedmieście 3, 00-927 Warsaw, Poland

Open Access Statement:

This is an open access journal which means that all content is freely available without charge to the user or his/her institution. Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without asking prior permission from the publisher or the author, as long as the author and original source are properly cited. This is in accordance with the BOAI definition of open access.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Submitting a text to Eidos. A Journal for Philosophy of Culture means that the author agrees with the general conditions of this license. The author does and will maintain copyrights and publishing rights for his/her article without any restrictions.