Tastes and Interests
WE speak of a man as having good or bad taste; we speak also of his tastes as refined or coarse, cultured or boorish, nice or nasty; and it is commonly considered that a chief effect of education should be the development and refinement of taste and of tastes. Yet how difficult to define taste and to give any consistent and clear account of what we mean by such expressions. What is taste? What are tastes ? How are they acquired and what are the relations of taste and tastes to character?
The word "taste" is used in its most original sense when we speak of the gustatory functions of the tongue and mouth. There are four fundamental qualities of taste‐ sensation, namely, bitter, sweet, sour and salt. And there are many odours which blend with these tastes making them more appetizing or disgusting. The more general sense of the word "taste" has been derived, by analogous extension, from this field of taste-sensation and its influences on the appetite for food and drink; this fact should be our cue to the proper use of the word "taste" and also to the understanding of the way in which we acquire tastes.