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Aesthetics is closely allied with, or perhaps synonymous with, the philosophy of art.The term aesthetics comes from the Greek Template: Polytonic "aisthetike" and was coined by the philosopher Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten in 1735 to mean "the science of how things are known via the senses." However, much the same study was called studying the "standards of taste" or "judgments of taste" in English, following the vocabulary set by David Hume prior to the introduction of the term "aesthetics." Template: Wiktionarypar Judgments of aesthetic value clearly rely on our ability to discriminate at a sensory level.
We can be attracted, repulsed, and turned on, and experience the frission of our conflicting judgments of taste all at once.
Likewise aesthetic judgments seem to often be at least partly intellectual and interpretative.
If my palate is unrefined, I may miss much of the subtlety of a fine beer and not be in a position to judge these features of it.
But on most accounts, aesthetic judgments go beyond the merely sensory.
Perhaps, some have suggested, if we examined closely we would find that what makes a painting beautiful is quite different from what makes music beautiful, and thus that each art form has its own kind of aesthetics.
Perhaps beauty in the natural world is quite different from artificially created beauty.
Thus, judgments of aesthetic value can become linked to judgments of economic, political, or moral value.
Perhaps we judge a Lamborghini to be beautiful partly because it is desirable as a status symbol.
Perhaps we judge it to be repulsive partly because it signifies for us over-consumption of gasoline and offends our political or moral values.
Aesthetic judgments can clearly often be very fine-grained and internally contradictory.