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whnay.'s good taste thread

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Manton, Jul 30, 2012.

  1. Manton

    Manton Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    No.

    Kuhn never questions the validity or value of the modern conception of "science." Within that conception, he describes very well how the natural sciences should operate.

    What he says is of no value for philosophy broadly speaking, and harmful if tried to apply to the human things.
     
  2. Big Texas

    Big Texas Senior member

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    True, although there is a current in modern philosophy -- perhaps ironic, in context of your assessment -- that harkens back very deeply to the convergence of science and philosophy as espoused by, say, Pythagoras and his ilk.

    Nowadays we hear all this talk of golden means and ratios, symmetry of aesthetics as hardwired biological preference, etc. While it's true that modern thought has largely attempted a fact/value separation, it's sort of backed into a conflation in certain respects (although, one could argue that it's done so out of a desire, intentional or not, to reduce so-called "values" to "facts" grounded in science).

    If anything, the driving current of modern intellectual discourse is a tendency toward materialist reductionism -- highly influenced by many scientific fields that have picked the low-hanging fruit of the macro-visual, and are now forced to channel narrower and narrower in an attempt to understand the microcosmic.

    Sometimes this M.O. functions as you describe it, and sometimes it doesn't, but in total effect, I'd say you are pretty accurate in your assessment.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2013
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  3. ylkim30

    ylkim30 Well-Known Member

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    Isn't that an overly narrow definition of knowledge?

    Propositions derived from empirical observation and inductive reasoning can still be defined as knowledge. Most people would agree that I can say "I know the sun will rise tomorrow morning" because I observed the sun rising multiple times in past mornings.

    Though this statement doesn't have the same certitude as "2+2=4" or "If A then B. It is A. Therefore, it is also B," our everyday understanding of the word "knowledge" would still encompass inductive reasoning.
     
  4. dopey

    dopey Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Thanks. So why is it so important I read this? (someone, not here, said it was very important.)
     
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  5. Manton

    Manton Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    It really is the single greatest statement of the epistemology of science since Descartes' Discourse on Method. Very influential book.
     
  6. bboysdontcryy

    bboysdontcryy Senior member

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    I'm not well versed in this matter so I stand to be corrected, but I think that one of the clearer ways to establish principles that even try to approach a rational basis for good taste might be to adopt Popper's use of modus tollens as a means of falsifying hypotheses, in this case, the various clothing combinations.

    Specific to this thread and its intents, I thought that formulating good taste principles (like, for instance, pocket square colour should not match tie, density of tie emblems should be distinct from that of the pocket square) as a guide could be clearly laid out and tested against the various outfits that are put up and then exceptions can be included over time when required. That way, there will be more consistency in judgements, and thus, will approach a more 'rational' foundation for assessment as opposed to one that hinges solely on personal preference.

    The only problem is whose 'taste' should be used as the foundational principles? Whence do these principles come from?

    Another intrinsic problem is if Manton (or somebody else) is chosen for the task because others have determined that they like his combinations, then does that mean that good taste is Manton as a proxy for the taste of those who have chosen him because they like his combinations?

    ** This would make for another book, and an interesting one for clothing nerds.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2013
  7. JPHardy

    JPHardy Senior member

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    [​IMG]
     
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  8. Manton

    Manton Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Nice, hardy. Might benefit from a lighter tie, however
     
  9. JPHardy

    JPHardy Senior member

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    Thank you Manton.

    I'm thinking the same about the tie.

    Are you thinking slightly lighter blue? It will need a different shirt and have to be Grenadine (no wool in lighter blue)
     
  10. Manton

    Manton Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    light gray would be nice
     
  11. edmorel

    edmorel Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I wouldn't agree with a lighter tie, but I would say it different color. Chocolate brown wool would work well there I think
     
  12. Grammaton Cleric

    Grammaton Cleric Senior member

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    +1
     
  13. JPHardy

    JPHardy Senior member

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    I have a light gray herringbone, but fear a clash of pattern size with the jacket. Also the tie might get lost.

    Chocolate brown has been my go to, but again don't have in wool only grenadine, and I wanted to do wool.

    If you can point me to an NY tie maker that can make me a couple of wool ties the size I need, I will be happy to place an order for 2 or 3.

    I'll try to post pics side by side tonight and see what we think.
     
  14. etkl

    etkl Senior member

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    Assuming 1)the ontological issues are as you stated and 2)there is a rational basis for aesthetics (a far from trivial proposition), your conclusion that good taste with regard to clothing exists does not inevitably follow unless you accept that the aesthetics of clothing are rationally based, which is not self-evident either. Moreover, your positions on the relevance of convention appear to be contradictory. On one hand, you assert the exercise in this thread to identify good taste can't simply a matter of assessing what is convention. Yet, you also state that the expressions of good taste are determined relative to the conventions of the time (and presumibly the place). This ambiguity regarding the importance of convention also mucks up the epistemological inquiry because how is good taste in clothing to be determined without refernce to convention?
     
  15. Bounder

    Bounder Senior member

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    Let me translate that into a plain English syllogism for everyone. "What the cool kids like is good. We are the cool kids. Therefore, what we like is good."

    If you really believe this, then you have exactly zero moral authority to ever criticize anyone. Do not ever say anything bad about Spoo. Do not ever do another foofing. Do not ever make another comment more pointed than "I like this." If you really believe this, you are Cruiser except without the humility.

    I hope you do not actually believe what you have written as I often find your comments interesting. But I am certainly not going to value your analysis more highly than you do yourself. If your comments are directed at teasing out some objective basis for aesthetics in clothing, I am fascinated. If your comments are just a bloviated pontification about what happens to be going on in your own head at the moment, then they are a complete waste of time.



    Exactly. I completely agree.



    These are certainly the issues but there is absolutely no point in discussing them on SF. This is so because in order to have an actual conversation about clothing, we must necessarily assume that the answer to all three questions is "Yes". If there is no objective basis for good taste in clothes, we are back to "I like vanilla ice cream!" " Really? I like chocolate!" Both pointless and supremely uninteresting.

    What is -- or should be -- going on in this thread is a process of inductive reasoning. "Here are a series of things that we can recognize are in good taste. By comparing and contrasting these things, what universal rules and principles can we tease out about good taste itself?"

    This process will never be a precision one. One of the biggest problems will always be separating widespread cultural preferences from the underlying objective principles. But the goal remains and is, in principle, attainable. At the least, it will make for an interesting and occasionally insightful discussion.
     
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  16. mymil

    mymil Senior member

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    I like OCBDs. How do people feel about other styles of shirts made up in oxford cloth? Say a spread collar, French placket, no pocket. I don't think I've seen much discussion of it, and though I don't have any like this, I've been considering it.
     
  17. Manton

    Manton Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Convention = framework, i.e., suits and ties or togas and laurels?

    Permanent aesthetics = standards that transcend historical frameworks.

    Or, to speak architecturally, the Palazzo Strozzi is a terrible example of Doric architecture, whereas the Parthenon is an awful high Renaissance palazzo. But is each good for what it is? And do trancendent aesthetic standards determine the latter answer?
     
  18. A Y

    A Y Senior member

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    It's a bit of a visual contradiction. The cloth is too rough against the higher formality of French plackets and spread collars. A finer-textured cloth would be better. That said, most people probably wouldn't notice.
     
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  19. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Pinpoint is oxford, just tighter. Do this instead.
     
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  20. oldog/oldtrix

    oldog/oldtrix Senior member

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    Today, I am abiguously conventional in my broadcloth and tweed:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG]
     

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