Can you know how something tastes without tasting it yourself? Some philosophers say that first-hand experience is required to judge something’s taste. But this is odd since first-hand experience isn’t required to know what colour or shape something is—you can learn that from another person. So other philosophers say that you can learn about tastes from others—although it might be difficult in ordinary circumstances. How well, then, do we communicate about taste?
Does a moral flaw in a cup of coffee make it worse as a cup of coffee? Does our knowledge of a coffee’s moral status make any difference to the way we experience its flavour? Or, to give a simple example, would a direct-trade coffee taste better than its non-direct-trade counterpart?
Puget Sound Philosophy Professor Sam Liao and co-writer Aaron Meskin integrate philosophy into everyday life by exploring how well people communicate about the taste of coffee and how morality relates to taste in Experimenting with Coffee.