|Reflections on the Harmony of Sensibility and Reason
Written by Caroline
(9/16/2006 8:28 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Cultivating natural taste, penned by Robbin
J. Donaldson, Reflections on the Harmony of Sensibility and Reason (1780), says the following:
An original delicacy of taste is also the inseparable effect and symptom of the true sensibility; which includes not only a sense of love, pity, gratitude, or common duty, for of those even the rudest natures are seldom altogether destitute; but it is a certain elegance of soul, which renders kindness most kind, and pleasure most pleasing; it is a genius and taste, the tenderness of friendship, the politeness of esteem, and the exquisite and refined endearments of love!
All ignorance of beauty, or depravity of taste, is defective animation; all improvement and perfection of these, is increased sensibility; the powers of the mind, as well as of the body, being rendered more perfect by a proper exercise of them.
Donaldson, at least, seems to think that "natural" taste is inborn, but can be taught to be better, and that improving someone's taste, gives them a correspondingly greater sensibility.
I do rather giggle over his "defective animation"- I wonder what he'd think of South Park? ;-) (let's not go any further with this, though!)