Altered Taste. The alteration of the general taste is more important than the alteration of opinions; opinions, with all their proving, refuting, and intellectual masquerade, are merely symptoms of altered taste, and are certainly not what they are still so often claimed to be, the causes of the altered taste. How does the general taste alter? By the fact of individuals, the powerful and influential persons, expressing and tyrannically enforcing without any feeling of shame, their hoc est ridiculum, hocest absurdum; the decisions, therefore, of their taste and their disrelish: – they thereby lay a constraint upon many people, out of which there gradually grows a habituation for still more, and finally a necessity for all. The fact, however, that these individuals feel and “taste” differently, has usually its origin in a peculiarity of their mode of life, nourishment, or digestion, perhaps in a surplus or deficiency of the inorganic salts in their blood and brain, in short in their physis; they have, however, the courage to avow their physical constitution, and to lend an ear even to the most delicate tones of its requirements: their aesthetic and moral judgments are those “most delicate tones” of their physis.