Art Criticism and Aesthetics Philosophy

The connections between pleasure, contemplation, and judgment in aesthetic appreciation

In aesthetic appreciation, when the object is contemplated, it is not only experienced by dint of sensory system but also enjoyed. Being rational creatures, people tend to judge the objects using their own standards of judgment based on interests. While contemplating them, they try to turn the beauty into some kind of quality, which can be evaluated. In this way, people judge the objects to support their immediate feeling of pleasure. So, contemplation involves both sensory pleasure and judgment, which proves that the object is really valuable and can bring pleasure.

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The interrelation between aesthetics, art, and criticism

Aesthetics is tightly connected with art and criticism. It studies art to find its nature and interprets artworks to find out what makes people appreciate their beauty. Aesthetics can be seen as a kind of judgment, in other words, it is a science that judges art. The judgment, in its turn, can be seen as a critical reflection. So, roughly speaking, with the help of aesthetics we can criticize art. This criticism does not presuppose something negative. It is just an evaluation of a work of art, which is made in an organized manner using not only personal criteria but also the steps provided by the scientists that make the criticism less biased.

David Hume’s view regarding art criticism

David Hume believed that art criticism should be based on the general points of view so that the results would be supported by the majority of people. Still, he understood that the results cannot be accepted by all people, and the only true judgment is impossible to be made, as they have different tastes. So Hume recommended the rules for criticism. His view regarding art criticism seems to be the most decent, as he considers the personal impact on the evaluation and emphasizes the necessity of practice and reparative evaluation of an object, which makes the final consideration the most exact and true.

The notion of ‘truth’ in art criticism

‘Truth’ in art criticism presupposes the existence of correct and incorrect judgments. While criticizing an artwork, a person judges it according to one’s tastes, which presupposes that some people can provide true judgment and others false. It is also connected with the idea of biased and general views. In other words, the concept of truth is normative. If evaluating an object the majority of people claim it to be beautiful and support their opinion according to decent criteria, it is the truth. The majority of scientists interpret truth explaining that one and the same thing cannot be beautiful and ugly at the same time.

Achieving agreement about aesthetic judgments

It is rather hard to have the agreement about aesthetic judgments. The main reason is that all people have different tastes, and many like the things other treat with disgust. The agreement regarding the object being nice and beautiful or ugly and horrifying is based on generalizing. For example, the majority of people believe violas to be beautiful, so they came to the agreement that it is really so. Still, it is not a universal truth, as there are people who have never seen them or/and prefer wild flowers. Thus, even though the agreement occurs, it cannot be treated as a general truth and may be questioned and argued.

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StudyCorgi. "Art Criticism and Aesthetics Philosophy." January 19, 2021.


StudyCorgi. 2021. "Art Criticism and Aesthetics Philosophy." January 19, 2021.


StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Art Criticism and Aesthetics Philosophy'. 19 January.

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