META: The Problem of Subjectivity

Andrew Burton tuglyraisin at
Thu Mar 13 06:46:31 PDT 2008

Martin Phipps wrote:
> I concede that the usual definition of criticism involves "passing
> judgment" but "analyzing content" is also criticism.  You can analyze
> the works of Shakespeare without dismissing any of them as "clunkers".

I can.  "Romeo and Juliet" is boring and, per a discussion with a 
co-worker/friend of mine, I find his understanding of teenagers woefully 


> Pointing out errors _alone_ is not the same as making a value
> judgement.  I can like a story and still find fault with it.

That said, making a value judgement is not the same as pointing out 
errors.  I can hate a story even when its logic is sound.  I'm typically 
more inclined to like stories that maintain an internal logic, but it's 
not a 100% sure bet.

Getting back to what I assume is your thesis statement: objective 
criticism is the best form of criticism; and by rebuttal: ain't no such 
thing... In all those definitions of "criticism" I fail to see the word 
"objective" used a single time, and I think that's because there ain't 
no such thing.

Andrew Burton
tuglyraisin at - A Guide to Esoteric Technology in Paragon City - Take a guess. ;)

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