Philosophy of Criticism: The Intersubjective Validity of Aesthetic Judgement

Derek Matravers (The Open University)  on Malcolm Budd’s 'The Intersubjective Validity of Aesthetic Judgements'

A recording of this event is available here. A report on this event by Dr Céline Sabiron, with comments by Dr Xiaofan Amy Li, is available here

The seminar was convened by Dr James Grant and Dr Andrew Klevan.

About the Philosophy of Criticism Series: The aim of this seminar series was to consider philosophical and methodological questions relevant to criticism of the arts, including literature, music, film (and other audio-visual forms), fine art, architecture, and design. ‘Philosophy of Criticism’ was part of the ‘Comparative Criticism and Translation’ research programme, and complemented the programme’s ‘Languages of Criticism’ seminar series. We looked principally, though not exclusively, at matters of value and evaluation. In philosophical aesthetics, such matters have received a significant amount of attention, but recently they have been recessive in other disciplines. One aim of the seminar series was to provide a productive forum where students and researchers in a range of subjects within the humanities were able to participate in the debates taking place in philosophy. The seminars normally took the form of an invited guest speaker who introduced an article or chapter—read by the members of the seminar in advance—as a prelude to a discussion. Students and researchers in any discipline were welcome.


• Responding to Value – Evaluation, Appreciation, Judgement, Appraisal, Pleasure, Taste

• Aspects of Value – Artistic Value, Aesthetic Value, Beauty, Achievement, Excellence, Ethical Value, Knowledge, Meaning, Truth, Unity, Irony, Ambiguity, Balance, Density, Simplicity, Functionality, Coherence, Canon

• Artistic Creation – Intention, Form, Style, Tone, Craft, Imagination, Tradition

• Standards and Methods of Criticism – Critical Argument, Reasons, Principles of Criticism, Subjectivity, Inter-Subjectivity, Criticism as an Art, Close Reading, Comparison, Classification, Contextualisation, Elucidation