British Journal of Aesthetics 43 (4):393-400 (2003)

Daniel A. Kaufman
Missouri State University
This essay counters the claim, made by Arnold Isenberg, Mary Mothersill, and others, that there can be no straightforward justification of critical evaluations of artworks, because there can be no critical laws. My argument is that if we adopt an Aristotelian view of the value of artworks, the problem of critical laws is reduced to a mere problem of scope and is easily solved. An Aristotelian system of kind classification, which groups artworks according to common formal and narrative purposes, provides the mechanism by which we can limit the scope of critical laws in a non-arbitrary way, one that is in keeping with the actual practices of art historians and critics.
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DOI 10.1093/bjaesthetics/43.4.393
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