It’s a Judgment Call

Everything said leaves something unsaid. Priorities and omissions are always already made, even in description. When you judge something, you’re not just saying what it means. You’re also defining its worth.

Since we can’t keep evaluation out of the equation, how should we think about how it goes in? In class last week, we decided that history is not value-free, but that just by making judgment calls we can shape it.

Wait, but what exactly is judgment?

Kant says that judgments come from knowing the difference between preferences and actual beauty, i.e. knowing the difference between something that’s agreeable and something that’s actually beautiful.

We also know that judgment stems out of our own tastes and values. Clement Greenberg once said, “Taste means everything that is in you is in your eye.”

Do these ideas actually shape how we perceive and respond to beauty? Are they well thought out, but ultimately just opinions? If they do shape us… what does that mean for how we see art and life?

-Hannah Jurgens

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One comment

  1. Hannah, first of all, I find your post and it’s style — the small paragraphs and many questions — to be refreshing. The post is enjoyable to read and I was able to be extremely interested because it possesses a voice. I agree with your point in the very beginning of your post, “When you judge something, you’re not just saying what it means. You’re also defining what it’s worth.” I understand judgment to be purely opinion in which, people finding their opinion(s) to be superior to others. I agree that people understand their opinions to also be defining the worth of things. It is interesting to think about this because then one wonders, “Why does their opinion have more validity than my own?” When I ask myself this question, I come to find the answer to be something along the lines of, ‘they must be more knowledgable of this topic or subject,’ which in some cases is true. However, does that mean someone’s opinion who is less knowledgable, is not valid or important? I don’t think that is the case. I believe Kant said it well that ‘judgements come from knowing the difference between preferences and actual beauty.’ Because if something is beautiful it is beautiful, and preferences are choices made, which is a good thought to keep in your mind while going about your life.

    Rachael Pantuso

    Like


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