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?