Critic

Critic

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A critic is anyone who expresses a value judgement. Informally, criticism
Criticism
Criticism is the judgement of the merits and faults of the work or actions of an individual or group by another . To criticize does not necessarily imply to find fault, but the word is often taken to mean the simple expression of an objection against prejudice, or a disapproval.Another meaning of...

 is a common aspect of all human expression and need not necessarily imply skilled or accurate expressions of judgement. Critical judgements, good or bad, may be positive (in praise of an object of attentiorefen
Object (philosophy)
An object in philosophy is a technical term often used in contrast to the term subject. Consciousness is a state of cognition that includes the subject, which can never be doubted as only it can be the one who doubts, and some object or objects that may or may not have real existence without...

), negative (in dispraise), or balanced (weighing a combination of factors both for and against). Since all criticism must be regarded as having a purpose, a critic may also be definable by his or her specific motivation
Motivation
Motivation is the driving force by which humans achieve their goals. Motivation is said to be intrinsic or extrinsic. The term is generally used for humans but it can also be used to describe the causes for animal behavior as well. This article refers to human motivation...

. At its simplest, and for whatever reason, a critic may have either constructive or destructive intent.

Formally, the word is applied to persons who are publicly accepted in a recognised capacity, such as professional employment, graduation from a course of study, etc., to give critical commentaries in one or any of a number of specific fields of public or private achievement or endeavour. Such domains most commonly include the arts
The arts
The arts are a vast subdivision of culture, composed of many creative endeavors and disciplines. It is a broader term than "art", which as a description of a field usually means only the visual arts. The arts encompass visual arts, literary arts and the performing arts – music, theatre, dance and...

, performance
Performance
A performance, in performing arts, generally comprises an event in which a performer or group of performers behave in a particular way for another group of people, the audience. Choral music and ballet are examples. Usually the performers participate in rehearsals beforehand. Afterwards audience...

 and public service
Foodservice
Food Service or catering industry defines those businesses, institutions, and companies responsible for any meal prepared outside the home...

 (such as catering
Catering
Catering is the business of providing foodservice at a remote site or a site such as a hotel, public house , or other location.-Mobile catering:A mobile caterer serves food directly from a vehicle or cart that is designed for the purpose...

) but may extend more widely to pronouncements on moral character
Moral character
Moral character or character is an evaluation of a particular individual's durable moral qualities. The concept of character can imply a variety of attributes including the existence or lack of virtues such as integrity, courage, fortitude, honesty, and loyalty, or of good behaviors or habits...

, group behaviour
Group behaviour
Group behaviour in sociology refers to the situations where people interact in large or small groups. The field of group dynamics deals with small groups that may reach consensus and act in a coordinated way...

, or any activity involving repute in public life, including war, broadcasting, academia, politics, science, etc. Critical judgements in this sense must always entail some degree of subjectivity
Subjectivity
Subjectivity refers to the subject and his or her perspective, feelings, beliefs, and desires. In philosophy, the term is usually contrasted with objectivity.-Qualia:...

 and are themselves subject to critical analysis.

Particularly in the domains of the arts and culture, where judgements can be at their most subjective, a formally accepted critic can play a powerful role as a public arbiter
Arbitration
Arbitration, a form of alternative dispute resolution , is a legal technique for the resolution of disputes outside the courts, where the parties to a dispute refer it to one or more persons , by whose decision they agree to be bound...

 of taste or opinion and can occasionally play a more or less defining role in cultural history. Also, because formal criticism is necessarily selective, the role of the formal critic generally intersects with issues of censorship
Censorship
thumb|[[Book burning]] following the [[1973 Chilean coup d'état|1973 coup]] that installed the [[Military government of Chile |Pinochet regime]] in Chile...

 and the construction or denial of canonical
Western canon
The term Western canon denotes a canon of books and, more broadly, music and art that have been the most important and influential in shaping Western culture. As such, it includes the "greatest works of artistic merit." Such a canon is important to the theory of educational perennialism and the...

 reputation in cultures. But criticism need not merely be perceived as a matter of building up or destroying reputations. Good peer-group
Peer group
A peer group is a social group consisting of humans. Peer groups are an informal primary group of people who share a similar or equal status and who are usually of roughly the same age, tended to travel around and interact within the social aggregate Members of a particular peer group often have...

 criticism is an important part of developing or maintaining excellent standards of achievement in any art or discipline, whether at the level of apprenticeship or ongoing practise.

Critic and genius


The critic is considered to be the dialectic
Dialectic
Dialectic is a method of argument for resolving disagreement that has been central to Indic and European philosophy since antiquity. The word dialectic originated in Ancient Greece, and was made popular by Plato in the Socratic dialogues...

 of genius
Genius
Genius is something or someone embodying exceptional intellectual ability, creativity, or originality, typically to a degree that is associated with the achievement of unprecedented insight....

. This insight was formulated early by Gotthold Ephraim Lessing
Gotthold Ephraim Lessing
Gotthold Ephraim Lessing was a German writer, philosopher, dramatist, publicist, and art critic, and one of the most outstanding representatives of the Enlightenment era. His plays and theoretical writings substantially influenced the development of German literature...

 as "not every critic is a genius, but every genius is born a critic...genius has the proof of all rules within itself." Kant scholar Jane Kneller has read this to indicate that, as opposed to the externally oriented and culturally dependent critic, "genius demonstrates its autonomy not by ignoring all rules, but by deriving the rules from itself".

Derivation


The word critic comes from Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

  (), "able to discern", which is a Greek derivation from the word (), meaning a person who offers reasoned judgment or analysis, value judgment, interpretation, or observation.

See also