The task of criticism in Psychology

Cognition, Creation, and Comprehension

How Art Communicates

The Task of Criticism

O Arthur Danto: O “The task of criticism is to

identify the meanings and explain the mode of their embodiment.” (Freeland 58)

O Three Key Things: O Identify Meaning

O What is the meaning? O And, for whom?

O Mode of Embodiment #1: Material O What is the medium of

the work? O What does the artist use?

O Mode of Embodiment #2: Formal O How is that material arranged? O According to what principles?

Art and Culture O “Art ‘expresses the life of a community” ~ John Dewey, qt.

in Freeland, page 87 O “Art as “culturally significant meaning, skillfully encoded in

an affecting, sensuous medium.’” ~ Richard Anderson, qtd. in Freeland, page 88

O Key Concepts: O Definitions of Art O Art World O Culture O Community

O “We use the word culture in these two senses: to mean a whole way of life–the common meanings; to mean the arts and learning–the special processes of discovery and creative effort.” ~Raymond Williams,

Interpretation To “interpret” is to offer a rational construal that explains the meaning of an artwork. I do not believe that there is one true account of ‘the’ cognitive contribution made by an artwork.

But some interpretations work better than others. The most advanced interpretations are reasoned, detailed, and plausible; they reflect background knowledge and community standards of rational debate.” (Freeland 175)

Theories Art Communicates. Interpretation helps explain how art does this. “A good interpretation must be grounded in reasons and evidence and should provide a rich, complex, and illuminating way to comprehend a work of art.” (150)

Cognitive Theory: artists communicate thoughts and ideas Expressive Theory: artists communicate emotions and feelings from, “The Rhetoric of the Image”