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By Graham McFee

This significant publication examines the aesthetics of dance. Philosophically rigorous, correctly introductory, and surely targeted, realizing Dance offers accomplished assurance of all of the major parts surrounding dance. good points contain an exam of either U.K. and U.S. ballet businesses and a glance on the paintings of critics on either side of the Atlantic.

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It is with these three that I shall be chiefly concerned here. For if the term ‘subjective’ lacks this pejorative force, it will not matter if we end up concluding that aesthetic judgement is necessarily subjective. The use of the word ‘necessarily’ is important, for if it were concerned simply with the practical possibility, in any situation, of making an objective judgement, we would have to consider a variety of factors, any or all of which might be relevant: for example, the knowledge and experience of the person making the judgement, the likelihood of his having an interest towards judging in one direction rather than another, his commitment to making the decision, his vantage point on the issue, the number of times he had confronted it, and so on.

He did not see its ‘meanings’ at all. Yet, as he said, ‘I was enthralled by the exhilerating quality of his [Gopal’s] movements…. So it seems clear that my appreciation was of the aesthetic, not the artistic’ (Best, 1978a: p. 115). Here again we have aesthetic appreciation only, not the appreciation of art. It will be worth saying a couple of points which elaborate this distinction between artistic judgement and aesthetic judgement, for the examples given above may demonstrate that there is some such distinction without telling us very much about it.

And if by ‘subjective’ I mean that ‘anything goes’, then that is not the case in respect of this judgement. The colour-blind man may think he is describing the look of the thing, but he will be wrong. He is merely describing its look to him. So, by this test, judgements like sentence 2 are certainly not subjective; hence are objective. However, if we choose instead to explain the term ‘subjective’ as necessarily involving human perceptual powers or human feelings, judgements of category 2 will turn out to be subjective.

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