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The Concept of Criticism

The Concept of Criticism by Francis Sparshott
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In The Concept of Criticism, Sparshott gives an elegant account of his view that the idea of performance is central to the place of criticism in the life of the arts. Applied to the arts in general, performance retains the notion that art is characterized by intentionality without applying to it the kinds of strictures we would apply to the products and doings of ordinary moral agents. Applied to criticism, performance best identifies the manner in which the critic gives grounds for the evaluation of a work of art, without necessarily directly evaluating it. Criticism, in short, is one performance about another performance.

The implications of Sparshott's core thesis for our grasp of the relationship of criticism to art are surprisingly far-reaching and profound. The Concept of Criticism explores these implications with wit and tenacity.

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Title: The Concept of Criticism
Author: Francis Sparshott

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