Aesthetic Judgment and Reasoning

Authored by: Norman H. Freeman

Handbook of Research and Policy in Art Education

Print publication date:  February  2004
Online publication date:  April  2004

Print ISBN: 9780805849714
eBook ISBN: 9781410609939
Adobe ISBN: 9781135612313


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Lay people and experts of all ages often find themselves making many types of decisions about what a picture shows, how it shows it, and how well it shows it. The decisions are made on many types of pictures, photographs, road signs, artworks on a wall, quick sketches, text illustrations, and more. An account has to encompass diverse types of pictures in relation to how viewers and depictors cope with difficult pictorial decisions. When people diverge about such matters as whether a picture is a “true likeness,” or the conditions under which a picture “will turn out well,” there is a chance of discerning their aesthetic assumptions. When the divergence is because the people concerned are of different ages, there is a chance of discerning how the demands of the pictorial domain shape development. Children grow into becoming art critics (Freeman, 1993; Golomb, 2003).

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