Does art have objective standards?


There are diverse views from experts on whether art has objective standards.

Ben Shapiro argues that art requires a certain amount of skill and craft. He states that not everything can be considered art, and some pieces can objectively be deemed "bad art" based on criteria such as the artist's skill level and the ability of the artwork to be replicated by many people. He believes that abandoning objective standards leads to the degradation of art 1.

Stephen West, discussing David Hume's perspective, suggests that while beauty may be subjective, we can still cultivate certain qualities to become ideal critics of art. Hume proposed that though individuals' judgments differ, some criteria for evaluating art might be better than others, similar to how we rely on experts in other fields to settle debates 2.

Jordan Peterson, citing an experiment, mentions that established artists could reliably distinguish high-quality art from low-quality art, suggesting there might be a form of consensus or collective subjectivity in evaluating art. This implies that while art may not be objectively measurable in the strictest sense, there is some level of agreement among qualified observers 3.

The Death of Art

Ben Shapiro passionately argues against the idea that art has no standards and that subjectivity creates its own value. He believes that art should require skill and that the concept of "bad art" can be objectively determined.

The Ben Shapiro Show

The Garbage Fires To End All Garbage Fires | Ep. 420

Adam Grant highlights the subjective nature of art, pointing out that standards of what constitutes great art can vary based on cultural and social contexts. He notes that even highly acclaimed works like the Mona Lisa didn't stand out initially until they gained stories and significance over time, further emphasizing the role of perception and context in defining artistic value 4.

These varied perspectives reflect the complexity surrounding the discussion of objective standards in art.