Alternatives to "criticism"


New Member
I was listening to the first session on Other minds and hands, and I noted Corey's objection to the term "criticism" for analyzing a body of text on the basis of its historical usage and meaning. I would like to propose that the existing phrase "careful reading" is the best fit for his particular holistic and thorough approach. I would have preferred something along the lines of "literary inquiry," but I fear that this phrasing comes too close to "literary inquisition," or the prosecution of authors for the writing of subversive texts.


Well-Known Member
That was about a very specific form of criticism or critique, literary criticism.

Greek kritike comes from "to divide, to split".

I once learned that critique is to compare the subject, what is, with the idea, what should be.

Now would one wanna do that with a piece of literature? One should do so with society, politics, philosophies, religion probably.

But not art.Art is the last enclave of that is magic left in this world.It seems odd to me to think about a piece of art "well but that is not how it should be!"

Art is made for resonance. So i rather resonate to good art and not-resonate so much to not-that-good-art.


Active Member
Greek kritike comes from "to divide, to split".
A very interesting observation... Critical thinking is indeed about making distinctions ('splitting' ideas into clearer segments) and so quite applicable. The problem is that we tend to assume this is always negative, the effort to find what is wrong with whatever is being examined. This does not have to be negative at all, and I think our discussion of LotR has been overwhelmingly devoted to finding new and interesting positive things in the text. Yet, it did involved making careful distinctions, whether linguistic or logical, and therefore is rightly called 'critical' thinking.