Critique is a method of disciplined, systematic analysis of a written or oral discourse. Critique is commonly understood as fault finding and negative judgement, but it can also involve merit recognition, and in the philosophical tradition it also means a methodical practice of doubt. The contemporary sense of critique has been largely influenced by the Enlightenment critique of prejudice and authority, which championed the emancipation and autonomy from religious and political authorities. Critique is an accepted format of written and oral debate.
Some authors draw a distinction between critique and criticism. The distinction is not made in French, German and Italian, where the two words both translate as critique, Kritik and critica respectively. According to philosopher Gianni Vattimo, criticism is used more frequently to denote literary criticism or art criticism, that is the interpretation and evaluation of literature and art; while critique may be used in the English language to refer to more general and profound writing as Kant's Critique of pure reason. Another proposed distinctions is that critique is never personalized nor ad hominem, but is instead the analyses of the structure of the thought in the content of the item critiqued. This analysis then offers by way of the critique method either a rebuttal or a suggestion of further expansion upon the problems presented by the topic of that specific written or oral argumentation. Even authors that believe there might be a distinction, say that there is some ambiguity that is still unresolved.
Critique is an accepted and established process of orderly scholarly and public debate. In the fine arts and the humanities, and especially in writing, critique is influenced by the scientific method of analysis. Critique is based upon an informed opinion, and never upon personal opinion. Informed opinion is accepted as being technical knowledge, personal or professional experience, or specified training.
The term 'critique' derives, via French, from Ancient Greek κριτική (kritikē), meaning "the faculty of judgement", that is, discerning the value of persons or things.
Famous quotes containing the word critique:
“... the outcome of the Clarence Thomas hearings and his subsequent appointment to the Supreme Court shows how misguided, narrow notions of racial solidarity that suppress dissent and critique can lead black folks to support individuals who will not protect their rights.”
—bell hooks (b. c. 1955)
“Wagners art is the most sensational self-portrayal and self- critique of German nature that it is possible to conceive.”
—Thomas Mann (18751955)
“In its artless cruelty, Dallas is superior to any intelligent critique that can be made of it. That is why intellectual snobbery meets its match here.”
—Jean Baudrillard (b. 1929)