A critic is anyone who expresses a value judgment. Informally, criticism is a common aspect of all human expression and need not necessarily imply skilled or accurate expressions of judgment. Critical judgments, good or bad, may be positive (in praise of an object of attention), negative (in dispraise), or balanced (weighing a combination of factors both for and against). Since all criticism must be regarded as having a purpose, a critic may also be definable by his or her specific motivation. At its simplest, and for whatever reason, a critic may have either constructive or destructive intent.

Formally, the word is applied to persons who are publicly accepted in a recognised capacity, such as professional employment, graduation from a course of study, etc., to give critical commentaries in one or any of a number of specific fields of public or private achievement or endeavour. Such domains most commonly include the arts, performance and public service (such as catering) but may extend more widely to pronouncements on moral character, group behaviour, or any activity involving repute in public life, including war, broadcasting, academia, politics, science, etc. Critical judgments in this sense must always entail some degree of subjectivity and are themselves subject to critical analysis.

Particularly in the domains of the arts and culture, where judgments can be at their most subjective, a formally accepted critic can play a powerful role as a public arbiter of taste or opinion and can occasionally play a more or less defining role in cultural history. Also, because formal criticism is necessarily selective, the role of the formal critic generally intersects with issues of censorship and the construction or denial of canonical reputation in cultures. But criticism need not merely be perceived as a matter of building up or destroying reputations. Good peer-group criticism is an important part of developing or maintaining excellent standards of achievement in any art or discipline, whether at the level of apprenticeship or ongoing practise. The proliferation of online websites setting themselves up as critics of the Arts is allegedly causing concern, particularly at events such as the Edinburgh Fringe festival, where reviewers are often untrained, have no visible code of conduct, and are possibly using the opportunity to practice writing rather than fulfil a morally acceptable and informative role.

Read more about CriticCritic and Genius, Derivation

Other articles related to "critic":

Peter Schjeldahl - Art Critic
... Since coming to New York he has worked as an art critic for ARTnews, The New York Times, The Village Voice (1980 to 1998), and 7 Days (The Cooper Union) ... The New Yorker where he is currently the head art critic ...
Critic - Derivation
... The word critic comes from Greek κριτικός (kritikós), "able to discern", which is a Greek derivation from the word κριτής (krités), meaning a person who ...
John H. Foote - Career - Film Critic
... His work as a critic continues as he writes syndicated for the Metroland Organization, Toronto Life and Fashion, and has his own website ... as their Toronto International Film Festival critic, though he has since moved to The Awards Circuit (, where he has joined the staff consisting of ... Over the course of his career as a film critic he has interviewed Robert Duvall, Meryl Streep, Clint Eastwood, Viggo Mortenson, Sally Field, Tom Cruise, Helen Hunt ...
Well Well Well (John Lennon Song) - Reception
... Music critic Robert Christgau describes "Well Well Well" as an "unsung great song." Rolling Stone Magazine critic Stephen Holden considers the "furious ... Music critic Paul Evans claims that the Plastic Ono Band songs "Well Well Well" and "I Found Out" are "tougher rock than nearly anything released before the Sex Pistols." ...
J. D. Considine
... (born 1956) is an established music critic who has been writing about music professionally since 1977 ... show Four on the Floor, which was said to be a sort of rock critic equivalent to The McLaughlin Group ... He later became jazz critic at The Globe and Mail ...

Famous quotes containing the word critic:

    After all, poets shouldn’t be their own interpreters and shouldn’t carefully dissect their poems into everyday prose; that would mean the end of being poets. Poets send their creations into the world, it is up to the reader, the aesthetician, and the critic to determine what they wanted to say with their creations.
    Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749–1832)

    Never trust the artist. Trust the tale. The proper function of the critic is to save the tale from the artist who created it.
    —D.H. (David Herbert)

    A critic who uses new quotations is making important changes.
    Mason Cooley (b. 1927)