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Gre Issue 108

Critical judgment of work in any given field has little value unless it comes from someone who is an expert in that field.

  Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position.

Most people believe in experts' critics, because they are often thought of being more knowledgeable and professional than common people. Indeed, their profound knowledge and professional perspectives on seeing problems always make their critical judgment more convincing and expressive. However, even though I do not agree with the claim that other people's critical judgments of work are invaluable in any given field.

First, the situations are not the same in different fields. In those fields which require very professional knowledge to make critics on work, or even to understand the work, like theoretical physics, it is likely that critical judgments from someone who is not an expert in this field to have little value. But in the fields which are more common, especially when the work has a lot to do with common people, then their opinions about the work is rather important, even can be more valuable than those of the experts. For example, cell phone buyers' critical judgments on a certain type of cell phone are certainly valuable for the phone maker, for the goal of their working is providing their customers nice products that could please them. Another example is patients' opinions on the effects of medicines, if they do not feel good taking a kind of medicine, the medicine producer should certainly take their critics into consideration, for the same reason that the work, which here is the medicine, is to help the patients to get rid of their disease, regardless of their identity. So, in situations like these, whether a person is an expert or not is of no importance when evaluating their critical judgments.

I guess some who are against this idea may say that philistines often do not really think themselves; they just follow the trend and take others' opinions on a certain work. While it is true for some people for sometimes, it does not necessarily mean that any critical judgment that comes from a non-expert is invaluable. As a matter of fact, people who are not experts in a given field are often inclined to see a work in this field with a different perspective, which can be fresh from the experts'. There is a great possibility that experts tend to see things with some established thoughts and attitudes, so sometimes their critical judgment can be rather conservative. For instance, when the so-called experts in the field of arts saw Van Gough's paintings, they made harsh critics about the hyperbolic style of the paintings; instead, some people who were as poor as Van Gough himself appreciated his paintings and gave them rather objective critical judgments. We all know that the style which has been so different from the traditional ones later turned out to be one of the most important features that make Van Gough's paintings so amazing. So, experts' critics are not always of great value and non-experts' are even more valuable than them.

In conclusion, I hope it had been made clear that there indeed are some fields in which critical judgments on work from people who are not experts bear more value than that from the experts.

Submitted by: Juliana

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