The Arts

I believe the arguments in “Knowledge and the Arts” and “Taste for Makers” are persuasive, However, there is something to be said about the arguments made in both “Taste for Makers” and “Knowledge and the Arts”.

Through art of all sorts, we reflect on who we are, where we are and what life is for. Through art, We explore what it means to be human. We search for wisdom. What could be more essential than that? (Knowledge and the Arts, [11])

We may learn a lot from the arts, like who we are and where we are, but if they are so essential, then why are they always the first subject group to be removed from schools as soon as there is a budget cut? With this logic, can we not make the assumption that the core subjects (math, language and the sciences) are more important than the arts?

Paul Graham stated in “Taste for Makers” that

It’s a matter of pride, and real pleasure to get better at your job. But if your job is to design things, and there is no such thing as beauty, then there is no way to get better at your job. If taste is just personal preference, then everyone’s is already perfect: you like whatever you like, and that’s it. [2]

If everything is already perfect and there is no such thing as beauty, then why do people spend their entire careers trying to design and build more beautiful and modern ideas and concepts? How can they get better at their job if there is no way to create something beautiful? If everybody has a different taste, is there a way to please everyone?

The arguments in both of these articles were persuasive and made me think about what the arts are and how they encourage me to think deeply about what the arts can teach me. They help us figure out who we are and why we are here. I believe that music is a great way to be able to express oneself in a way that only means something to the composer. If I write a song about something tragic that happened in my life, others will be able to tell that it is a sad song but the piece only means something significant to me. That helps the composer thing about who they are and their place in the world, as well as helping others find out who they are.

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