- Written by SW Hammond
Here’s a much different way of looking at art and storytelling—perhaps a method that your editor or writing group may never have considered, or succinctly explained.
I’m going to share with you a formula created by Dr. Todd Jones that explains what makes good art and literature. Jones is a celebrated philosophy professor with a significant background in anthropology.
Jones’s BeDE Theory of Art Criticism:
Art or literature’s only function—the only thing it is good at doing—is creating beliefs, desires, and emotions (or BeDE for short). Art fails at doing anything and everything else.
The BeDE theory is designed to tell you which works of art are comparatively better than other works of art in its class, based on how well it performs its function of creating beliefs, desires, and emotions within its audience.
What makes something “art” is a social fact—such as the concept of money or Tuesday. Society agrees that “x” is art, and therefore it becomes art.