These comments were originally intended to be given at the American Society for Aesthetics Pacific Division meeting in Berkeley that was to meet last week but was cancelled due to the current pandemic. I rewrote them somewhat after seeing Bob's intended reply. All references are to Intersections of Value: Art, Nature and the Everyday by Robert Stecker, Oxford University Press, 2019.
However, I like resolving what Carlson and Parsons called the problem of indeterminacy (how to determine the right function for evaluation) in Bob’s way more than in their way. That is, it is not a matter of eliminating all functions but one, the proper function, but a matter of considering all functions. Looking at the Plaza Major one should consider both the original and the current function in order to get a better, richer, appreciation of it. This goes along not only with pluralism but with the idea of combining different perspectives…a matter already discussed with respect to appreciation of nature.
Bob says “to make an adequate overall judgment one must weigh up all these considerations.” (149) I would go a bit further: one must not only weigh considerations but synthesize approaches. Bob considers the Zaha Hadid designed museum at Michigan State. Here, it is clear that he is concerned with the fact that some functions do not work well together, for he says that “an evaluation of the overall aesthetic effectiveness of the museum should consider this defect [that it would work better in its own space] and weigh it against the building’s virtues.” I am just not surely that weighing here is as important as synthesis, but I am not sure this is a point of real disagreement between us.