Imho, the picture is one's goal, and is what we should judge and discuss. As picture-makers, we will naturally connect made pictures to picture-making, and attempt to synthesize wisdom. That can be helpful, but is limited to the amount that process can _directly and in isolation_ influence product. That amount is more limited than most picture-makers accept.
What counts — for fine art at least — is what a picture means, or how it effects other humans. Everything else — including the so-called tension between analytical perception and emotional perception — generally deflects our attention away from that crucial point.
The lesson for picture-makers — which posters to this thread seem to be groping towards — is to make effective pictures, and to discuss picture effectiveness.