Someone like Kuhn might argue that "the bar is lower" for all pre- or inter-paradigmatic sciences. The reasons that we can demand compliance with a standard is there is an understood and accepted standard.
Clinical Psychology is a parallel example. One can look at Freud and shake one's head at his strange evasiveness, which made for a science so weak it prompted people to put up walls against considering it science. But without Freud, a lot of later people would never have said things that are genuinely useful.
Philology and therefore Literary Criticism is, unfortunately or otherwise, a domain that borrows paradigms until they come to mean something, and when they do not pay off, it moves on. So there is no paradigm, unless one chooses one. Subdisciplines of the field do have paradigms. If you choose to work in a paradigm, one should hold oneself to the standards already set by earlier contributors.
(On that basis, one might say that it is just as demanding unless you want to innovate. Being caught up in the paradigm of the day may actually be a form of laziness. It be something that makes literary analysis worse, if a different lens would suit the author better.)