Apr 27, 2010

Philosophical Phun - Judgement :o)

What happens in our minds when we make a judgement? [Brentano defined judgement as attaining knowledge and drawing inferences] Introspectively it is an act quite similar to making a decision, although its behavioral effects are different. Suppose you are uncertain what to think about the existence of extraterrestrial life. Some data suggest that life exists only on earth, others suggest that there may be intelligent beings somewhere else in the universe. Eventually you may become convinced one way or the other, and you either accept or reject the existence of extraterrestrial life. That is when you judge.

This example illustrates two judgement considerations:
  1. Judgements require that something (some object) is given in presentation, but not that something is predicated of it.
  2. Judgements are either positive or negative, depending on whether the presented object is accepted as existing, or rejected as fictitious or non-existing.
According to this principle, to make a judgement means to judge about an object that is given in presentation. But if something is given in presentation, this already implies that the presented object exists at least as an immanent object in our minds. So how can one legitimately deny its existence?



  1. I would argue that the definition is flawed. Often when people make judgments, they seem to be about abstract ideas than concrete objects. As such it is possible to believe that something does not exist. If something is abstract, while it may seem to have concrete manifestations, does it really exist? Could not these concrete manisfestations be explained by something else?

  2. people also apply judgements about abstract ideas to concrete objects (and vice versa) and then act shocked when their logic breaks down and things go awry.

    example: all cats are wet so i will buy a new car to stay dry.



Tell Me What You Think, Don't Make me go Rogue on you :o)