Moral Judgment Matjaž Potrč



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The demise of judgment.


Reasons for demise of judgment: philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, analytic high church, atomism. Try to establish why judgment left the scene: third person point of view was attempted; once as one switched to the first person point of view, judgmental intertwining integration was not attempted.

We live in a Fregean age. One of Frege’s most successful proposals with broad impact onto the manner in which philosophy is practiced was his embracing of second order logic as involving function and argument, substituting thus the up till then usual subject-predicate form of inferential reasoning. (Potrč Zapis in govorica...). The sign that one is still engaged into inferential judgment, namely┣, just stayed at the very beginning of the inferential path, and certainly did not attempt to promote what we call the just sketched genuine judgment. By his promotion of function-argument Frege abolished even the formerly mentioned inferential reductionist form of subject-predicate judgment from the philosophical scene. Trials to establish subject-predicate form as the basis for logic, supposedly bringing reasoning closer to practices of ordinary language (Strawson P.F. ....) did not really encounter a huge success, although thereby some stress was put upon communication-intention linguistic engagement in one’s reasoning. So Fregean way to go is one central reason for the demise of genuine judgment from the philosophical scene.

There are further reasons for demise of judgment from the mentioned scene however. Several forms of atomism became influential in philosophy of language and in philosophy of mind. So the intertwined ingredients of genuine judgment, its content and its adjoined attitude were separated, which means that they were treated in a separatist manner.

Analytic high church with its definitional agenda has underwritten this direction of atomistic engagement. Definitions should clarify the concepts that one uses, and in this sense it was encouraged to isolate and define each of these concepts separately. Intentional content, from this point of view, was observed as being independent from qualitative experience with which it comes upon the stage.

This all went together with dismissal of the first person point of view. But if judgment is essentially someone’s reflexive conscious engagement into a content and one’s committal attitude towards it, the initiative to abolish the importance of judgment was thereby enhanced.

Even if one switched to the first person point of view (Chisholm...), the judgmental intertwining integration of intentional content and phenomenological qualitative attitude was not really attempted.

All this has underwritten the demise of genuine judgment from the philosophical scene. Holism (Fodor LePore...) as affirmed from such a separatist background, again, did not result in judgment’s basic integration of intentional and phenomenological sides into one organic unity.

This is why some proposals (Poli, Roberto....) urged to reestablish the judgment as one central philosophical engagement, although without a huge success.




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