• Jack Cummins
    4.1k

    You know that I am a little inclined to see philosophy as the search for answers and truth. When I wrote the thread I didn't clearly think about what I meant by the term judgment but I guess that I was implying accuracy as a general measure. For example, if there is a court case it is a matter of weighing up information and witness accounts to get the truest picture. For example, there have been people sentenced to prison and it has later been discovered that they were not guilty. Some aspects of judgment are about clarity and thoroughness, like if one has a medical issue and goes to doctors there is a need for thoroughness and care in getting the most correct diagnosis and treatment, which gets into medical ethics. It may be that judgment as an aspect of philosophy is connected to the application of philosophical scrutiny in the practical matters of life and the use of critical analysis and thinking.
  • Possibility
    2.7k
    The reflection on mistakes is probably essential in learning from them but may not always mean that better choices are made in the future. I have come across the idea that the importance of studying history is in order to learn from mistakes made. But, it is not always clear that mistakes will be less likely because the variables being judged may change so much.Jack Cummins

    Agreed. The choice may be simply to avoid the whole ‘bad’ situation in future, but personally I think we learn more when we don’t judge at the level of action. The importance of studying history is to break down our so-called mistakes and understand why as humans we made that particular sequence of choices, when we might have had alternative avenues available, and where those might have led us instead. If we had simply buried the shameful history of Hitler’s regime, we might never have recognised the errors in electing Trump before it was too late...

    With risk assessment, that is so much of a current policy approach within organisations for making judgements and assessments. Sometimes it helps in looking at potential predictions. However, it often is less effective in practice due to the limitations of knowledge. One example which I give, and that is because it was what I used to be involved in judging risk in mental health care, is risk of harm to oneself and others. There were important aspects of guidelines as to how people had acted in the past, but the problem was that it was not possible to know people's plans and motivation.Jack Cummins

    Agreed again. Past behaviour is not the best indicator of future behaviour, when all’s said and done. There’s far more to potentiality and risk than past actions, but often that seems to be all we can quantify, and we have to start somewhere. Risk of self-harm is especially difficult - often it’s what they’re NOT doing that’s indicative of increasing risk, which you can’t really quantify. I don’t think it’s all that useful to consolidate judgement or assessment here - it appears more certain, but is ultimately limiting because it leaves out unquantifiable relations. It think it’s more about an ongoing process of qualitative prediction and adjustment in increasing awareness, connection and collaboration to minimise risk. I find it is our capacity to relate without judgement to the thinking, feeling person, not the assessment, that is most effective in practice.

    The basis of evaluation is on knowing what is going on in someone's mind on the basis of what they say and do, which only gives a partial picture of intent. In all judgments involving human affairs the undisclosed truths of people, as well as general unpredictability make human judgments extremely difficult. Some people speak of intuition but that can even be subconscious bias, so there are likely to be restrictions in accurate judgments of events which have happened in the past, character and potential behaviour.Jack Cummins

    Well, we never really know what is going in someone’s mind, do we? Evaluation is not so much about what we know, but what potential information we can rely on in order to act. Human judgement of human behaviour and intent will always be uncertain to some extent, and always be subject to bias, whether sub-conscious or socially ‘justifiable’. We’re just not going to get around this. But I think we can improve accuracy in how we respond and relate to each other on an ongoing basis by taking judgement out of the equation - by acknowledging that we don’t know in a way that can be consolidated from one experience or moment to another, and then account for inevitable margins of error in the process of continually assessing and communicating risk.

    Except that we usually prefer to be certain rather than accurate.
  • Jack Cummins
    4.1k

    Certainly is much an issue in accuracy. However, in organisations there may be an attempt to gloss over the uncertainties. Sometimes, policies and statistics may make it appear that there is more certainty and predictability than there is. One book which I found helpful for thinking about the nature of lack of certainty was Nassim Taleb's, ' The Black Swan' which speaks about how the uncertainties can be understood and used as a basis for decisions. In relation to judgments, it may be that the attention in judgments should be focused on the unique and particulars rather than simply general patterns of predictability.
  • 180 Proof
    8.4k
    One book which I found helpful for thinking about the nature of lack of certainty was Nassim Taleb's, ' The Black Swan' which speaks about how the uncertainties can be understood and used as a basis for decisions. In relation to judgments, it may be that the attention in judgments should be focused on the unique and particulars rather than simply general patterns of predictability.Jack Cummins
    :up:
  • Possibility
    2.7k
    In relation to judgments, it may be that the attention in judgments should be focused on the unique and particulars rather than simply general patterns of predictability.Jack Cummins

    Great point.

    And thanks for the reference! I’m always amused by the black swan metaphor - where I live, all swans are black! :smile:
  • creativesoul
    10.4k


    To What Extent is Human Judgment Distorted and Flawed?

    To the extent that the individual's belief system is false.
123Next
bold
italic
underline
strike
code
quote
ulist
image
url
mention
reveal
youtube
tweet
Add a Comment

Welcome to The Philosophy Forum!

Get involved in philosophical discussions about knowledge, truth, language, consciousness, science, politics, religion, logic and mathematics, art, history, and lots more. No ads, no clutter, and very little agreement — just fascinating conversations.