Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Theory of Judgment

Predication, truth values, all judgments or reflections of knowledge or opinion are determined internally unless we are responding to an immediate sensory experience in which case the information in our response is determined by the sensory information. What’s happening in these other cases? In these other cases, justification for our judgments can have many forms and involve many reasons, ideas, thoughts, recollections etc., but they all have one thing in common, they are determined by our internal neurological states. Sometimes these states are determined by prior immediate sense experience, sometimes not. In all cases we can seek to determine the information contained in the behavior and determine its ultimate source. Frequently these will be auditory recollections, their remnants or related neurological phenomenon. Much of what we say is determined only by what we have heard before, novelty is difficult and rare.

We tend to think our judgments are determined by some other process, something deep and “cognitive”, something more than acquiescent recollection. But what evidence do we have for this? If I acknowledge that “Democracy is the best form of government..” is this because at the time of the acknowledgement I have reviewed all other forms and calculated their relative desirability. But is their really time for this?. Perhaps I have thought about this before and come to this decision and my current judgment is a reflection of these past efforts. More likely this is a reflection of an unconsidered but internalized prejudice. Is the linguistic history of an individual typically the result of informed, reasoned opinion at the time of performance or something else? What can this something else be?

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