Universiteit Leiden

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Academic workshop "Judgment and Action"

  • Wayne Martin
Friday 16 September 2016
Cleveringaplaats 1
2311 BD Leiden

This workshop brings together scholars to examine the relation between judgment and action from multiple philosophical perspectives. We will discuss four papers (abstracts for two are below). The papers will be distributed two weeks in advance. To facilitate discussion, all participants are kindly asked to read the papers in advance. Participation is free, but the number of places is limited. Please register by contacting c.w.sombroek@phil.leidenuniv.nl.


13:00-14:00 Wayne Martin (Essex): 'The Antinomy of Judgement, Delusion, and Twelve Angry Men'
Discussant: Leon de Bruin (Nijmegen)

14:15-15:15 Annemarie Kalis (Utrecht): 'Is there such a thing as the psychology of moral judgement?'
Discussant: Fleur Jongepier (Nijmegen)

15:30-16:30 Marietje van der Schaar (Leiden): 'Judgement and Reason; on the Ambiguities of the Term 'Judgement" 
Discussant: Naomi van Steenbergen (Utrecht) 

16:45-17:45 Thomas Fossen (Leiden): 'The Question of Legitimacy as a Problem of Judgment'
Discussant: Sem de Maagt (Utrecht)

17:45: drinks


Wayne Martin

The Antinomy of Judgement, Delusion, and Twelve Angry Men

The exercise of judgement requires a combination of autonomy/activity (I make up my mind for myself) and heteronomy/passivity (my judgement is determined by the evidence). From Maimon to McDowell, theorists of judgement have seen a tension between these two moments or aspects of judgement; an adequate theory of judgement must resolve this antinomial tension.  I take a lead from Theodor Lipps, who proposed that judgement should be understood as an intentional comportment, and from Henry Fonda, whose 1957 film, Twelve Angry Men, undertook a careful study of the judgemental comportment of twelve fictional New York jurors. I argue that  the antinomy of judgement can be resolved in a distinctive comportment, which itself involves a distinctive teleological exercise of the imagination. I apply the results of this analysis in interpreting data from an interview-based study investigating the exercise of judgement under conditions of schizophrenic delusion.

Annemarie Kalis

Is there such a thing as the psychology of moral judgement?

In this paper I will challenge a basic assumption found in moral judgement psychology: the idea that moral judgement is amenable to psychological explanation. I will raise objections to this assumption by introducing a way of thinking about moral judgement according to which the concept of moral judgement is logically related to the concept of intentional action. According to this way of thinking, both intentional action and moral judgement should be understood as the result of exercising the capacity for practical reasoning. Recent work on practical reason provides arguments for the claim that exercises of this capacity are not amenable to psychological explanation, because the criteria determining whether someone exercises the capacity for practical reasoning, are not mechanistic criteria. I will argue that this implies that moral judgement cannot be psychologically explained. However, this does not mean that moral judgement does not have a ‘psychological face’: I will conclude by addressing the question what this psychological face looks like.

Marietje van der Schaar

Judgement and Reason; on the Ambiguities of the Term ‘Judgement’

Assertions made by scientists and investigation committees often form the basis for important political decisions. Remember the decision to attack Iraque on the basis of the assertion that the country possessed mass-destruction weapons. Politicians are held responsible for the decision. It seems, though, that there is also a responsibility on the part of those who made the assertion, including the politicians themselves. On the one hand, the assertor does not get away with the answer ‘I sincerely believed so.’ On the other hand, to demand of the asserter that what he asserts is true, seems to be too severe a demand. A grounding account of assertion suits the idea of responsibility of the assertor. Assertion and judgement are thus conceptually related to reason. See the paper in the link:


In the presentation I will focus on the ambiguities of the term ‘judgement’. I will start with some questions relating to the general topic Judgement and Action.

Thomas Fossen

I will present a chapter from a book in progress. The book aims to present a new philosophical approach to political legitimacy. It treats the question of legitimacy as a problem of judgment: what is involved in judging the legitimacy of a regime? The chapter under consideration here seeks to articulate a conception of judgment that is suitable for addressing this question.

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