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The Concept of Political Judgment

What is good political judgment? Is it a science subject to strict standards of logic and inference, or is it more like an art, the product of intuition, feeling, or even chance? Peter J. Steinberger shows how the seemingly contradictory claims of inference and intuition are reconciled in the concept of political judgment.

Resting his argument on the larger notion of judgment itself, Steinberger develops an original model of how political judgments are made and how we justify calling some of them "good." His systematic analysis of such thinkers as Machiavelli, Kant, Gadamer, Wittgenstein, and Oakeshott introduces an original notion of judgment as "intelligent performance," incorporating both intuition and rational reconstruction.

Steinberger’s conclusion—that a coherent political society must also be a judgmental one—flies in the face of much contemporary thinking.

317 pages | 6 x 9 | © 1993

Philosophy: Philosophy of Society

Political Science: Political and Social Theory

Table of Contents

1. Three Iterations of a Thesis
Excursus: Political Judgment and the Individual
2. The Dichotomy of Judgment
Excursus: A Neo-Aristotelian Theory of Practical Reason
3. Insight and Interpretation
4. Judgment as Intelligent Performance
5. Toward a Theory of Judgment in Politics

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