Taking its bearings from classic texts including Plato, Kant, Hegel and Arendt this thoughtful and intriguing book provides philosophical reflection on what it is to judge and what judgement achieves alongside, and sometimes in competition with, thinking and willing. Opening with the landmark Mabo High Court case in Australia and with detailed reference to other significant debates of judgement of the twentieth century Max Deutscher seeks to explore and explain approaches to the concepts of what is good, right and legal. Describing a connection between reason and grounds intrinsic to judgement he analyses and explores the tendency towards absolutism that displaces proper judgement. By weaving concrete instances of judgement with philosophical thought Deutscher provides a fascinating phenomenology of practices of judgement that should appeal to all readers with an interest in legal, philosophical and political thought.
Max Deutscher is Emeritus Professor and Honorary Research Associate at Macquarie University, Australia and Honorary Professor of Philosophy at The University of Queensland, Australia. In his work on personal and political judgment, memory and thinking, he uses the resources of European philosophy from Kant to Derrida while continuing to draw upon varied traditions of analytical philosophy.
’The notion of judgement - though central to current political and legal debates - has been largely neglected in contemporary philosophy. In Sensible Judgement is an interesting and engagingly written book on this important and timely topic. Drawing accessibly on a wide range of philosophical sources, it offers illuminating and challenging reflections on conceptual aspects of the Mabo judgement, and more generally on themes of responsibility and memory.’ Genevieve Lloyd, Emeritus Professor, University of New South Wales, Australia ’Deutscher’s reflections on the nature of judgment lead him into a searching and comprehensive review of perennial philosophical problems such as the relation between reason and passion. Reflecting in particular on the Australian Mabo decision, he argues convincingly that judgment engages our senses and sensibilities as well as our reason, and that reflective judgment must involve more than logical deduction.’ Tony Blackshield, Emeritus Professor of Law, Macquarie University, Australia