Addressing the issue of what constitutes reasoned judgment and the importance that is attached to the human capacity for making judgments in various aspects of life and society is one of the central challenges of the present day.
And yet, reflection on the power of judgment already played a decisive role during the European threshold period around 1500, as well as for the historical Enlightenment and – consequently – for an enlightened self-conception not merely limited to the Arts and Humanities.
In considering its guiding concept of ‘judgment’ (lat. iudicium), the AAU research initiative bearing the same name understands this – in the first instance – as the cognitive capacity of subjects to behave autonomously in relation to a particular set of circumstances, but also in reference to the act, in which the capacity to judge expresses itself.
Applying dual perspectives, i.e. diachronic as well as synchronic, experts from the fields of History, Media and Communication Science, Philosophy, Romance Studies, Psychology, and Economics will pool their research in thematic clusters. Research involving the diachronic perspective addresses, among others, practices, assessments and the staging of processes of judgment formation in the Early Modern Age, and the implications in terms of philosophy and the history of philosophy associated with the upward revaluation of the judgment. On the other hand, applying the synchronic perspective, research also explores complex cognitive abilities such as the capacity for judgment of wise individuals, it investigates how judgments come about in economic decision processes, and it tackles the question of the analysis of alleged facts in a media society characterized both historically and contemporarily by increasing differentiation.
The format of the so-called slow science workshops will be of particular importance: Intensive dialogue with outstanding scholars drawn from the contributing disciplines, each invited on a separate occasion, will offer an opportunity for the development and the in-depth discussion of disciplinary and interdisciplinary problems in relation to ‘judgment’.