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The Heart of Judgment: Practical Wisdom, Neuroscience, and Narrative Hardcover – September 4, 2006

ISBN-13: 978-0521864442 ISBN-10: 0521864445

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 334 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (September 4, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521864445
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521864442
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 9.2 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,730,890 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"This is an interesting and worthy effort that suggests an earnest, hard-fought engagement with the materials of cognitive science and psychobiology...and an equally earnest effort to bring those materials to bear on venerable issues of political theory. As such, it is a welcome addition to the literature."
Peter J. Steinberger, Reed College, Perspectives on Politics

"It (The Heart of Judgment) dispenses with preexisting molds of how political theory dispenses with preexisting molds of how political theory "should be done", and does so with daring and ambition. Moreover, it makes significant lateral contributions as it proceeds with its central argument..It is Thiele's credit that he is able to build an impressive architectonic for such a bridge...A valiant and valuable attempt to break the boundaries of traditional political theory."
Diego A. von Vacano, Theory and Event

Book Description

Originally published in 2006, The Heart of Judgment explores the nature, historical significance, and contemporary relevance of practical wisdom. Primarily a work in moral and political thought, it also relies extensively on the latest research in cognitive neuroscience to confirm and extend our understanding of the faculty of judgment.

More About the Author

Leslie Paul Thiele teaches political theory and serves as Director of Sustainability Studies at the University of Florida. His interdisciplinary research focuses on sustainability issues and the intersection of political philosophy and the natural sciences. His central concerns are the responsibilities of citizenship and the opportunities for leadership in a world of rapid technological, social, and ecological change. He is currently developing practical principles inspired by nature to guide individual lifestyles and organizational practices. The work is tentatively entitled NATURE'S COMPASS. Leslie Paul Thiele lives in Gainesville, Florida.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Yehezkel Dror on August 29, 2011
Format: Paperback
The Capacity to Govern: A Report to the Club of Rome;Assumption-Based Planning: A Tool for Reducing Avoidable Surprises (RAND Studies in Policy Analysis)

This book provides some important insights into practical wisdom, such as concerning intuition, experience and narrative. But it shares the oversimplifications and, indeed, narrow basis, common to much of the writings in psychology of decision making and also parts of neurosciences.
Let me limit myself to four of their most insidious ones:
1. The book presumes to deal with "judgment" as a whole, implicitly assuming that it has an "essence" independent of contexts. This is true, but only partly so. Thus, it is misleading to bungle together legal and political judgments, ignoring the different role of formal norms in their morphology. Quite some studies indicate that there are profound differences between Western decision cultures which are more analytical and Asian ones which are more holistic. And so on - context matters a lot, requiring a differentiated approach to judgment which at least explores the boundaries between shared and disparate features.
2. The term "political judgment" is widely used, without clarifying its meaning. Does the author have in mind citizen deciding how to vote, or a President deciding when to authorize a missile strike, or what? This is more than neglect of context, constituting fuzzy use of concept which are critical for the text.
3. The book correctly emphasizes the importance of processed experience or its surrogates as bases for good intuition.
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