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The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Angel

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View attachment 67244551

JUDGMENT

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

We focus on the Good in this thread.
The Bad is measured against the Good after all.
And the Ugly is measured against Beauty, but Beauty is not our topic.
Our topic is the Good.

And so our topic is judgment, as indicated by the capitalized heading above.
Specifically, judgment of the Good.

We probably use the word "good" more than any other word in the language.
Let us assume we know what we're saying when we use the word "good."
That will be our only assumption going in.

Now, in the most general sense, when we use the word "good" we express approval, approbation.
That is the subjective sense of the word.

But our approval or approbation is always based on something in, or something about, the object of approval or approbation.
This is the objective sense of the word.

Please Note: Whereas all judgment is subjective in origin, i.e., whereas all judgment originates in a subjectivity, judgment must refer to something objective.
Judgment that is altogether subjective, or strictly subjective, or only subjective, and without objective content, is either solipsistic or psychotic.
If your philosophical view of judgment does not allow for objectivity, then your are either a solipsist or a psyhotic


When we say:

Select a good egg for the recipe.

The Volvo is a good car.

Peter is a good carpenter.

Paul is a good chess player.

Washington was a good president.



When we use the word "good" in the ways illustrated aboce, in addition to the subjective approval or approbation conveyed, we mean that there are objective qualities that receive our subjective approval or approbation.


When we say:

This is a good cow,

This is a good horse.

That is a good frog.

That is a good timber wolf.



When we use the word "good" in these ways, we mean that the objects of approbation are good examples or exemplars or specimens or kinds of whatever they are, and the approbation is based on objective qualities possessed by these living things.


Now, when we say:

He is a good man.

She is a good woman.

So-and-so is a good human being.



When we use the word "good" in these ways, what is the objective quality, or what are the objective qualities, that we refer to in our approbation?


GOOD AT and GOOD REASON FOR

How do considerations of objective good figure into our use of these expressions?

What do we mean when we say that someone is good at something?

What do we mean when we say that we have good reason to do something, or a better reason to do this rather than that?



PLEASE DO NOT QUOTE THE ENTIRE OP ON THE FIRST PAGE OF THE THREAD.
CONSERVE BANDWIDTH
BE CONSIDERATE
.
 

PTF

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The word "Good" is used as a positive greeting..

" Good" morning...afternoon...evening and night.
Shorten the word you have God(obviously).
I feel "good" today. I had a "good" dinner and planning a "good" night's sleep(on vacation).
No matter how the word " good" is used it generates positivity.
It's "good" to be back in your threads to respond.
 

zyzygy

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I would say excellent. Good is a bit of a cliche, like nice.
 

zyzygy

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good (adj.)
Old English gōd (with a long "o") "excellent, fine; valuable; desirable, favorable, beneficial; full, entire, complete;" of abstractions, actions, etc., "beneficial, effective; righteous, pious;" of persons or souls, "righteous, pious, virtuous;" probably originally "having the right or desirable quality," from Proto-Germanic *gōda- "fitting, suitable" (source also of Old Norse goðr, Dutch goed, Old High German guot, German gut, Gothic goþs), a word of uncertain origin, perhaps originally "fit, adequate, belonging together," from PIE root *ghedh- "to unite, be associated, suitable" (source also of Old Church Slavonic godu "pleasing time," Russian godnyi "fit, suitable," Old English gædrian "to gather, to take up together").

Irregular comparative and superlative (better, best) reflect a widespread pattern in words for "good," as in Latin bonus, melior, optimus.

Sense of "kind, benevolent" is from late Old English in reference to persons or God, from mid-14c. of actions. That of "friendly, gracious" is from c. 1200. Meaning "fortunate, prosperous, favorable" was in late Old English. As an expression of satisfaction, from early 15c. Of persons, "skilled (at a profession or occupation), expert," in late Old English, now typically with at; in Middle English with of or to. Of children, "well-behaved," by 1690s. Of money, "not debased, standard as to value," from late 14c. From c. 1200 of numbers or quantities, "large, great," of time or distance, "long;" good while "a considerable time" is from c. 1300; good way "a great distance" is mid-15c.

Why then, can one desire too much of a good thing. ["As You Like It"]
As good as "practically, virtually" is from mid-14c.; to be good for "beneficial to" is from late 14c. To make good "repay (costs, expenses), atone for (a sin or an offense)" is from late 14c. To have a good mind "have an earnest desire" (to do something) is from c. 1500. Good deed, good works were in Old English as "an act of piety;" good deed specifically as "act of service to others" was reinforced early 20c. by Boy Scouting. Good turn is from c. 1400. Good sport, of persons, is from 1906. The good book "the Bible" attested from 1801, originally in missionary literature describing the language of conversion efforts in American Indian tribes. Good to go is attested from 1989.

Origin and meaning of good
good (n.)

Old English god (with a long "o"), "that which is good, a good thing; goodness; advantage, benefit; gift; virtue; property;" from good (adj.). Meaning "the good side" (of something) is from 1660s. Phrase for good "finally, permanently" attested from 1711, a shortening of for good and all (16c.). Middle English had for good ne ylle (early 15c.) "for good nor ill," thus "under any circumstance."


https://www.etymonline.com/word/good
 

Visbek

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If you want to talk about objectivity in ethics, I suggest you pick up one of the many books on moral realism.
 

zyzygy

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I can recommend this. Moral Realism: A Defence by Russ Shafer-Landau
 

Angel

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If you want to talk about objectivity in ethics, I suggest you pick up one of the many books on moral realism.

I can recommend this. Moral Realism: A Defence by Russ Shafer-Landau
Thank you, gentlemen, for your recommendations. My hope for the thread is that in discussing the use of the word "good" in everyday language we would arrive at virtue ethics down the line.
 

Angel

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So here's the skinny on our everyday judgments of the good.

What's good for Man is what contributes to Man's flourishing as Man, i.e., as rational animal.

Why, you ask?

Because like every non-human animal whose end is determined by its nature, the human animal Man has an end, an end determined by the nature of Man.

This is along the lines of Aristotelian and Thomistic philosophy and therefore will likely go unanswered or ignored as the millennial gray matter has become blighted cauliflower thanks to science and technology.​
 

<alt>doxygen

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Thank you, gentlemen, for your recommendations. My hope for the thread is that in discussing the use of the word "good" in everyday language we would arrive at virtue ethics down the line.

When it comes to use in everyday language, "good" is very tied to the context presented by the accompanying language. JMHO...
 

Angel

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When it comes to use in everyday language, "good" is very tied to the context presented by the accompanying language. JMHO...
I think you're making an important point, but correct me if I'm wrong about what you mean.
The meaning of "good" -- unlike, say, the meaning of "rectangular" or "red" -- is applicable to a diversity of objects in a diversity of contexts, yes?
 

Good4Nothin

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The concept "good" only has a meaning in relation to "bad." All our words, all our concepts, are like this. We can only define something in relation to its context.

What we consider good or bad comes partly from our biological nature, and also from our shared culture, and from personal experiences. And good or bad can depend on the situation.

Physical reality has two basic forces -- attraction and repulsion. You could say good and bad represent these two forces.

Good and bad are universal, all living things go towards what they feel is good and away from what they feel is bad.

If we were talking about Judeo-Christian religion, then goodness is represented by God and badness is represented by Satan.
 

<alt>doxygen

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I think you're making an important point, but correct me if I'm wrong about what you mean.
The meaning of "good" -- unlike, say, the meaning of "rectangular" or "red" -- is applicable to a diversity of objects in a diversity of contexts, yes?

Yes, I think your OP illustrated that.

Object, context and the individual making the evaluation all matter. Probably other things as well.
 

Angel

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Yes, I think your OP illustrated that.

Object, context and the individual making the evaluation all matter. Probably other things as well.
So let's run through this, first, in terms of human practices.
What makes a good carpenter a good carpenter or a good musician a good musician or a good physician a good physician, etc.?
 

<alt>doxygen

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So let's run through this, first, in terms of human practices.
What makes a good carpenter a good carpenter or a good musician a good musician or a good physician a good physician, etc.?

I'm sure we've traversed this path before...;)

Ah, well, it's raining hard and I don't want to do errands until it slows.

There are technical aspects that can be evaluated in each of those cases. Musician is a little trickier, because there are far more technically adept musicians than there are musicians I would call good - that's where opinion comes in. If you relabel the carpenter a craftsman the same concept would apply. Physician is an odd one, viewed in this way.

If you are looking purely at the objective, things are different as well.
 

Angel

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I'm sure we've traversed this path before...;)

Ah, well, it's raining hard and I don't want to do errands until it slows.

There are technical aspects that can be evaluated in each of those cases. Musician is a little trickier, because there are far more technically adept musicians than there are musicians I would call good - that's where opinion comes in. If you relabel the carpenter a craftsman the same concept would apply. Physician is an odd one, viewed in this way.

If you are looking purely at the objective, things are different as well.
Whether you and I agree on the standards in each case, in each case our standards will be determined in light of the end to which each practice aims, whether that be to make functional furniture, to entertain with music, or to heal the sick. Or so it seems to me. Not to you?
 

<alt>doxygen

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Whether you and I agree on the standards in each case, in each case our standards will be determined in light of the end to which each practice aims, whether that be to make functional furniture, to entertain with music, or to heal the sick. Or so it seems to me. Not to you?

Yes, but (for example) whether music is entertaining is subjective. I have seen people play who are technically classified as virtuosos, but they are boring. Being able to cleanly play quarter notes at 200bpm doesn't guarantee anything beyond technical prowess. That isn't always good.
 

Angel

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Yes, but (for example) whether music is entertaining is subjective. I have seen people play who are technically classified as virtuosos, but they are boring. Being able to cleanly play quarter notes at 200bpm doesn't guarantee anything beyond technical prowess. That isn't always good.
We don't have to agree on particular standards or on the particulars of the end, but only that it is the end of the activity by which we determine whether a practitioner is good at it or not. We only have to agree that a practitioner is a good practitioner or a bad practitioner insofar as his particular practice achieves or fails to achieve the end of that practice.
 

<alt>doxygen

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We don't have to agree on particular standards or on the particulars of the end, but only that it is the end of the activity by which we determine whether a practitioner is good at it or not. We only have to agree that a practitioner is a good practitioner or a bad practitioner insofar as his particular practice achieves or fails to achieve the end of that practice.

Edit to the previous post - 16th notes, not quarter notes. Duh...

Yes, but you have inserted the subjective term - enjoyable, correct? Is that not the criteria for "good"?
 

Angel

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Edit to the previous post - 16th notes, not quarter notes. Duh...

Yes, but you have inserted the subjective term - enjoyable, correct? Is that not the criteria for "good"?
I don't follow? You mean in the case of entertainment?
 

Good4Nothin

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Aesthetics are always subjective. You can't have an objective measurement to decide if music is good or not. With practical things you can, because if a carpenter builds a house and it blows away in the first storm, that was not a good house. But whether the house is nice-looking or not has to be judged subjectively.

And goodness is always relative to badness.

And to make it more complicated, beauty usually includes some ugliness. If music doesn't have enough dissonance it will sound too sweet and boring.
 

Angel

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Aesthetics are always subjective. You can't have an objective measurement to decide if music is good or not. With practical things you can, because if a carpenter builds a house and it blows away in the first storm, that was not a good house. But whether the house is nice-looking or not has to be judged subjectively.

And goodness is always relative to badness.

And to make it more complicated, beauty usually includes some ugliness. If music doesn't have enough dissonance it will sound too sweet and boring.
We're talking here about practical matters. About practice. Not about aesthetic appreciation. While it seems impossible to me that aesthetics does not have an objective component, we needn't moot that here. That's a topic for another thread.

Goodness and badness are indeed relative concepts, you're right, but I believe the concept of goodness must be seen as logically prior. That is to say, we can only call something bad when we have already in mind what a good something is.
 

<alt>doxygen

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I don't follow? You mean in the case of entertainment?

Yes, I somehow converted "entertaining" into "enjoyable".

We are revisiting the idea of Objective Good, which a prior thread went over. I would like to find that thread and review it before going further, if you don't mind.
 

Angel

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Yes, I somehow converted "entertaining" into "enjoyable".

We are revisiting the idea of Objective Good, which a prior thread went over. I would like to find that thread and review it before going further, if you don't mind.
Sure.
As to this good musicianship question, your taste runs to rock, let's say, mine to classical, my friend Ezra's to jazz, and so on. But the jazz musician, the classical musician, the rock musician, while they cater to differing tastes, are all either good or bad musicians depending on how well their musicianship achieves the end of the practice of music.
 

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We're talking here about practical matters. About practice. Not about aesthetic appreciation. While it seems impossible to me that aesthetics does not have an objective component, we needn't moot that here. That's a topic for another thread.

Goodness and badness are indeed relative concepts, you're right, but I believe the concept of goodness must be seen as logically prior. That is to say, we can only call something bad when we have already in mind what a good something is.

Maybe there is some objective component to aesthetics, I really don't know. Some music sounds like ugly noise to me, yet there are people who love it. So how can there be an objective component?

Does goodness have to come before badness? Maybe, I don't know.

I also wanted to mention that good things often contain the potential for future badness, and vice versa.
 
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