17 March 2017

Prejudice and postjudice

There are prejudices as well as postjudices.
The former are quite usual;
most people are incapable of freeing themselves from their own narrow perspectives.
By contrast, postjudices are those judgements,
very slowly and cautiously made,
that draw on long experience.
Once they have been made, however, postjudices have a firmness
that immediately attracts the accusation of being mere prejudices.*
Such is the stupidity of most people, including even philosophers,
that they cannot distinguish between prejudice and postjudice.

Not infrequently conscientious postjudice liberates from prejudice.

* "Hence what people call my prejudiced views of things,—which are, in fact, the exact contrary, namely, postjudiced."   John Ruskin Præterita I. vi. 174 1886.

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