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Could anyone explain what exactly does "soundness of judgment" mean? I understand this as when you can judge something and take in count all possible exceptions that are involved in the evaluation of a certain matter/object, but I'm not sure I got the term right

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3 Answers 3

up vote 7 down vote accepted

It comes from the following definition of sound:

1. free from injury, damage, defect, disease, etc.; in good condition; healthy; robust: a sound heart; a sound mind.
2. financially strong, secure, or reliable: a sound business; sound investments.
3. competent, sensible, or valid: sound judgment.


Soundness of judgment suggests that the course of reasoning leading to your judgments is logical and valid.

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So this is general reference. You need to at least give a correct attribution. –  Edwin Ashworth Aug 22 at 9:57
@EdwinAshworth I believe EL&U "norms" were slightly different back in 20011, at least the formatting shows the definition was a citation. But if the user is still active then by all means they should cite their source. –  Mari-Lou A Aug 22 at 15:40
@Mari-LouA I believe unattributed quotes from copyrighted sources were less than legal even then. –  Edwin Ashworth Aug 22 at 16:38

Describing judgment as sound simply means it is free from errors, and can be trusted.

Thus soundness of judgment refers to the property of having judgment that is trustworthy and free from errors.

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Soundness means stability, validity, rational, free from error, reliable and so on. Lets see it in different context first.

"During the past few years we have questioned the soundness of many principles that had for a long time been taken for granted". Here soundness relates to the validity or rationality of these principles.

Another example can be "The politicians talk about the soundness of the instincts of the people. Something more than an instinct is wanted in a democracy." Here the focus is on the reliability of the instincts.

Another one taken from a newspaper excerpt, "One has to question whether he really has a soundness of moral character and honesty to lead effectively." The soundness of moral character refers to substantial and enduring character.

Now coming back to judgement, it's defined as

the ability to judge, make a decision, or form an opinion objectively, authoritatively, and wisely, especially in matters affecting action;

So, when we use soundness of judgement, we are again looking at the stability, reliability or the ability to look at the opinion as valid, rational, and strong enough to stand by it.

As in, "He was a man of sound judgement". You can get from this sentence that the person has a good sense of discretion and his decisions/opinions are in fact sound.

Some more examples just so you can relate to them-

"If this is true, if past experience can be used in present judgement whether it can be recalled or not, we should expect ones power to recall and apply it explicitly to have very little to do with one's soundness of judgement. " ~The Nature of Thought

"The king, by giving ear to these rumours, has perverted the soundness of his judgement" ~The Vagaries of the Qasidah by J. E. Montgomery

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Hello, Mishti. Not a bad answer, but it's a question that is adequately answered by a quick look in the reference ajk gives (but fails to attribute). –  Edwin Ashworth Aug 22 at 10:00

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