To judge or determine the worth or quality of. Evaluation has a logic and should be carefully distinguished from mere subjective preference. The elements of its logic may be put in the form of questions which may be asked whenever an evaluation is to be carried out:
- Are we clear about what precisely we are evaluating?
- Are we clear about our purpose? Is our purpose legitimate?
- Given our purpose, what are the relevant criteria or standards for evaluation?
- Do we have sufficient information about that which we are evaluating? Is that information relevant to the purpose?
- Have we applied our criteria accurately and fairly to the facts as we know them?
Uncritical thinkers often treat evaluation as mere preference or treat their evaluative judgments as direct observations not admitting of error.« Back to Glossary Index