You are walking down the street, in a bit of a hurry, thinking about your tax return or the next meeting, and a pollster stops you in the street to ask your opinion about Ed Miliband, Scottish independence and exiting the European Union. You give three quick answers and hurry on. Was each answer a snap judgement, made in the instant? Of course not. Even if you had not spent much time consciously pondering these matters and discussing them in the pub, you had subconsciously been processing news, opinions and impressions repeatedly encountered. Dispositions had been forming.
Of course, competing dispositions might have been forming—this is what we mean by being undecided. We are in effect waiting on ourselves to see which side of the argument will prevail when choosing becomes necessary.
Being asked a question can prompt that choice, as with the collapse of the wave function when an observation is made of a quantum state, causing something indeterminate to become determinate. Or it might not: but then you are really unsure, and no judgement is forthcoming. Your response to the pollster goes into the “don’t know” column.
“Disposition” is a philosophical term of…