Each of the books that Hannah Arendt published in her lifetime was unique, and to this day each continues to provoke fresh thought and interpretations. This was never more true than for Eichmann in Jerusalem, her account of the trial of Adolf Eichmann, where she first used the phrase “the banality of evil.” Her consternation over how a man who was neither a monster nor a demon could nevertheless be an agent of the most extreme evil evoked derision, outrage, (...) and misunderstanding. The firestorm of controversy prompted Arendt to readdress fundamental questions and concerns about the nature of evil and the making of moral choices. Responsibility and Judgment gathers together unpublished writings from the last decade of Arendt’s life, as she struggled to explicate the meaning of Eichmann in Jerusalem. At the heart of this book is a profound ethical investigation, “Some Questions of Moral Philosophy”; in it Arendt confronts the inadequacy of traditional moral “truths” as standards to judge what we are capable of doing, and she examines anew our ability to distinguish good from evil and right from wrong. We see how Arendt comes to understand that alongside the radical evil she had addressed in earlier analyses of totalitarianism, there exists a more pernicious evil, independent of political ideology, whose execution is limitless when the perpetrator feels no remorse and can forget his acts as soon as they are committed. Responsibility and Judgment is an essential work for understanding Arendt’s conception of morality; it is also an indispensable investigation into some of the most troubling and important issues of our time. (shrink)
The present volume brings Arendt's notes for these lectures together with other of her texts on the topic of judging and provides important clues to the likely direction of Arendt's thinking in this area.
I criticize recent nonconceptualist readings of Kant’s account of perception on the grounds that the strategy of the Deduction requires that understanding be involved in the synthesis of imagination responsible for the intentionality of perceptual experience. I offer an interpretation of the role of understanding in perceptual experience as the consciousness of normativity in the association of one’s representations. This leads to a reading of Kant which is conceptualist, but in a way which accommodates considerations favoring nonconceptualism, in particular the (...) primitive character of perceptual experience relative to thought and judgment. (shrink)
The present paper is devoted to a detailed presentation of a new Military Ethics doctrine of fighting terror. It is proposed as an extension of the classical Just War Theory, which has been meant to apply to ordinary international conflicts. Since the conditions of a fight against terror are essentially different from the conditions that are assumed to hold in the classical war (military) paradigm or in the law enforcement (police) paradigm, a third model is needed. The paper proposes such (...) a model in the form of principles that should govern the activity of a democratic state when faced with terror. Eleven principle are proposed. Two are on the level of the state, including the Principle of Self-Defense Duty. Six are related to military preventive acts against activities of terror, including new formulations of a Principle of Military Necessity, a Principle of Distinction, and a Principle of Military Proportionality. Principles of Low Probabilities, Time Span Considerations and Professional Understanding are also included. Finally, three principles that are related to consciousness-directed activities against terror are added: a Principle of Permanent Notice, a Principle of Compensation, and a Principle of Operational Deterrence. The exposition of the principles is accompanied by arguments about their moral justification. The doctrine has been developed on the background of the IDF fight against acts and activities of terror performed by Palestinian individuals and organizations. (shrink)
While acknowledging Hannah Arendt's keen philosophical and political insights, Kathryn T. Gines claims that there are some problematic assertions and oversights regarding Arendt’s treatment of the "Negro question." Gines focuses on Arendt's reaction to the desegregation of Little Rock schools, to laws making mixed marriages illegal, and to the growing civil rights movement in the south. Reading them alongside Arendt's writings on revolution, the human condition, violence, and responses to the Eichmann war crimes trial, Gines provides a systematic analysis (...) of anti-black racism in Arendt’s work. (shrink)
Now, twenty years later, this collection of fifteenessays brings her work into dialogue with those philosophical views that are at center stage today-- in critical theory, communitarianism, virtue theory, and feminism.
Margaret Canovan argues in this book that much of the published work on Arendt has been flawed by serious misunderstandings, arising from a failure to see her work in its proper context. The author shows how such misunderstanding was possible, and offers a fundamental reinterpretation, drawing on Arendt's unpublished as well as her published work, which sheds new light on most areas of her thought.
Hannah Arendt and Karl Marx examines Hannah Arendt’s unpublished writings on Marx as the unified project Arendt originally intended. This book traces and evaluates the development of Arendt’s thought on Marx, how his thought could be used toward totalitarian ends, and his place in the tradition of Western political thought. Going beyond an analysis of Arendt’s explicit appraisal of Marx, Tama Weisman develops a compelling critique of Marx inspired by but never developed in Arendt’s work —that with Marxian (...) thought we risk the loss of our sense of awe and wonder in philosophical, political and worldly experience. (shrink)
James E. Taylor As the title of this book makes clear, the essays contained in it are unified by their focus on models of God and alternative ultimate realities. But what is ultimate reality, what does 'God' mean, and what would count as a model ...
This new translation is an extremely welcome addition to the continuing Cambridge Edition of Kant’s works. English-speaking readers of the third Critique have long been hampered by the lack of an adequate translation of this important and difficult work. James Creed Meredith’s much-reprinted translation has charm and elegance, but it is often too loose to be useful for scholarly purposes. Moreover it does not include the first version of Kant’s introduction, the so-called “First Introduction,” which is now recognized as indispensable (...) for an understanding of the work. Werner Pluhar’s more recent translation, which does include the First Introduction, is highly accurate when it confines itself to rendering Kant’s German. However, it is often more of a reconstruction than a translation, containing so many interpretative interpolations that it is often difficult to separate out Kant’s original text from the translator’s contributions. Paul Guyer and Eric Matthews have provided a translation that compares to or exceeds Pluhar’s in its literal approach to the German, but that confines all interpretative material to footnotes and endnotes, so that the text itself, with all its unclarities and ambiguities, lies open to view. In addition, Guyer, as editor of the volume, has provided a great deal of valuable supplementary material. This includes an introduction with an outline of the work and details of the history of its composition and publication, and a wealth of endnotes offering clarifications of the text, background information, and, most strikingly, many references to related passages in Kant’s voluminous writings, particularly in connection with Kant’s earlier writings related to aesthetics. The edition also records differences among the first three editions of the work, and—of particular interest—erasures from and additions to Kant’s manuscript of the First Introduction. Although the introduction and endnotes reflect interpretative views that are sometimes disputable, this supplementary material makes the present edition into a valuable resource even for those able to read the text in German. (shrink)
Hannah Ginsborg presents fourteen essays which establish Kant's Critique of Judgment as a central contribution to the understanding of human cognition. The papers bring out the significance of Kant's philosophical notion of judgment, and use it to address interpretive issues in Kant's aesthetics, theory of knowledge, and philosophy of biology.
There is preliminary evidence, from case reports and investigational studies, to suggest that Deep Brain Stimulation could be used to treat some patients with Anorexia Nervosa. Although this research is at an early stage, the invasive nature of the intervention and the vulnerability of the potential patients are such that anticipatory ethical analysis is warranted. In this paper, we first show how different treatment mechanisms raise different philosophical and ethical questions. We distinguish three potential mechanisms alluded to in the neuroscientific (...) literature, relating to desire, control, and emotion, respectively. We explain why the precise nature of the mechanism has important implications for the patient’s autonomy and personal identity. In the second part of the paper, we consider practical dimensions of offering DBS to patients with AN in certain cases. We first discuss some limited circumstances where the mere offering of the intervention might be perceived as exerting a degree of coercive pressure that could serve to undermine the validity of the patient’s consent. Finally, we consider the implications of potential effects of DBS for the authenticity of the patient’s choice to continue using stimulation to ameliorate their condition. (shrink)
We are grateful to Professors Nick Fotion, Bashshar Haydar and David L. Perry for their illuminating discussions of our paper, ?Military ethics of fighting terror: An Israeli perspective?, published in the present issue of the Journal of Military Ethics. We also thank the editors of the Journal for allowing us to add the present response. Professors Fotion, Haydar and Perry raise many significant issues. We will, however, presently address just a few of them, leaving the discussion of the other interesting (...) points to other occasions. (shrink)
A work of striking originality bursting with unexpected insights, _The Human Condition_ is in many respects more relevant now than when it first appeared in 1958. In her study of the state of modern humanity, Hannah Arendt considers humankind from the perspective of the actions of which it is capable. The problems Arendt identified then—diminishing human agency and political freedom, the paradox that as human powers increase through technological and humanistic inquiry, we are less equipped to control the consequences (...) of our actions—continue to confront us today. This new edition, published to coincide with the fortieth anniversary of its original publication, contains an improved and expanded index and a new introduction by noted Arendt scholar Margaret Canovan which incisively analyzes the book's argument and examines its present relevance. A classic in political and social theory, _The Human Condition_ is a work that has proved both timeless and perpetually timely. Hannah Arendt was one of the leading social theorists in the United States. Her _Lectures on Kant's Political Philosophy_ and _Love and Saint Augustine_ are also published by the University of Chicago Press. (shrink)
This is the story of the clattering of elevated subways and the cacophony of crowded neighborhoods, the heady optimism of industrial progress and the despair of economic recession, and the vibrancy of ethnic cultures and the resilience of ...
Feminist Interpretations of Hannah Arendt, edited by Bonnie Honig, a collection of critical feminist essays on Hannah Arendt, illustrates both the disorientation and the insights that can result when feminist philosophers come to terms with a canonical figure who is a woman.
Lippert-Rasmussen (2020) argues that the moral equality account of the hypocrite’s lack of standing to blame fails. To object to this account, Lippert-Rasmussen considers the contrary of hypocrisy: hypercrisy. In this article, I show that if hypercrisy is a problem for the moral equality account, it is also a problem for Lippert-Rasmussen’s own account of why hypocrites lack standing to blame. I then reflect on the hypocrite’s and hypercrite’s standing to self-blame, which reveals that the challenge hypercrisy poses for accounts (...) of standing is different than the challenge Lippert-Rasmussen articulates. (shrink)
The book examines the trajectory of joint philosophical-pedagogical concepts within the framework of the dialogue between Hannah Arendt and Martin Heidegger, put in the context of questions concerning the nature of modernity.
Traditionally, theories of moral responsibility feature only the minimally sufficient conditions for moral responsibility. While these theories are well-suited to account for the threshold of responsibility, it’s less clear how they can address questions about the degree to which agents are responsible. One feature that intuitively affects the degree to which agents are morally responsible is how difficult performing a given action is for them. Recently, philosophers have begun to develop accounts of scalar moral responsibility that make use of this (...) notion of difficulty (Coates and Swenson 2013; Nelkin 2016). In this paper, I argue that these accounts, although innovative, are incomplete. The degree to which agents are morally responsible is determined not only by the difficulties that agents face but also by the quality of the reasons for which they act. (shrink)
_Hannah Arendt and the Challenge of Modernity_ explores the theme of human rights in the work of Hannah Arendt. Parekh argues that Arendt's contribution to this debate has been largely ignored because she does not speak in the same terms as contemporary theoreticians of human rights. Beginning by examining Arendt’s critique of human rights, and the concept of "a right to have rights" with which she contrasts the traditional understanding of human rights, Parekh goes on to analyze some of (...) the tensions and paradoxes within the modern conception of human rights that Arendt brings to light, arguing that Arendt’s perspective must be understood as phenomenological and grounded in a notion of intersubjectivity that she develops in her readings of Kant and Socrates. (shrink)
The article presents information related to Hannah Arendt, who has become one of the most illuminating and certainly one of the most controversial political thinkers of the twentieth century. A tension and a dilemma are at the center of Hannah Arendt's political thought, indicating two formative forces of her spiritual-political identity. Arendt's thinking is decidedly modernist and politically universalist, when she reflects on the political realities of the twentieth century and on the fate of the Jewish people. (...) class='Hi'>Hannah Arendt did not engage in methodological reflections and searched for the elements of totalitarianism. (shrink)
Antibiotic use in animal farming is one of the main drivers of antibiotic resistance both in animals and in humans. In this paper we propose that one feasible and fair way to address this problem is to tax animal products obtained with the use of antibiotics. We argue that such tax is supported both by deontological arguments, which are based on the duty individuals have to compensate society for the antibiotic resistance to which they are contributing through consumption of animal (...) products obtained with the use of antibiotics; and a cost-benefit analysis of taxing such animal products and of using revenue from the tax to fund alternatives to use of antibiotics in animal farming. Finally, we argue that such a tax would be fair because individuals who consume animal products obtained with the use of antibiotics can be held morally responsible, i.e. blameworthy, for their contribution to antibiotic resistance, in spite of the fact that each individual contribution is imperceptible. (shrink)
I defend the normativity of meaning against recent objections by arguing for a new interpretation of the ‘ought’ relevant to meaning. Both critics and defenders of the normativity thesis have understood statements about how an expression ought to be used as either prescriptive or semantic. I propose an alternative view of the ‘ought’ as conveying the primitively normative attitudes speakers must adopt towards their uses if they are to use the expression with understanding.
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