Thesis Eleven 125 (1):49-65 (2014)

Marcia S. Morgan
Muhlenberg College
The question ‘How does a person make an ethical decision?’ becomes all the more compelling and problematic when trying to behave ethically during, as A ́ gnes Heller puts it, ‘the total breakdown of ‘‘normal’’ ethical worlds’. In her philosophical work Heller pieces together a moral compass internal to individual subjectivity to employ during such times. Kierkegaard’s model of existential choice has played a formative role in Heller’s solution to the problem. In my article I describe Heller’s Kierkegaardian framework of choosing oneself as an ethical being and consider a recent critique of Heller’s Kierke- gaardian ethics of personality by Richard J. Bernstein, continuing the substantively pro- ductive tension between the irrational and rational forces that determine our ethical actions. In the process, I show common ground between Bernstein and Heller through an appropriation of Arendtian judgment. I turn to Heller’s most recent work in The Concept of the Beautiful in order to make this common ground tangible.
Keywords aesthetics  Hannah Arendt  Concept of the Beautiful  ethics of personality  existential choice  moral theory  reflective judgment
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DOI 10.1177/0725513614555568
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References found in this work BETA

The Life of the Mind.Hannah Arendt - 1978 - Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.
Lectures on Kant’s Political Philosophy,.Hannah Arendt & Ronald Beiner - 1982 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 56 (2):386-386.
Aesthetic Theory.Theodor W. Adorno, Gretel Adorno, Rolf Tiedemann & C. Lenhardt - 1986 - Journal of Philosophy 83 (12):732-741.
Kierkegaard: Construction of the Aesthetic.Theodor W. Adorno - 1989 - University of Minnesota Press.

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