Res Publica 15 (2):137-164 (2009)

Craig Reeves
Birkbeck College
In Eichmann in Jerusalem , Hannah Arendt struggled to defend the possibility of judgment against the obvious problems encountered in attempts to offer legally valid and morally meaningful judgments of those who had committed crimes in morally bankrupt communities. Following Norrie, this article argues that Arendt’s conclusions in Eichmann are equivocal and incoherent. Exploring her perspectival theory of judgment, the article suggests that Arendt remains trapped within certain Kantian assumptions in her philosophy of history, and as such sees the question of freedom in a binary way. The article argues that Adorno’s philosophy of freedom provides the resources to diagnose and overcome Arendt’s shortcomings. Adorno’s position provides a way of embracing the antinomical character of judgment, by emphasising the need for elements of reason and nature in the phenomenon of freedom. In Adorno’s lights, judgment becomes an attempt to express a ‘spirit of solidarity’ with the tragic status of the potentially free but actually unfree subject of modernity.
Keywords Adorno  Arendt  Freedom  Judgment  Responsibility  International law  Crime  Natural history  Idealism
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DOI 10.1007/s11158-009-9088-0
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References found in this work BETA

Mind and World.John McDowell - 1994 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Totality and Infinity.Emmanuel Levinas - 1961/1969 - Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press.

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Hannah Arendt on Judgement: Thinking for Politics.Dianna Taylor - 2002 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 10 (2):151 – 169.


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