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The Scandal of ReasonA Critical Theory of Political Judgment$
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Albena Azmanova

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780231153805

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231153805.001.0001

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Judgment Unbound

Judgment Unbound


(p.118) Chapter 5 Judgment Unbound
The Scandal of Reason

Albena Azmanova

Columbia University Press

In the 1960s, Hannah Arendt endeavored to advance a concept of judgment explicitly set against Kantian moral universalism. This chapter follows this trajectory of conceptualization in order to discern those elements that can advance us toward a theory of critical judgment. It first examines the notion of critique of power that emerges in Arendt's writing on judgment. It then assesses the capacity of her model of judgment to account for normative criticism. It argues that Arendt's notion of reflective judgment allows us to acknowledge fully the normative power of the hermeneutic dimension of shared meanings and to advance a notion of an unconstrained, open process of judging. However, it also identifies features that impede the critical capacity of her account of judgment.

Keywords:   Hannah Arendt, political philosophy, political judgment, Kantian moral universalism, critical judgment, normative criticism

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