Hannah Arendt: On Judgment and Responsibility

Peter D. Burdon (2015): Hannah Arendt: on judgment and responsibility, Griffith Law Review, DOI: 10.1080/10383441.2015.1058215

21 Pages Posted: 21 Oct 2015 Last revised: 4 Nov 2016

See all articles by Peter D. Burdon

Peter D. Burdon

University of Adelaide - School of Law

Date Written: July 24, 2015

Abstract

This article considers the relevance of Hannah Arendt’s writing on responsibility and judgment for legal academics. It begins by providing a summary of Arendt’s report on the Eichmann trial, focusing in particular on the gradual shift in her thinking from theorising evil as radical to something that is banal. Following this, I connect Aendrt’s thinking on judgment with her writing on plurality and what it means to keep company with oneself. I contend that Arendt’s most important contribution to moral thinking was the disenchantment of evil from its religious legacy. Finally, I consider the continued relevance of Arendt’s warning about the risks mass technological society poses for the capacity of human beings to think and make reflective judgments. These uniquely human characteristics need to be protected, if we are to guard against the rise of inverted totalitarianism and the reduction of human beings to homo oeconomicus.

Keywords: Hannah Arendt, Arendt, evil, plurality

JEL Classification: K40, K42, K49

Suggested Citation

Burdon, Peter D., Hannah Arendt: On Judgment and Responsibility (July 24, 2015). Peter D. Burdon (2015): Hannah Arendt: on judgment and responsibility, Griffith Law Review, DOI: 10.1080/10383441.2015.1058215, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2677076

Peter D. Burdon (Contact Author)

University of Adelaide - School of Law ( email )

Ligertwood Building
Adelaide 5005, South Australia SA 5005
Australia

HOME PAGE: http://www.adelaide.edu.au/directory/peter.d.burdon

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