Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
A Democratic Theory of Judgment$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Linda M. G. Zerilli

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780226397849

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226398037.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 29 March 2020

Objectivity, Judgment, and Freedom: Rereading Arendt’s “Truth and Politics”

Objectivity, Judgment, and Freedom: Rereading Arendt’s “Truth and Politics”

(p.117) Four Objectivity, Judgment, and Freedom: Rereading Arendt’s “Truth and Politics”
A Democratic Theory of Judgment

Linda M. G. Zerilli

University of Chicago Press

Taking up Arendt's well-known claim that politics has always been at odds with truth, this chapter finds a more complicated position in her writings on truth and politics. Arendt's concern was not only to keep dogmatic claims to truth from destroying a public realm formed around the free exchange of opinion. It was also to guard against the easy assimilation of truth to a wholly subjective idea of opinion. What is "merely" subjective can endanger factual truth, as Arendt sees it, which is reliant on the correcting free exchange of public opinion to "survive." Thus Arendt rejects both a wholly objective conception of factual truth in the political realm and a wholly subjective idea of opinion. She offers an alternative to the efforts of dystopic thinkers such as George Orwell, who embrace what in her view is an impossible ideal of objectivity. Arendt's understanding of truth as requiring a robust public sphere is which opinions can be exchanged is seen as her attempt to articulate a distinctively political conception of truth through the prism of nonsovereign freedom.

Keywords:   truth, Hannah Arendt, democratic theory, politics

Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.