The Concept of Political Judgment and Its Relation to Pluralism in the Thought of Hannah Arendt and Martha Nussbaum

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Tarbiat Modares University

2 PhD in Political Science, Tarbiat Modares University


In Western political philosophy, the concept of judgment is considered as a right, which is related to civil status. In Kant's view, civil status basically means argument and competition between "people’s judgement" and "rulers" with each other. Citizens apply some kind of desirable judgment in civil life by using this right and autonomously. At the same time, the concept of judgment had another fate: it sought to find an answer to the question of whether "our perceptions of things" should be subject to fixed patterns and pre-established standards, or should each citizen make his or her own judgment? Hannah Arendt and Martha Nussbaum are among the philosophers who have begun a philosophical and political confrontation with the concept of judgment. Influenced by the Aristotelian concept of phronesis and its function in specific and changing circumstances, these two thinkers try to offer a pluralistic conception of political judgment, which seeks to establish a good and Eudaemonist life based on a political-normative reading. Using a comparative method, the authors have tried to evaluate the relationship between judgment and pluralism in the thought of these two philosophers. In addition, they express the commonalities and differences between these two philosophers in the field of political judgment.


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