Finnish yearbook of political thought. 1998, vol. 2

Nimeke: Finnish yearbook of political thought. 1998, vol. 2

ISBN: 951-39-0192-0

Julkaisija: University of Jyväskylä

Julkaistu: 1998



The discusssion of political judgment commonly includes it as a special case of more general figures of judgment. This is also the case with most of the contributions in this volume, taking the work of Hannah Arednt as a point of departure.

However, Arendt's desire to find new criteria for political judgement does not mean that a theory or judgement was to be found in her later writings. On the contrary, she was convinced that after the appearance of totalitarianism as an unprecedented and unforseen phenomenon, the establishment a theory of judgement based on a firm fundament of permanent concepts and conceptions was not possible. Permanent laws of judgment cannot be established because the criteria for judgment are always related to the situation. All that can be found in Arendt are the criteria of how to judge. More precisely, our judgments ought to be based on the recognition of the post-totalitarian situation in which we are left without eternal truths and a firm basis for thinking.