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Revolutionary Spacing: An Arendtian Recognitive Politics Open Access


Other title
political space
Hannah Arendt
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Sari, Yasemin
Supervisor and department
Morin, Marie-Eve (Philosophy)
Kellogg, Catherine (Political Science)
Examining committee member and department
Carmichael, Don (Political Science)
Hunter, Bruce (Philosophy)
O'Bryne, Anne (Philosophy)
Department of Philosophy

Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
In this dissertation, I undertake a critical analysis of the conception of community at work in what is termed “identity-based politics.” Working with Hannah Arendt’s implicit argument about place and visibility, I develop a theory of recognition in order to rethink the nature of community. The ultimate aim of my project develops a recognitive politics, a two-tiered theory of recognition, which takes into account social identities as the condition of possibility for the free political action that so animated Arendt. If we require a place to act freely, in other words, we are visible to one another in that place. My theory of recognition aims to illustrate that traditional philosophical accounts of self-disclosure in political action (including those of Hegel, Marx, and Arendt) do not aim to offer a pure political agency stripped of social identities. Such an understanding of the political as the self-disclosure of our unique identities is possible only if social identities are granted visibility and the possibility of being heard in the first place. Claims such as Arendt’s “right to have rights” consequently understate this vital condition of visibility. In turn, I argue that the condition of “artificial equality” arises from its spatial aspect. The link between visibility and the “right to have rights” is crucial in establishing the conditions of a non-violent and non-identity-based politics. On my view, ‘recognitive politics’ is based on epistemic responsibility in political judgment, which becomes a reflection of our responsibility to affirm plural human existence in the world.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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