Ethics for dark times

  • Author / Creator
    MacLeod, Damon
  • This thesis argues that Hannah Arendt is correct to suggest that thinking enables judgment, even though Arendt never fully formulates this idea herself. I provide a critical reading of Arendt’s essay “Thinking and Moral Considerations” and of her series of lectures on Kant’s political philosophy. I argue that Arendt’s concept of impartiality can provide the bridge between the concepts of thinking and judging that is otherwise lacking in her account of these faculties. I argue that Arendt’s philosophy can be construed as an ethically relevant theory: despite the fact that Arendt offers no moral prescriptions, she describes a process of thinking through which ethical decisions can be made. Arendt’s work is therefore highly relevant as a critique of relativism, nihilism and the skeptical notion that judgments are arbitrary.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
    • Department of Philosophy
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Burch, Robert (Philosophy)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Dudiak, Jeffrey (Philosophy)
    • Welchman, Jennifer (Philosophy)
    • Carmichael, Don (Political Science)