Skip to main content
Kent Academic Repository

Arendt's Theory of Judgement

Ngarmkham, Nathiya (2022) Arendt's Theory of Judgement. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent,. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.97003) (KAR id:97003)


The thesis proposes a nuanced interpretation of Arendt's concept of judgement based on the close interpretation of key works from late in her oeuvre. It is argued that this provides a new account of the relationship between Arendt's concepts of judgement, action, forgiveness, and promising that have an impact upon how we understand her late work and its application. The central claims of the thesis rest upon the assumption that Arendt considered judgement to be both a political and an ethical faculty, because she understood ethics within a political framework founded upon her concept of "action".

The thesis begins with an exploration of her ideas about the faculty of judgement and its relations to the idea of morality and politics. After the explanation of Kant's idea of Geschmacksurteil or the judgement of taste, the thesis discusses the connection between the two thinkers' concepts of judgement, examines Arendt's reading of Kant and justifies her major interpretive claims. The thesis also examines and discusses her concept of action and her ideas of politics and the political through the term politeuesthai which helps not only justify her reading and argument about Kant's theory of judgment but also helps to ground her theory of ethics. The discussion lays a foundation for the debates and arguments about her ideas of ethics in the last chapter.

In the discussion about her ethical thoughts, the thesis explores and reviews some literatures concerning Arendt's theory of judgement and debates with key scholars, Kateb, Benhabib and Buckler, on a range of central issues. It also demonstrates the relationship between judgement and the other two ethical concepts, forgiving and promising. Drawing upon debates with respect to transitional justice, it concludes that Arendt's idea of judgement is more fertile than these two ideas when it comes to understanding the application of her political ethics.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: MacKenzie, Iain
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.97003
Uncontrolled keywords: Arendt judgement forgiveness transitional justice
Subjects: J Political Science
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations
SWORD Depositor: System Moodle
Depositing User: System Moodle
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2022 12:15 UTC
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2022 22:14 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Ngarmkham, Nathiya.

Creator's ORCID:
CReDIT Contributor Roles:
  • Depositors only (login required):

Total unique views for this document in KAR since July 2020. For more details click on the image.