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Exercising the Faculty of Judgement: What is at Stake?

conference contribution
posted on 2023-05-23, 14:23 authored by Tatman, L
Today, I am going to wrestle with the question of what is at stake when it comes to exercising the human faculty of judgement. In order to think through this matter, I will be looking to the work of Hannah Arendt, who was arguably the most original and provocative twentieth century political theorist and thinker of the human condition. As many of you will know, Arendt planned to write a book titled Judging, which was to be the third and final volume of her last major work, The Life of the Mind. Sadly, she died with the first page of Judging still in her typewriter. Although we will never be sure how Arendt would finally have characterised the process and act of judging, I think it is possible to identify why she was so concerned that human beings use the faculty of judgement. To understand why judgement mattered so much to Arendt requires, however, that we take a circuitous route through her thought. More specifically, I must begin by tracing an unusual set of distinctions she drew between, first, homo sapiens, second, human beings (who have achieved humanness), and finally, humanity.


Publication title

On Human Judgement


R Lindstrom and A Woitowicz






School of Humanities


University of Tasmania

Place of publication

Hobart, Tasmania

Event title

W. D. Joske Interdisciplinary Colloquia - 2017

Event Venue

Hobart, Tasmania

Date of Event (Start Date)


Date of Event (End Date)


Rights statement

Copyright 2018 Lucy Tatman

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Other culture and society not elsewhere classified

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