Hesperus is Bosphorus

A group blog by philosophers in and from Turkey

Talk at Bogazici, Patrick Roney (Koc U), “On Hannah Arendt’s ‘Banality of Evil’. Between Thoughtlessness and Sensus Communis”

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Bogazici University

TB 130, 5-7pm

October 23

TITLE: “On Hannah Arendt’s ‘Banality of Evil’. Between Thoughtlessness and Sensus Communis.”


The aim of my presentation is to argue that Hannah Arendt develops her concept of the banality of evil through a phenomenological appropriation of Kant’s theory of judgment and of his principle of sensus communis in particular. Even though Arendt initially defined the banality of evil as a form of thoughtlessness grounded upon her understanding of thinking as an inner dialogue of the ‘two-in-one’, I will attempt to show that she develops the concept much more extensively in relation to Kant’s doctrine of reflective judgment and the possibility of a sensus communis as a pre-conceptual model of unforced consensus for the public space. In contrast with interpretations of Arendt’s conception from the point of view of political philosophy—with a view, that is, to the question of rationally grounded norms for political action—I claim that Arendt seeks to ground political judgment on aesthetic judgment, and that the latter forms a necessary condition for the former, particularly in the era of modernity. I will thus show the ways in which her reading of Kant is carried out together with both an existential-ontological re-appraisal of appearances and its relation to the transcendental imagination.


Written by markedwardsteen

October 13, 2015 at 10:30 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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