Understanding and Judging History: Hannah Arendt and Philosophical Hermeneutics


In this study I primarily deal with the problem of historical understanding in the work of Hannah Arendt. In doing so, I try to show that Arendt’s ideas concerning the problem of understanding history (which mainly involves the task of understanding unique historical events) may be compared to the works of Heidegger and Gadamer and further developed using some hermeneutical insights as found in their works. I also try to address the topic of judgment; I attempt to show that for Arendt, judgment is an integral, indispensable part of the process of understanding.

Keywords: method, historical event, understanding, judgment, empathy, Arendt, Heidegger, Gadamer

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