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Simona Goi
Calvin College (Grand Rapids, MI 49546-4388)
Hannah Arendt's Conception of Judgment and the Ethics of Critical Self-doubt

I propose to write the last chapter of a book that develops a political ethics of critical self-doubt to address the tendency toward absolute certainty in contemporary political rhetoric. I juxtapose an unusual combination of thinkers in the tradition of Western political philosophy (Augustine, Calvin, Nietzsche), culminating in the work of Hannah Arendt, which I will study during the NEH fellowship. I argue that Arendt's much praised conception of political judgment can be effective only if it includes the practice of critical self-doubt.  By contrasting her philosophical writings with her controversial article on racial integration, I will show why her lack of critical self-doubt caused her failure of judgment.

Project fields:
Political Science, General

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

$5,000 (approved)
$5,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2004 – 8/31/2004