The Actor Does Not Judge: Arendt’s Theory of Judgment

  • Shmuel Lederman


Arendt’s theory of judgment has been the subject of much interest in recent years. This chapter challenges a virtual consensus among Arendt scholars that at least until some stage Arendt had an actor’s theory of judgment, which existed alongside (or for some, was replaced later on with) a spectator’s theory of judgment. It argues that throughout Arendt’s writings, judgment had always been a spectator’s judgment and the Arendtian public sphere always consisted of spectators as well as actors. Furthermore, it suggests that an underlying theme in Arendt’s conceptualization of judgment is the challenge of fostering this capacity among “ordinary” citizens through participatory democracy.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shmuel Lederman
    • 1
  1. 1.The Weiss-Livnat International Center for Holocaust Research and EducationThe University of HaifaHaifaIsrael

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