Arendt, Kant and the Beauty of Politics: A Phenomenological View
This essay is an attempt to define Arendt’s “aesthetic politics” or “aesthetic political theory.” It is based on Kant’s aesthetics as the philosophical discipline of “the beautiful and the sublime” and Heidegger’s ecstatic conception of temporality as attunement (Befindlichkeit) to the world. Arendt’s aesthetic politics is found in her hitherto often unexamined “thinking diary” (Denktagebuch), which draws its inspiration from Kant’s “aesthetic judgment” as something entirely new and imaginative. It replaces the “war” of power politics with the “peace” of aesthetic politics. Aesthetic politics as “a new political principle” also reveals the poverty of American politics.