2018-2020:The Development of an Existential Ethics

through a Phenomenological Approach to Political Judgment.

Abstract

The goal of this project, “The Development of an Existential Ethics through a Phenomenological Approach to Political Judgment”, is to offer an existential-phenomenological interpretation of the account of political judgment sketched by Arendt (starting from Kant), meant to clarify the relevance of judging politically for the personal identity of the judging individual. The clarification of this relevance will provide an answer to a question which is fundamental for any ethics: Why should one think and act ethically? The existential-ethical answer would be: Because only by judging – i.e. thinking representatively – one has the chance to become oneself, i.e. to exist in the mode of an authentic understanding of oneself and of others, in a common world.
This goal will be achieved through the realisation of the following four objectives: 1. To show that Arendt’s account of Kantian reflective judgment can be connected to Heidegger’s ontology, through the notion of imagination. 2. To research the question of the validity of political judgments, in order to establish the relation of the existential ethics to Kant’s idea that reflective judgments can claim universality (even if not one based on concepts, but on a possible agreement between all human beings). 3. To argue that, existentially understood, judging politically is originarily a pre-reflective process. 4. To deepen the argument that Arendt’s account of judgment allows us to interpret Kant’s “enlarged mentality” as an enlarged identity.