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His book was, also, a response to the concept’s earlier theorization by the German political philosopher Carl Schmitt.
Following 9/11, Giorgio Agamben theorized states of emergency in his philosophical essay .
Agamben articulated a critique of Western democracies.
In Arendt’s thinking, the state of exception assumed a specific form. As such, it became a defining problematic of her oeuvre.
Arendt analyzed it most systematically in , was inspired by Eichmann’s trial.
Arendt’s observation of Eichmann’s warped way of thinking during his trial led her to explore how the human mind works.
Eichmann Research Paper Moral
Like Agamben, Arendt conceived totalitarianism as an exceptional condition of politics.
But, paradoxically, the model of judgment that she sketched in her philosophy of mind denied the survival of judgment under the historical conditions of Nazism, transforming its existence into a mysterious puzzle.
This essay thus argues that Arendt’s philosophical thinking—her conceptions of thinking and of judgment—clashed with her understanding of the history of Nazism, and this conflict disorganized her views on morality in the time of this, the greatest political and historical crisis of the modern West. Attacks in Paris, Brussels, Berlin, Manchester, London, have made it an everyday reality.
Arendt posited that they are “autonomous;” that is: “they cannot be derived from each other and …
cannot be reduced to a common denominator.” Nor do they possess obvious causes.