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ISBN-10: 0804782571

ISBN-13: 9780804782579

Hannah Arendt and Theodor W. Adorno, of the main influential political philosophers and theorists of the 20 th century, have been contemporaries with comparable pursuits, backgrounds, and a shared event of exile. but earlier, no ebook has introduced them jointly. during this first comparative learn in their paintings, top students talk about divergences, divulge mind-blowing affinities, and locate universal floor among the 2 thinkers. This pioneering paintings recovers the relevance of Arendt and Adorno for modern political thought and philosophy and lays the basis for a serious knowing of political modernity: from universalistic claims for political freedom to the abyss of genocidal politics.

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Extra resources for Arendt and Adorno: Political and Philosophical Investigations

Example text

In fact, I shall argue at various places in the next three chapters that alternative possibilities relevant for agents’ responsibility must be understood as Powers and Possibilities 25 agents’ most specific powers and abilities to act in certain ways at a given time and in specific circumstances. However, this does not mean that the specific ability is or could be the power to exercise a general ability. First, it seems that this idea would lead to a regress: if in order to exercise one ability we need another, why do we not need yet another power or ability to exercise the latter ability?

Briefly put, my assumption is that we can correctly hold persons responsible only if they are. Our practice of holding them responsible is never constitutive to their responsibility or forms some subclass of responsibility. One purpose of this book is to show that free will is a fact about us. And it is a fact about us because it is a condition of our being responsible for what we do or fail to do. 1 DIRECT RESPONSIBILITY Intentional actions are complex occurrences; they have a structure. This structure is best expressed by saying that most of the times when we intentionally do certain things we do it by doing some other as well.

In the fi rst section of this chapter, I discuss an essential feature of the identification of such kind of actions. My most important conclusion will be that the types of action for the performance or omission of which we are directly responsible must be extrinsically identified and hence the relevant performance abilities are also extrinsic. This will have important consequences both for my own account of ‘could have done otherwise’ and for my criticism of some rival understandings about free will as a condition of responsibility for actions and omissions.

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Arendt and Adorno: Political and Philosophical Investigations


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