Reconsidering the role of empathy in Hannah Arendt's concept of enlarged mentality

Capstick, John Martin (2006) Reconsidering the role of empathy in Hannah Arendt's concept of enlarged mentality. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

Hannah Arendt based her political philosophy upon Kant's theory of aesthetic judgment rather than his political or moral philosophies. Arendt argued that the social nature of Kant's theory of aesthetic judgment was absent from his moral philosophy. For Arendt, sociability was the quintessential characteristic of human nature. Consequently, Arendt argued that political judgments were accomplished by representing others' perspectives through the faculty of imagination, a process that she described (following Kant) as enlarging one's mentality. Counter-intuitively, Arendt maintained that enlarged mentality was not empathy. -- In this thesis, rather than focusing on Arendt's theory of political judgment, I focus on the phenomenological underpinnings underlying Arendt's notion of enlarged mentality and argue that enlarged mentality in fact depends upon a form of empathy that stems from embodiment phenomenology, i.e., the work of phenomenologists such as Edmund Husserl, Merleau-Ponty, and Edith Stein. I hypothesize that if Arendt were privy to this more elaborate definition of empathy, Arendt would have agreed that enlarged mentality depends upon this form of empathy that I will develop in this thesis.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/10262
Item ID: 10262
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 63-65.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Philosophy
Date: 2006
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Empathy.

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