The political animal: prejudice and judgment

14 Oct

Hannah Arendt’s argument about the Zoon politikon is fundamental, an argument that if the man had something political that belonged to his essence, it would not be something of the relationship between men, and thus, totally outside men, in the polis, or that is, in what Arendt calls the intra-space where the relationship is established.

Politics is thus a relationship, and it presupposes diversity among men, and thus resembles our prejudices, since most of us are not a professional politician, says in fragment 2: “such prejudices, common to all of us, they represent something political in the broadest sense of the word: they do not spring from the pride of educated people and they are not guilty of their cynicism, who have lived too long and understood less. ” However, it is evident that this justification of prejudice as a measure of judgment within everyday life has its limits, it is necessary that it does not become a judgment, so opinion (doxa) is the raw material of politics (and not philosophical, scientific knowledge) or technical, episteme e or techné) that defines democracy.

So it is necessary, as Hannah Arendt did to enter into the question of prejudice and judgment, “the danger of prejudice lies in the fact that a piece of the past always lurks in them”, and will say even further ahead: “The danger of prejudice lies in the fact that it was always anchored in the past, that is, very well anchored and, because of that, not only does it anticipate judgment and avoid it, but it also makes a true experience of the present with judgment impossible. ”

What happens if a prejudice becomes something imperative: “But it is a prejudice in itself that something imperative fits the judgment; the criteria, while they last, can never be forcedly demonstrated; they only serve, always, the limited evidence of the judgments on which everyone agreed and on which it is no longer necessary to fight or argue ”, and thus democracy must establish the limits between the judgment and the prejudices.

The fact is that prejudice anticipates judgment, so phenomenology establishes the need for epoché, precisely the suspension of judgment in recognition that we always have our preconceptions (philosophical hermeneutics uses it in a positive sense), in general we resort to the past, as explained by Arendt, because reason is temporal and limited to historical periods, forming in quantitative terms only many aspects of History, in which the new is rare and the old dominates politics.



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