In Arendt's Judgment, Jonathan Peter Schwartz explores the nature of human judgment, the subject of the planned third volume of Hannah Arendt's The Life of the Mind, which was left unwritten at the time of her death. Arguing that previous interpretations of Arendt failed to fully appreciate the central place of judgment in her thought, Schwartz contends that understanding Arendt's ideas requires not only interpreting her published work but also reconstructing her thinking from a broader range of sources, including her various essays, lecture course notes, unpublished material, and correspondence. When these sources are taken into account, it becomes clear that, for Arendt, political judgment was the answer to the question of how human freedom could be realized in the modern world.
This new approach to understanding Arendt leads to what Schwartz argues are original insights Arendt can teach us about the nature of politics beyond sovereignty and the role of human agency in history. Above all, her novel understanding of the authentic nature and purpose of political philosophy is finally revealed. Schwartz claims that in her theory of political judgment Arendt presented a vision of political philosophy that is improved and deepened by the contributions of ordinary, active citizens. Along with challenging previous interpretations, Arendt's Judgment provides a roadmap to her published and unpublished work for scholars and students.