Sophie Loidolt

Ballard Prize 2018:  Sophie Loidolt,  Phenomenology of Plurality: Hannah Arendt on Political Intersubjectivity(Routledge, 2018).

Sophie Loidolt’s  Phenomenology of Plurality: Hannah Arendt on Political Intersubjectivity,is an interesting and original contribution to research both on the phenomenology of sociality and on the political views of Hannah Arendt. Loidolt offers an intelligent, well-informed, and carefully nuanced reading of Arendt’s key works to show her commitment to aphenomenology of plurality that has political implications. The work is rich with new ideas and its

very strong arguments are supported on solid, ample, diverse, and up-dated bibliography. Its originality —regarding the diversely inspired existing Arendt scholarship— has to be especially highlighted. Loidolt  focuses on the concept of plurality “in a space of appearances,” in order to draw the deep philosophical-phenomenological roots from Arendt’s “political theory” that connects her work to “second-generation phenomenologists” such as Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, Levinas, Patocka, etc. (who also draw from Marxism, etc.), and –in spite of her own critical views regarding Husserl, Heidegger, and, Jaspers— , also to these “first-generation” authors.

The connection of phenomenology’s theory of intersubjectivity (plurality) with the political and the ethical from the perspective of their meaning —in contrast to the classical and prevailing “normative” approach— is important not only for political theorists, but also for phenomenology. It is important that the latter, even a more ethically/axiologically-oriented phenomenology, recognize the underlying political perspective that permeates  social and ontological experiences.

For these reasons, it is certain to have a noticeable impact and is a deserving winner of the 2018 Ballard Prize.

Visit Loidolt’s book page at Routledge: