Arendt Studies

Volume 2, 2018

Yasemin Sari
Pages 149-170

Arendt, Truth, and Epistemic Responsibility

In this article, I offer a politico-philosophical perspective to reassess the much-contested role of truth in politics to put forth a principle of political action that will make sense of a “right to unmanipulated factual information,” which Hannah Arendt understands as crucial for establishing freedom of opinion. In developing a principle of epistemic responsibility, I will show that “factual truth” plays a key role in Arendt’s account of political action and provides a normative order that can extricate her account from charges of immoralism. The article will be divided into three sections: section 1 deals with the distinction between rational truths and factual truths, and the question of their validity, section 2 deals with what a principle of political action is, and lastly, section 3 proposes a principle of “epistemic responsibility” that becomes action-guiding in the political sphere, in order to shed new light on the 2013 Gezi Park protest, one of the recent democratic uprisings of our century.