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Shklar versus Schmitt

Kontrastierende Perspektiven eines pessimistischen Menschenbildes in der politischen Philosophie

Elisabeth Holzleithner

Abstract

:[Shklar versus Schmitt: Contrasting Perspectives of a Pessimistic Image of Humanity in Political Philosophy] In her oeuvre, Judith N. Shklar vehemently deals with the abysses of the human character.What people can do to one another, particularly by exercising state power, is terrifying, and this is exactly the foundation of her model of a liberal state. Carl Schmitt’s image of humanity is at least as sinister, but he draws completely different conclusions.The paper at hand looks into the premises and political anthropologies of the two authors. It tries to elicit at which junctions they take different paths and prompts the question how plausible these conflicting paths of thought are. The frame for these deliberations is formed by challenges of existing liberal democracies by current developments towards a new authoritarianism in Europe and the United States.

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