Jeff Malpas

ABSTRACT: This paper will explore the centrality of truth to a democratic politics through the work of Hannah Arendt, but also Albert Camus and George Orwell. A key idea is that of truth as objective, and the relation between such a notion of objectivity, and the idea of the public realm. It will be argued that in spite of appearances to the contrary, Arendt, along with both Camus and Orwell, remained committed to an objectivist conception of truth and that such a conception is integral to the possibility of a democratic politics. It will be argued, in fact, that democracy is just that form of political organisation that is essentially geared toward the primacy of truth, and so toward the primacy of the public realm as a realm that is determined by, and open to, the truth.

Wherever knowing and doing have parted company, the space of freedom is lost —  Hannah Arendt

Download here: DemocracyandTruth.doc