- A controversy on moral judgment: Fifteen historian-reviewers in the controversy on Hannah Arendt’s book Eichmann in Jerusalem in the US, West Germany and France, 1963-1967. A historical and a pragma-dialectical perspective
- Award date
- 15 June 2016
- Number of pages
- Document type
- PhD thesis
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
This dissertation consists of two parts. The first part is the result of thorough historical research into the development and content of the discussion of Hannah Arendt’s book ‘Eichmann in Jerusalem’ between 1963 and 1967, in three countries: the US, West Germany and France. This part corrects and enhances the historiography of the controversy on several important points.
The second part looks specifically at the participation of fifteen historian-reviewers in the debate. These fifteen texts were analysed with help of the pragma-dialectical argumentation theory and method. The first result of this is a structured presentation of the precise differences of opinion between Arendt and the fifteen reviewers, and of the arguments that keep recurring in their discussion. Secondly, these textual analyses provide insight into the procedural problems that can occur in a heated discussion of the Holocaust, as well as the ways that discussants attempt to overcome these obstacles.
These results are starting points for further research into the problematic nature of so-called Holocaust controversies, especially for research into the participation of historians in these notoriously difficult discussions.
- Research conducted at: Universiteit van Amsterdam
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