The Existential Dimension of Right: Individuality, Plurality and Right in Fichte and Arendt

Emily Hartz

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The following article paves out the theoretical ground for a phenomenological discussion of the existential dimension of right. This refers to a dimension of right that is not captured in standard treatments of right, namely the question of whether – or how the concept of rights relates to the ontological and existential question of how we come to express ourselves as individuals in a plural world. While this question is phenomenological in nature, it is not treated within the otherwise diverse field of phenomenology of law. The author therefore looks outside this tradition and develops a framework for discussing the existential dimension of right by bringing central parts of Fichte’s and Arendt’s work into dialogue. By facilitating this – admittedly unusual – dialogue between Fichte and Arendt the author explicates how, for both Fichte and Arendt, the concept of right can only be adequately understood as referring to the existential condition of plurality and uses this insight to draw up a theoretical ground for further phenomenological analysis of right.
Original languageEnglish
Article number39
JournalMetodo. International Studies in Phenomenology and Philosophy
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)263-301
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

Also published under the title: "Intersubjectivity, Recognition and Right: A Reading of Arendt through Fichte."


  • Fichte
  • Arendt
  • Right
  • Plurality
  • Individuality

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