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The Polis and Public Judgment


"Political judgment prevents the fragmentation of the public space into myriad private spaces, each construed according to the differing perceptions and emotions of individual agents. This is necessary because the dissolution of the common world into mutual incomprehension is always possible. The alternative to public judgment is not no judgment, but private judgments, multitudinous and conflicting, frustrating each other and denying everyone the space of freedom. 'There was no law in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.' (Judges 21:25)"

-Oliver O’Donovan, The Ways of Judgment (2005)