Hannah Arendt and the Political Imagination

If we understand Arendt’s work on totalitarianism as the beginning of her philosophizing, then we can better appreciate her concern with human nature and better judge her Existenz philosophy. Certifying Arendt as an existentialist allows those who would label her to recast her ideas into the language of modernity and thereby abolish the nature that stalks modem theorizing. Eliminating nature as a reckoning also obliterates history as an anchor and offers modems unlimited will for shaping the future. But Arendt is decisively anti-modem in her formulation ofImagination, which she uses to connect men to the past, to the deeds and the speech that set limits to human action. Imagination allows her to break through the thought-systems that now substitute for a God who is no-more and for a rationalist potential that is not-yet. This in-between forms a space of existence for thinkers who want to be at home in the world
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