A response to Martel's 'Amo: Volu ut sis: Love, willing, and Arendt's reluctant embrace of sovereignty'
Philosophy and Social Criticism 38 (6):609-617 (2012)
In this article I respond to James Martel’s essay ‘ Amo: Volu ut sis : Love, willing, and Arendt’s reluctant embrace of sovereignty’. Martel offers us a provocative account of how Arendt might have attenuated her most severe rejections of the concept of sovereignty in light of the necessity of some version of sovereignty in modern times. However, I argue that Martel misreads Arendt, drawing inferences from Arendt’s inner/outer distinction that do not follow from Arendt’s own logic. Instead of this distinction, I claim that Arendt’s rejection of sovereignty must be understood in the context of her affirmation of natality, and that a consistent reading of Arendt reveals an unstinting rejection of sovereignty, for both good and ill
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