Hannah Arendt’s conception of politics has long invited criticism for potentially turning political action into an exercise in hollow dramatics, both ethically unrestrained and restricted in its practical import. This essay offers a new response to these criticisms while attempting to honor Arendt’s commitment to a form of theorizing that engages politics on its own terms instead of legislating for politics from a perspective of moral philosophy. It does so by explicating an underappreciated aspect of Arendt’s political theory: her claim that action is always inspired and guided by “principles.” Although Arendt fails to offer a sustained account of the significance of principles for politics, I argue that her numerous shorter discussions of principles together yield a robust political ethics and a more nuanced conception of action than many readings of her thought allow. Having reconstructed a fuller account of Arendt’s principles of action, I then examine how she understands these principles to be historically regenerated
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DOI 10.1177/1474885114523939
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Unpredictable yet Guided: Arendt on Principled Action.Wolfhart Totschnig - 2018 - Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology 50 (3):189-207.

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Hannah Arendt and the Redemptive Power of Narrative.Seyla Benhabib - 1990 - Social Research: An International Quarterly 57 (1):167-196.


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