Augustine, Arendt, and anthropy

Sophia 48 (3):253-265 (2009)

Abstract
Arendt’s theoretical influence is generally traced to Heidegger and experientially to the traumatic events that occurred in Europe during the Second World War. Here, we suggest that Arendt’s conception of politics may be usefully enriched via a proto-anthropic principle found in Augustine and adopted by Arendt throughout her writings. By appealing to this anthropic principle; that without a spectator there could be no world; a profound connection is made between the ‘cosmic jackpot’ of life in the universe and the uniquely human activity that takes place in the political realm. By making this connection we suggest that solutions present themselves to a central puzzle arising in Arendt’s thought: namely, what it is that people actually do in the political realm. The first solution directly addresses the issue of content: what people talk about in Arendt’s public space. The second addresses the importance of ‘maintaining’ a space of appearances. The third considers the effect of participating in and observing the public domain. Consequently, we conclude that, for Arendt, action is nothing less than the activity of ‘world-making.’.
Keywords Action  Arendt  Augustine  Anthropic principle  Politics  Christianity
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11841-009-0116-5
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 47,330
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Life of the Mind.Hannah Arendt - 1978 - Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.
Lectures on Kant's Political Philosophy.Hannah Arendt - 1982 - University of Chicago Press.

View all 14 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Hannah Arendt on Conscience and Evil.Arne Johan Vetlesen - 2001 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 27 (5):1-33.
Hannah Arendt on Power.Garrath Williams - 2011 - In Keith Dowding (ed.), Encyclopedia of Power. Thousand Oaks: Sage. pp. 26-28.
Aestheticism, or Aesthetic Approach, in Arendt and Heidegger on Politics.Michael Halberstam - 2001 - The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy 11:219-232.
Milestones in the Critique of the Public Sphere: Dewey and Arendt.Codruţa Cuceu - 2011 - Journal for Communication and Culture 1 (2):99-110.
Solitude and the Activity of Thinking.Roger Berkowitz - 2010 - In Roger Berkowitz, Jeff Katz & Thomas Keenan (eds.), Thinking in Dark Times: Hannah Arendt on Ethics and Politics. Fordham University Press.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2009-08-17

Total views
42 ( #216,386 of 2,291,069 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #832,027 of 2,291,069 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature