The concept of violence in the work of Hannah Arendt

Continental Philosophy Review 50 (2):165-179 (2016)
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Arendt claimed that violence is not part of the political because it is instrumental. Her position has generated a vast corpus of scholarship, most of which falls into the context of the realist-liberal divide. Taking these discussions as a starting point, this essay engages with violence in Arendt’s work from a different perspective. Its interest lies not in Arendt’s theory of violence in the world, but in the function that violence performed in her work, namely, in the constitutive role of violence in her thought. It argues that the concept of violence allowed Arendt to make important distinctions serving to catalyze the categories that constitute her political philosophy and, in particular, the categories of public and private. More specifically, it claims that the concept of violence in Arendt’s work is the a priori background against which both the public and private realms should be defined.



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Citations of this work

Violence and the materiality of power.Torsten Menge - 2022 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 25 (6):761-786.
Ecology, labor, politics: Violence in Arendt’s Vita Activa.Dawn Herrera - 2023 - Contemporary Political Theory 22 (4):460-482.

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References found in this work

The human condition [selections].Hannah Arendt - 2013 - In Timothy C. Campbell & Adam Sitze (eds.), Biopolitics: A Reader. Durham: Duke University Press.
Political theory and the displacement of politics.Bonnie Honig - 1993 - Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
The Reluctant Modernism of Hannah Arendt.Seyla Benhabib - 1996 - Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
Hannah Arendt: a reinterpretation of her political thought.Margaret Canovan - 1992 - New York, NY, USA: Cambridge University Press.

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