Why the World Matters: Hannah Arendt’s Philosophy of New Beginnings

The European Legacy 18 (2):170-184 (2013)

Authors
Siobhan Kattago
University of Tartu
Abstract
Hannah Arendt?s philosophical project is an untiring attempt to argue that the world with all its failures and weaknesses does and should matter. Refusing to succumb to the destructive tendency within modernity, she cultivates creativity, action and responsibility. One way to appreciate the originality of Arendt?s philosophy of action and new beginnings is via her reading of two thinkers who were part of what she terms, ?the great tradition.? If most commentary deals either with Heidegger?s influence on Arendt?s thought or with her Augustinian origins, my aim is to trace Arendt?s lifelong conversation with both thinkers. It is in her doctoral dissertation on St. Augustine that she begins to distinguish herself from Heidegger?s understanding of the world, Dasein, and care. Without arguing that her work on Augustine is a hidden key to understanding her philosophy of new beginnings, an appreciation of Arendt?s lifelong debate not only with Heidegger but also with Augustine enriches our understanding of why philosophy should pay more attention to the world, rather than try to escape from it
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DOI 10.1080/10848770.2013.772362
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