Open Philosophy 3 (1):586-598 (2020)

My goal, in interpreting Arendt’s analyses of the polis – both modern and ancient – is to conceptualize the role that ‘healthy’ public spaces can play in modern cities. What distinguishes my interpretation of her work is how I integrate her seminal conception of a philosophy of natality in the constellation of elemental concepts: labor, work, and action, as a way to understand the rise and fall of Detroit and to set the possible horizon for its reincarnation as a ‘sustainable’ and flourishing city beautiful. For me, it is precisely this conceptualization, as a philosophy of natality, that enables us to better identify the metaphysical and political foundations of her ideas about the polis and its possible pragmatic application for recreating public spaces in other modern, cosmopolitan cities. I end up considering what it means to become “native to a place” in the sense that was adopted in the rebirth of the River Rouge Complex and just what that has to do with the emergence of the barrio of Mexicantown in Detroit as a quintessential sign of successful city living and a sign of hope for a brighter, more beautiful future.
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DOI 10.1515/opphil-2020-0130
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