A work of striking originality bursting with unexpected insights, _The Human Condition_ is in many respects more relevant now than when it first appeared in 1958. In her study of the state of modern humanity, Hannah Arendt considers humankind from the perspective of the actions of which it is capable. The problems Arendt identified then—diminishing human agency and political freedom, the paradox that as human powers increase through technological and humanistic inquiry, we are less equipped to control the consequences of (...) our actions—continue to confront us today. This new edition, published to coincide with the fortieth anniversary of its original publication, contains an improved and expanded index and a new introduction by noted Arendt scholar Margaret Canovan which incisively analyzes the book's argument and examines its present relevance. A classic in political and social theory, _The Human Condition_ is a work that has proved both timeless and perpetually timely. Hannah Arendt was one of the leading social theorists in the United States. Her _Lectures on Kant's Political Philosophy_ and _Love and Saint Augustine_ are also published by the University of Chicago Press. (shrink)
Each of the books that Hannah Arendt published in her lifetime was unique, and to this day each continues to provoke fresh thought and interpretations. This was never more true than for Eichmann in Jerusalem, her account of the trial of Adolf Eichmann, where she first used the phrase “the banality of evil.” Her consternation over how a man who was neither a monster nor a demon could nevertheless be an agent of the most extreme evil evoked derision, outrage, and (...) misunderstanding. The firestorm of controversy prompted Arendt to readdress fundamental questions and concerns about the nature of evil and the making of moral choices. Responsibility and Judgment gathers together unpublished writings from the last decade of Arendt’s life, as she struggled to explicate the meaning of Eichmann in Jerusalem. At the heart of this book is a profound ethical investigation, “Some Questions of Moral Philosophy”; in it Arendt confronts the inadequacy of traditional moral “truths” as standards to judge what we are capable of doing, and she examines anew our ability to distinguish good from evil and right from wrong. We see how Arendt comes to understand that alongside the radical evil she had addressed in earlier analyses of totalitarianism, there exists a more pernicious evil, independent of political ideology, whose execution is limitless when the perpetrator feels no remorse and can forget his acts as soon as they are committed. Responsibility and Judgment is an essential work for understanding Arendt’s conception of morality; it is also an indispensable investigation into some of the most troubling and important issues of our time. (shrink)
The present volume brings Arendt's notes for these lectures together with other of her texts on the topic of judging and provides important clues to the likely direction of Arendt's thinking in this area.
Karl Marx, as distinguished from the true and not the imagined sources of the Nazi ideology of racism, clearly belongs to the tradition of Western political thought. As an ideology Marxism is doubtless the only link that binds the totalitarian form of government directly to that tradition; apart from it any attempt to deduce totalitarianism directly from a strand of occidental thought would lack even the semblance of plausibility.
The Hannah Arendt Bluecher Literary Trust has granted permission to Social Research to publish for the first time a lecture given by Arendt in 1953, the provenance of which is her so-called Marx manuscripts. The lecture here entitled "The Great Tradition" has been divided into two parts, the first of which, subtitled "Law and Power," appears in the current issue, and the second, subtitled "Ruling and Being Ruled," will appear in the next issue. The Marx manuscripts, as they go on, (...) have less and less to do with Karl Marx, but even when, as here, he is not named or his thought directly addressed, he remains, in one important respect, in the background. In the first part of "The Great Tradition" the relation between law and power, and in the second part the conception of government as ruling and being ruled, are analyzed by Arendt as fundamental elements in the tradition of political thought; what the reader needs to be aware of , is that the lasting importance of Marx to Arendt is his having brought the tradition to its end by returning it to its beginning. The tradition began when Plato replaced action with philosophy, and ended when Marx transformed philosophy into action. In both its beginning and its end—and this is why Marx himself remains within the tradition—the pre-philosophic and perhaps antiphilosophic experience of freedom in action, Arendt's primary political concern, is missing. (shrink)
James A. Diefenbeck, Wayward Reflections on the History ofPhilosophyThomas R. Flynn Sartre, Foucault and Historical Reason. Volume 1:Toward an Existential Theory of HistoryMark Golden and Peter Toohey Inventing Ancient Culture:Historicism, Periodization and the Ancient WorldZenonas Norkus Istorika: Istorinis IvadasEverett Zimmerman The Boundaries of Fiction: History and theEighteenth‐Century British Novel.