Criticized as a nostalgic anachronism by those who oppose her version of political theory and lauded as symbol of direct democratic participation by those who favor it, the Athenian polis features prominently in Hannah Arendt's account of politics. This essay traces the origin and development of Arendt's conception of the polis as a space of appearance from the early 1950s onward. It makes particular use of the Denktagebuch, Arendt's intellectual diary, in order to shed new light on the historicity of (...) one of her central concepts. The article contends that both critics and partisans of Arendt's use of the polis have made the same mistake: they have presumed that the polis represents a space of face-to-face immediacy. In fact, Arendt compared the polis to a series of analogues, many of which are not centered on direct exchanges between political actors and spectators. As a result, Arendt's early work on the polis turns out to anticipate many of the concerns of her later work on judgment, and her theory of the polis becomes a theory of topics. (shrink)
To many it seems obvious that any reduction of the nature of man to purely physical components involves an indirect attack on the doctrine of human immortality. To so reduce human nature, it may be argued, is to eliminate the soul and it is this essential component of man, rather than his body, which is the foundation of his immortality. This seems to me an altogether mistaken notion. My purpose in this paper, therefore, is to clarify the relation of physicalism (...) and immortality and thereby to reveal the error in this alleged incompatibility. (shrink)
Henry Thoreau boasted that he was widely travelled in Concord, Massachusetts. He was born there on 12 July 1817, and he died there on 6 May 1862, of tuberculosis, at the age of forty-four years. In 1837 he graduated from Harvard College, and in 1838 he joined Ralph Waldo Emerson, Margaret Fuller, and others in the informal group that became known as the New England Transcendentalists. The author of four books, many essays and poems, and a voluminous journal, he is (...) best known for the book Walden and the essay ‘Civil Disobedience’, and for the circumstances attending these two milestones in American thought and literature. (shrink)
David Lewis n’a pas développé de philosophie complète de la religion à proprement parler mais il s’est penché précisément sur différents thèmes religieux comme le rapport entre Dieu et le possible, l’argument ontologique ou la théodicée. Bien que dénuées de toute systématicité, les publications de Lewis sur le religieux défendent un athéisme très argumenté. L'article vise à montrer comment son athéisme s'articule à l'existence d'une pluralité de dieux.