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21. Arendt Studies: Volume > 2
Liesbeth Schoonheim Among Lovers: Love and Personhood in Hannah Arendt
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Both love and politics name relations, according to Arendt, in which a subject is constituted as a unique person. Following up on this suggestion, I explore how love gives rise to a conception of personhood that temporarily suspends the public judgments and social prejudices that reduce the other to their actions or to their social identity. I do so by tracing a similar movement in the various tropes of Arendt’s phenomenology of love: the retreat away from the collective world into the intimacy of love, followed by the necessary return to the world and the end of love. This exploration casts a new—and surprisingly positive—light on some key notions in Arendt’s thought, such as the body, the will, and life. However, Arendt disregards that love, as De Beauvoir argued, requires a constant effort in restraining our tendency to reduce the lover to their social identity.
22. Arendt Studies: Volume > 2
Matías Sirczuk Look at Politics With Eyes Unclouded By Philosophy: The Arendtian Reading of Montesquieu
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In the following, I will trace the presence of Montesquieu in Arendt’s work, giving an account of both Arendt’s praise for the French writer’s particular way of thinking the political and his approach to problems that will become central to the development of Arendt’s own thought. Firstly, I will follow Arendt down the path that led her to discover fundamental tools in Montesquieu for understanding totalitarianism “with eyes unclouded by philosophy.” Secondly, I will track the way in which the Arendtian reconceptualization of some key political words—power, law and freedom—is threaded through with her reading of the French author. Thirdly, I will look into the way in which Montesquieu’s formulation of a particular link between what Arendt calls the basic experience and the political regime, allows her to go on to discover a criteria that makes it possible to distinguish between political and anti-political ways of living together; and allows us to see that there is a phenomenally essential element within tyranny and totalitarianism that ensures that it “develops the germs of its own destruction the moment it comes into existence.”
23. Arendt Studies: Volume > 2
Lorraine Krall McCrary Natality and Disability: From Augustine to Arendt and Back
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Arendt’s “natality,” a promising foundation for humanness that might be expanded to include those with profound cognitive disabilities, emerges in part out of Arendt’s creative interpretation of Augustine. Returning to Augustine provides natality with resources to escape the weaknesses of Arendt’s thought when viewed from the perspective of disability theory: The traps of grounding human dignity in rationality, of downplaying expressions of creativity in non-political spheres, and of denigrating the role of the body.
24. Arendt Studies: Volume > 2
Matthew Wester Reading Kant against Himself: Arendt and the Appropriation of Enlarged Mentality
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In this paper, I examine Hannah Arendt’s notion of “enlarged mentality.” I use a close textual exposition of enlarged mentality in Arendt’s writings in order to offer an interpretation of Denktagebuch Notebook XXII, in which Arendt initially sketched her political interpretation of the Critique of Judgment. I maintain that a close examination of enlarged mentality—particularly as it appears in Arendt’s notebooks—answers basic questions about Arendt’s appropriation of Kant’s third Critique that have eluded scholarly commentators. In this paper, I seek to answer one such question: why did Arendt turn to Kant’s Critique of Judgment? I argue that in turning to Kant for a model of political judgment Arendt took herself to be correcting methodological inconsistencies that she believed she located in the Critique of Judgment.
25. Arendt Studies: Volume > 2
Yasemin Sari Arendt, Truth, and Epistemic Responsibility
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In this article, I offer a politico-philosophical perspective to reassess the much-contested role of truth in politics to put forth a principle of political action that will make sense of a “right to unmanipulated factual information,” which Hannah Arendt understands as crucial for establishing freedom of opinion. In developing a principle of epistemic responsibility, I will show that “factual truth” plays a key role in Arendt’s account of political action and provides a normative order that can extricate her account from charges of immoralism. The article will be divided into three sections: section 1 deals with the distinction between rational truths and factual truths, and the question of their validity, section 2 deals with what a principle of political action is, and lastly, section 3 proposes a principle of “epistemic responsibility” that becomes action-guiding in the political sphere, in order to shed new light on the 2013 Gezi Park protest, one of the recent democratic uprisings of our century.
26. Arendt Studies: Volume > 2
Jonathan Peter Schwartz Perspectives on Citizenship and Political Judgment in an Era of Democratic Anxiety
27. Arendt Studies: Volume > 2
Emma Larking Are Refugee Camps Totalitarian?
28. Arendt Studies: Volume > 3
James Barry Editor's Introduction
29. Arendt Studies: Volume > 3
Jana Schmidt “A Field Where Everything Appears”: The Modern Challenge to Tradition: Fragmente eines Buchs
30. Arendt Studies: Volume > 3
Barbara Hahn, James McFarland, Thomas Wild Hannah Arendt—Complete Works, Critical Edition in Digital and Print: An Interview with Barbara Hahn, James McFarland, and Thomas Wild
31. Arendt Studies: Volume > 3
Katy Fulfer, Rita A. Gardiner Refugee Resettlement, Rootlessness, and Assimilation
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We explore how a refugee’s experience of rootlessness may persist after they resettle in a new country. Drawing primarily on “We Refugees,” we focus on assimilation as an uprooting phenomenon that compels a person to forget their roots, thereby perpetuating threats to identity and the loss of community that is a condition for political agency. Arendt presents assimilation in a binary way: a person either conforms to or resists pressures to conform. We seek to move beyond this binary, arguing that the performative quality of the “right to have rights” (Butler and Spivak, Who Sings the Nation-State?; Gündoğdu, Rightlessness in an Age of Rights; Sari, “An Arendtian Recognitive Politics”) and the notion of dwelling in-between worlds (Ortega, In-Between: Latina Feminist Phenomenology, Multiplicity, and the Self) reveal possibilities for a refugee to assimilate in some ways while reinforcing their rootedness. What emerges from our argument is an Arendtian account of assimilation that offers an alternative picture of navigating assimilation than that captured by the binary between parvenu/conscious pariah.
32. Arendt Studies: Volume > 3
Edgar Straehle Rethinking the Relationship Between Past, Present, and Future: Arendt’s Account on Revolution
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In this paper, I focus on Arendt’s concept of revolution in order to tackle the intricate relationship among past, present and future in the fields of action and politics. For this purpose, I propose to rethink the concept of authority and to show its possible connection with action and revolution. On the basis of her reflections on the American Revolution, I claim that authority and Arendt’s concept of power are not incompatible and can appear together. On the other hand, I hold that if power seeks to found, establish and consolidate a new republic, it requires to be endorsed by authority. Authority can provide a horizon of longevity that is not present within power and can enable the task of foundation to succeed.
33. Arendt Studies: Volume > 3
Stefania Fantauzzi Taking Responsibility for the World: Politics, the Impolitical and Violence in Hannah Arendt
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The purpose of this article is to analyse the issues of war and violence in the thought of Hannah Arendt, drawing on articles published in the newspaper Aufbau between 1941 and 1945. In these texts Arendt argues for the organisation of a Jewish army to engage in the struggle against Nazism. Here I attempt to show that this call for a Jewish army is not in contradiction with the separation between power and violence that Arendt posited. With this objective, I will compare Aufbau’s writings not only with On Violence, but above all with Was ist Politik? and I will try to interpret this comparison by means of the concept of impolitical, elaborated by the Italian philosopher Roberto Esposito. This way I will suggest a new reading of the relationship between politics and violence. It is not a matter of considering the Jewish question only as a starting point to analyze Arendt’s thought, or to interpret her claim in favor of a Jewish army as the result of a specific historical context, but also to see how these positions spring from a will of transformation of this same context and are coherent with the development of her thought.
34. Arendt Studies: Volume > 3
Jonathan Graubart Reimagining Zionism and Coexistence after Oslo’s Death: Lessons from Hannah Arendt
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Zionism needs a fundamental overhaul given both the collapse of the Oslo-initiated peace process and the erosion of liberal values in Israeli society. There is no better guide than Hannah Arendt for such an undertaking. On the one hand, she provided a searing diagnosis of mainstream Zionism’s foundational shortcomings, which persist to the present. One is a creed that assumes an eternal anti-Semitism. Two is a corresponding insular nationalism, which rejects affirmative engagement with the outside. On the other hand, Arendt articulated an affirmative humanist Zionism based on three elements. First, is a Jewish self-determination aimed at cultural enrichment and emancipation. Second, is an outward-oriented Zionism that embraces internationalism. Third, is substantive coexistence with Palestinians based on an innovative alternative to the homogenous nation-state model. This article retrieves and updates Arendt’s humanist Zionism. I emphasize her plea to confront Zionism’s pathologies, break from an insular nationalist mindset, and foster new political channels for attaining genuine reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians.
35. Arendt Studies: Volume > 3
Bulent Diken, Carsten Bagge Laustsen Arendt’s Political Theology—From Political Religion to Profanation
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The article elaborates on Arendt’s take on the religious and the political and on how they interact and merge in modernity, especially in totalitarianism. We start with framing the three different understandings of religion in Arendt: first, a classic understanding of religion, which is foreign to the logic of the political; second, a secularized political religion; and third, a weak messianism. Both the classic understanding of religion and the political religion deny human freedom in Arendt’s sense. Her transcendent alternative to them both is the notion of the democratic political community: the Republic. Then we turn to Arendt’s political theology, illuminating why interrogating Nazism is central to examine the relationship between politics and religion in modernity. This is followed by a discussion of Nazism as a type of political religion. We focus here on totalitarianism, both as an idea and actual institution. We conclude with an assessment of the role of profanation in Arendt’s work and its significance vis-à-vis the contemporary ‘return of religion’ as well as totalitarian tendencies which call for new forms of voluntary servitude.
36. Arendt Studies: Volume > 3
Adi Armon The “Origins of The Origins”: Antisemitism, Hannah Arendt, and the Influence of Bernard Lazare
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Unlike “Imperialism” and “Totalitarianism,” the last two chapters in Hannah Arendt’s The Origins of Totalitarianism (1951), written in the United States in the 1940s, the completion of the first chapter, “Antisemitism”, was preceded by more than two decades of writing in Europe and in the United States, during which Arendt found it increasingly necessary to address issues related to the Jews’ political and social situation. The chapter may be only one part of the book, but it is in fact the “origin of The Origins” and its cornerstone. In order to trace several themes of this seminal chapter, we must analyze the contribution of the French Jewish thinker, Bernard Lazare, to Arendt’s thinking. Without him, “Antisemitism” would never have coalesced and seen the light of day as a political analysis of the phenomenon. Without the “Antisemitism” chapter, The Origins of Totalitarianism would not have become a canonical work of twentieth-century political thought.
37. Arendt Studies: Volume > 3
Beltrán Undurraga Historicizing Distinctions: Hannah Arendt on Science and Technology
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This article expands Patchen Markell’s (2011) seminal problematization of The Human Condition by examining the impact that the modern developments in science and technology had on Arendt’s signature categories. Whereas Markell is interested in the systematic “architecture” of the book, I attempt to historicize Arendt’s distinctions in light of the story she tells about science and technology. From the invention of the telescope to the splitting of the atom, technoscience has provoked shifts in the hierarchies within the vita activa; spawned new varieties of “labor,” “work,” and “action”; and blurred the traditional boundaries between “nature” and the “human world.” These reconfigurations draw the contours of a new, “modern world” that is different from the world whose story and conceptual tradition Arendt set out to articulate. Largely as a result of the activities of science and technology, the experiences that informed the categories of the “Western tradition” correspond to a world that is no longer our own.
38. Arendt Studies: Volume > 3
Hugo Strandberg Forgiveness and Plurality
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Hannah Arendt is one of the few philosophers who has given an important role to the concept of forgiveness within the context of his or her broader philosophical thinking. This paper aims at giving an account of Arendt’s understanding of forgiveness, critically discussing it, and showing that the concept of forgiveness can be put to greater use than Arendt realizes, by relating it to the important Arendtian concept of plurality.
39. Arendt Studies: Volume > 3
James Sias Rethinking the Thin-Thick Distinction among Theories of Evil (and Then Rereading Arendt)
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According to a standard interpretation of Hannah Arendt’s remarks about evil, she had a psychologically thin conception of evil action. This paper has two aims. First, I argue that the distinction between psychological thinness and thickness is poorly conceived, at least as it commonly applies to theories of evil action. And second, I argue that, according to a better conception of the thin-thick distinction, Arendt is being misinterpreted.
40. Arendt Studies: Volume > 4
James Barry Editor's Introduction