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Hannah Arendt Essays In Understanding Scribd.

Arendt maintains that the legitimacy of power is derived from theinitial getting together of people, that is, from the original pact ofassociation that establishes a political community, and is reaffirmedwhenever individuals act in concert through the medium of speech andpersuasion. For her “power needs no justification, beinginherent in the very existence of political communities; what it doesneed is legitimacy ... Power springs up whenever people get togetherand act in concert, but it derives its legitimacy from the initialgetting together rather than from any action that then mayfollow” (CR, 151).

Essays in Understanding: Hannah Arendt, Jerome Kohn ...

Arendt establishes the connection between action and plurality bymeans of an anthropological argument. In her view just aslife is the condition that corresponds to the activity oflabor and worldliness the condition that corresponds to theactivity of work, so plurality is the condition thatcorresponds to action. She defines plurality as “the fact thatmen, not Man, live on the earth and inhabit the world,” and saysthat it is the condition of human action “because we are all thesame, that is, human, in such a way that nobody is ever the same asanyone else who ever lived, lives, or will live ” (HC,7–8). Plurality thus refers both to equality anddistinction, to the fact that all human beings belong to thesame species and are sufficiently alike to understand one another, butyet no two of them are ever interchangeable, since each of them is anindividual endowed with a unique biography and perspective on theworld.

Hannah Arendt sometimes denied that she was a philosopher, ...

Understanding and Politics Archives - Hannah Arendt Center ...

Narratives can thus provide a measure of truthfulness and a greaterdegree of significance to the actions of individuals. But they alsopreserve the memory of deeds through time, and in so doing, theyenable these deeds to become sources of inspiration for the future,that is, models to be imitated, and, if possible, surpassed. One ofthe principal drawbacks of action, Arendt maintains, is to beextremely fragile, to be subject to the erosion of time and toforgetfulness; unlike the products of the activity of work, whichacquire a measure of permanence by virtue of their sheer facticity,deeds and words do not survive their enactment unless they areremembered. Remembrance alone, the retelling of deeds asstories, can save the lives and deeds of actors from oblivion andfutility. And it is precisely for this reason, Arendt points out, thatthe Greeks valued poetry and history so highly, because they rescuedthe glorious (as well as the less glorious) deeds of the past for thebenefit of future generations (HC, 192 ff; BPF, 63–75). It wasthe poet's and the historian's political function to preserve thememory of past actions and to make them a source of instruction forthe future. Homer was known as the “educator of Hellas,”since he immortalized for all those who came after him the events ofthe Trojan War; Thucydides, in his History of the PeloponnesianWar, told a story of human ambition and folly, of courage andunchecked greed, of ruthless struggle and inevitable defeat. In theirwork the past became a repository of instruction, of actions to beemulated as well as deeds to be shunned. Through their narratives thefragility and perishability of human action was overcome and made tooutlast the lives of their doers and the limited life-span of theircontemporaries.

For Arendt, power is a sui generis phenomenon, since it is aproduct of action and rests entirely on persuasion. It is a product ofaction because it arises out of the concerted activities of aplurality of agents, and it rests on persuasion because it consists inthe ability to secure the consent of others through unconstraineddiscussion and debate. Its only limitation is the existence of otherpeople, but this limitation, she notes, “is not accidental,because human power corresponds to the condition of plurality to beginwith” (HC, 201). It is actualized in all those cases whereaction is undertaken for communicative (rather than strategic orinstrumental) purposes, and where speech is employed to disclose ourintentions and to articulate our motives to others.

Bibliographical Works; Hannah Arendt Library; Essays; In The ...

Hannah Arendt Essays In Understanding 1930 1954 PDF ...

As regards the first feature, Arendt always stressed the artificialityof public life and of political activities in general, the fact thatthey are man-made and constructed rather than natural or given. Sheregarded this artificiality as something to be celebrated rather thandeplored. Politics for her was not the result of some naturalpredisposition, or the realization of the inherent traits of humannature. Rather, it was a cultural achievement of the first order,enabling individuals to transcend the necessities of life and tofashion a world within which free political action and discourse couldflourish.

The foregoing account has explored the way in which Arendt attemptedto connect the activity of thinking to our capacity to judge. To besure, this connection of thinking and judging seems to operate only inemergencies, in those exceptional moments where individuals, facedwith the collapse of traditional standards, must come up with new onesand judge according to their own autonomous values. There is, however,a second, more elaborated view of judgment which does not restrict itto moments of crisis, but which identifies it with the capacity tothink representatively, that is, from the standpoint of everyoneelse. Arendt called this capacity to think representatively an“enlarged mentality,” adopting the same terms that Kantemployed in his Third Critique to characterize aesthetic judgment. Itis to this work that we must now turn our attention, since Arendtbased her theory of political judgment on Kant's aesthetics ratherthan on his moral philosophy.

Essays in Understanding, 1930-1954 eBook by Hannah Arendt ...
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Hannah arendt essays in understanding scribd trowels ...

The hermeneutic strategy that Arendt employed to re-establish a linkwith the past is indebted to both Walter Benjamin and MartinHeidegger. From Benjamin she took the idea of a fragmentaryhistoriography, one that seeks to identify the moments of rupture,displacement and dislocation in history. Such fragmentaryhistoriography enables one to recover the lost potentials of the pastin the hope that they may find actualization in the present. FromHeidegger she took the idea of a deconstructive reading of the Westernphilosophical tradition, one that seeks to uncover the originalmeaning of our categories and to liberate them from the distortingincrustations of tradition. Such deconstructive hermeneutics enablesone to recover those primordial experiences (Urphaenomene)which have been occluded or forgotten by the philosophical tradition,and thereby to recover the lost origins of our philosophical conceptsand categories.

Hannah Arendt: Politics and Understanding After the Holocaust ...

Hannah arendt essays in understanding scribd; The Hannah Arendt Papers - Library of Congress ...

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Essays in Understanding, 1930-1954 by Hannah Arendt ...

By relying on these two hermeneutic strategies Arendt hopes to redeemfrom the past its lost or “forgotten treasure,” that is,those fragments from the past that might still be of significance tous. In her view it is no longer possible, after the collapse oftradition, to save the past as a whole; the task, rather, is to redeemfrom oblivion those elements of the past that are still able toilluminate our situation. To re-establish a linkage with the past isnot an antiquarian exercise; on the contrary, without the criticalreappropriation of the past our temporal horizon becomes disrupted,our experience precarious, and our identity more fragile. In Arendt'sview, then, it is necessary to redeem from the past those momentsworth preserving, to save those fragments from past treasures that aresignificant for us. Only by means of this critical reappropriation canwe discover the past anew, endow it with relevance and meaning for thepresent, and make it a source of inspiration for the future.

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