Hannah Arendt  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Hannah Arendt (October 14, 1906December 4, 1975) was a German Jewish political theorist. She studied philosophy with Martin Heidegger, with whom she embarked on a long, stormy romantic relationship that was criticized because of Heidegger's membership in the Nazi party. She is the author of the controversial The Origins of Totalitarianism.

Notable ideas include Homo faber, animal laborans, the labor–work distinction, banality of evil, vita activa and vita contemplativa, praxis as the highest level of the vita activa.

The Human Condition

The Human Condition (book)

In what is arguably her most influential work, The Human Condition (1958), Arendt distinguishes between the concepts "political" and "social", and "labor" and "work", and between various forms of action, and then explores the implications of those distinctions. Her theory of political action, corresponding to the existence of a public realm, is extensively developed in this work. Arendt argues that, while human life always evolves within societies, the social-being part of human nature, political life, has been intentionally constructed by only a few of these societies as a space for individuals to achieve freedom through the construction of a common world. These conceptual categories, which attempt to bridge the gap between ontological and sociological structures, are sharply delineated. While Arendt relegates labor and work to the realm of the "social", she favors the human condition of action as the "political" that is both existential and aesthetic.

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Hannah Arendt" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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