By Simon Swift
Hannah Arendt's paintings deals a strong serious engagement with the cultural and philosophical crises of mid-twentieth-century Europe. Her concept of the banality of evil, made recognized after her file at the trial of the Nazi conflict legal, Adolf Eichmann, continues to be arguable to this day.
In the face of 11th of September and the 'war on terror', Arendt's paintings at the politics of freedom and the rights of guy in a democratic kingdom are specially proper. Her impassioned plea for the construction of a public sphere via loose, severe pondering and discussion offers an important source for modern thought.
Covering her key principles from The Origins of Totalitarianism and The Human Condition as good as a few of her much less recognized texts, and focussing intimately on Arendt's concept of storytelling, this consultant brings Arendt's paintings into the twenty-first century whereas aiding scholars to appreciate its pressing relevance for the modern international.
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Additional resources for Hannah Arendt (Routledge Critical Thinkers)
It tells the story of how modern man’s understanding of himself, his society and his actions continues to be shaped by an inherited philosophical and theological world view, even though modernity understands itself to have initiated a radical break with the past. Reflecting on her life’s work in her last, in complete study, The Life of the Mind (1977), Arendt wrote: I have clearly joined the ranks of those who for some time now have been attempting to dismantle metaphysics, and philosophy with all its categories, as we have known them from their beginning in Greece until today.
The tragedy of the French Revolution of 1789 was repeated in 1848 as farce. CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE Writing in 1954, Arendt was certainly much more optimistic than Marx in 1852 about the possibility of revolutionary action really changing the order of things. Arendt claimed in a lecture from that year that ‘Under present circumstances, true action, namely, the beginning of something new, seems possible only in revolutions’ (EU: 437). Later, in an essay written in 1970 called ‘Civil Disobedience’, she wrote of how ‘[d]isobedience to the law, civil and criminal’ had become ‘a mass phenomenon in recent years’: Viewed from the outside and considered in historical perspective, no clearer writing on the wall – no more explicit sign of the inner instability and vulnerability of existing governments and legal systems – could be imagined.
For Arendt, storytelling became a key point of departure for this exhilarating new way of thinking. The Human Condition is itself a kind of story, the story of how modernity receives its identity from a tradition that it thinks it has surmounted. But Arendt was also an exceptionally acute and original reader of the stories told by others. She understood modern writing, particularly since the Romantic period, as a crucial record of the problems with social experience that her work also seeks to address.