Hannah Arendt Center Conferences
[Lunchtime Talk with Michael Weinman]

Hannah Arendt Center presents:

Lunchtime Talk with Michael Weinman

Monday, October 1, 2018 Arendt Center
12:00 pm – 1:30 pm

Arendt after Postmodernity: Humanistic Social Research and Contemporary Political Culture

This event occurs on:  Mon. October 1, 12 pm – 1:30 pm

In this presentation I seek to sketch out, in an initial and proleptic fashion, two pairs of questions that set out an agenda for research into "life after postmodernity" on the basis of Arendt’s practice of “thinking without banisters.” The first pair is: (A) How, after what Adorno and Arendt identified as 20th-century barbarism, is it possible to articulate a critical assessment of "the Western tradition" that does not amount to rejectionism? (B) Why, can it be argued, is it worthwhile or even necessary to do so? The second pair is: (A) When we do engage the tradition in this way—as did, among others, Kantorowicz and Strauss—how and where do we find the points of continuity between earlier forms and institutions of late-modern civil society not subject to the critique of modern barbarism? (B) On what basis, and through which Weltanschauung, is it possible to offer a robust defense of such forms and such institutions?

Answering such questions requires that we cross social research (historical and sociological, principally) into the facts subtending political modernity with normative reflection on our position as engaged public intellectuals fulfilling—insofar as we are able—our unique role within the thriving civil society without which modern democratic republicanism cannot exist. As such, 100 years after Weber's "Wissenschaft als Beruf" lecture, it remains for us to face the implications of Arendt’s own recognition that the ideal of value-free (social) science must be sublated, without succumbing to a vision of public life where “each it entitled to his own facts.”

Time: 12:00 pm
Date: October 1st
Location: Hannah Arendt Center Seminar Room

Invitation Only | RSVP required. Email cstanton@bard.edu