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Arendt, Social Change, and History

We appreciate the annotations Arendt made to her copy of Nisbet's "Social Change and History" in this week's Library feature. Posted on 7 January 2016 | 8:00 pm

Amor Mundi 9/13/15

In this week's Amor Mundi, we reflect on the state of fear in contemporary America, explore the true societal impact of colleges, and much more! Posted on 13 September 2015 | 8:01 pm

Amor Mundi 7/12/15

In our Amor Mundi, we reflect on the exceptional place the black church holds in American culture, discuss the importance of encryption, and much more! Posted on 12 July 2015 | 8:01 pm

The Conditions of “Savages”

Michiel Bot discusses how Arendt's use of the term "savages" and "Dark Continent" in The Origins of Totalitarianism can advance our political thinking. Posted on 13 April 2015 | 10:00 am

Totalitarianism and the Sand Storm

“If this practice [of totalitarianism] is compared with […] [the desert] of tyranny, it seems as if a way had been found to set the desert itself in motion, to let loose a sand storm that could cover all parts of the inhabited earth. The conditions under which we exist today in the field of…Read more Totalitarianism and the Sand Storm Posted on 3 February 2014 | 9:30 am

Amor Mundi 9/8/13

Hannah Arendt considered calling her magnum opus Amor Mundi: Love of the World. Instead, she settled upon The Human Condition. What is most difficult, Arendt writes, is to love the world as it is, with all the evil and suffering in it. And yet she came to do just that. Loving the world means neither…Read more Amor Mundi 9/8/13 Posted on 9 September 2013 | 1:49 pm

In the Age of Big Data, Should We Live in Awe of Machines?

In 1949, The New York Times asked Norbert Wiener, author of Cybernetics, to write an essay for the paper that expressed his ideas in simple form. For editorial and other reasons, Wiener’s essay never appeared and was lost. Recently, a draft of the never-published essay was found in the MIT archives. Written now 64 years…Read more In the Age of Big Data, Should We Live in Awe of Machines? Posted on 7 June 2013 | 3:21 pm

Arnold Gehlen on Arendt’s The Human Condition

Arnold Gehlen,”Vom tätigen Leben (Hannah Arendt)”, Merkur Vol. 159 (1961) 482-6. The conservative anthropologist Arnold Gehlen fell out of favor in post WWII Germany largely due to his support of the Nazis: he joined the party in 1933 but continued to teach after the war following a “denazification” process. However, with the recent rediscovery of…Read more Arnold Gehlen on Arendt’s The Human Condition Posted on 7 May 2013 | 9:46 am

Geography is not Destiny

How are we to explain the formation and collapse of the world’s great empires in the sweep of human history? And what might the fates of past civilizations suggest about the global political scene in the present and future? Such questions are the focus of Robert D. Kaplan’s recent book, The Revenge of Geography (2012),…Read more Geography is not Destiny Posted on 5 February 2013 | 2:37 pm

A Sorry Bunch of Dwarfs

Freeman Dyson, the eclectic physicist, took good aim at philosophy last week in a review of the silly book by Jim Holt, Why Does the World Exist?” An Existential Detective Story. Holt went around to “a portrait gallery of leading modern philosophers,” and asked them the Leibnizian question: Why is there something rather than nothing?”…Read more A Sorry Bunch of Dwarfs Posted on 5 November 2012 | 3:05 pm