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The Conditions of “Savages”

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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

Did Eichmann Think?

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Roger Berkowitz discusses Bettina Stangneth's book "Eichmann Before Jerusalem: The Unexamined Life of a Mass Murderer" and argues that Arendt's report on the banality of evil has withstood the test of time, history, and countless critiques. Posted on 7 September 2014 | 8:47 am

On Mark Lilla on Hannah Arendt

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Roger Berkowitz addresses a few of the common sources of anger and contempt that are leveled against Hannah Arendt's "Eichmann in Jerusalem." Posted on 6 September 2014 | 12:25 pm

Dr. Strangelove and the Banality of Evil

Indeed my opinion now is that evil is never “radical,” that it is only extreme, and that it possesses neither depth nor any demonic dimension. It can overgrow and lay waste the whole world precisely because it spreads like a fungus over the surface. It is ‘thought-defying,’ as I said, because thought tries to reach…Read more Dr. Strangelove and the Banality of Evil Posted on 17 March 2014 | 11:24 am

On Mark Lilla on Hannah Arendt

It is now more than 50 years since Hannah Arendt published Eichmann in Jerusalem. It is neither her best nor her most important book, yet it does contain essential and important insights. Above all, it offers us the example of a man who, as Arendt saw and understood him, moved fairly seamlessly from being an…Read more On Mark Lilla on Hannah Arendt Posted on 15 November 2013 | 2:21 pm

Performing thinking: Arendt’s Richard III

“It is better for you to suffer than to do wrong because you can remain the friend of the sufferer; who would want to be the friend of and have to live together with a murderer? Not even a murderer.  What kind of dialogue could you lead with him? Precisely the dialogue which Shakespeare let…Read more Performing thinking: Arendt’s Richard III Posted on 29 April 2013 | 11:32 am

Banality, Banality, Banality

When Gershom Scholem once wrote to Arendt that her phrase the “banality of evil” was a cliché, her response was swift: As far as she had known, nobody had ever used it before. The banality of evil was no common formulation worn meaningless by overuse. When she coined the phrase, it was a searing and…Read more Banality, Banality, Banality Posted on 18 April 2013 | 12:37 pm

Water and Desert: Perspectives in Education

For two years I taught literature, reading and writing at a public university in one of New York City’s outer Boroughs. Of course having come out of a liberal arts “thinking” institution what I really thought (maybe hoped) I was teaching was new perspectives. Ironically, the challenge that most struck me was not administrative, nor…Read more Water and Desert: Perspectives in Education Posted on 27 March 2013 | 10:11 am

A Christian Pope?

The white smoke ushered in a Pope from the New World, but one firmly planted in the old one. Pope Francis I is from Argentina but descended from Italy. According to the Arch-Bishop of Paris, quoted in The New York Times, the Pope was not of the Curia and not part of the Italian system.…Read more A Christian Pope? Posted on 15 March 2013 | 1:50 pm

“If”

My girlfriend and I walked by a clothing storefront and noticed the print on some of the t-shirts at the lower right corner of the window and went in. She had mentioned this Imaginary Foundation (IF) before. They make print t-shirts. I went to school at an expensive liberal arts college in the Hudson Valley—everyone…Read more “If” Posted on 6 February 2013 | 11:18 am