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Amor Mundi, June 12th 2016

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, June 12th 2016 Posted on 12 June 2016 | 8:00 pm

A Higher Understanding of Freedom

Education carries a heavy burden for Arendt. As in politics, we declare our love for the world, both or own and the world of future generations. To say that education is in crisis, then, is for Arendt not to lament the fact that “Johnny can’t read.” It is to acknowledge a generalized dissatisfaction with and alienation from the world that has us say to our children, “[i]n this world even we are not very securely at home….You must try to make out as best you can; in any case you are not entitled to call us to account. We are innocent, we wash our hands of you.” Posted on 25 April 2016 | 8:30 am

Thinking What We Are Doing in the Condition of Plurality

Central to Arendt’s call for us to “think what we are doing” is for us to think about politics as occurring under the condition of plurality. But we often lack a language appropriate to think in these terms. Posted on 4 April 2016 | 8:45 am

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

Video Archives – Panel One of “The Burden of Our Times” (2009)

A new weekly feature on the Blog, the Arendt Center uses its video archives to remember all of the exciting events it has hosted over the years. This week, it revisits the first panel of its second annual fall conference, "The Burden of Our Times." Posted on 3 July 2014 | 11:38 am

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

Hannah Arendt’s Denktagebuch

Futility of action = need for permanence— Poetry or body politic Natalität -Hannah Arendt, Denktagebuch,  October 1953 (volume 1, p. 61) Arendt’s Thought Diary (Denktagebuch) contains fascinating reflective engagements that span the history of western thought from Plato to Heidegger. The form of the entries is as striking as their content: Arendt employs not only…Read more Hannah Arendt’s Denktagebuch Posted on 29 July 2013 | 11:59 am

When Power is Lost

Power is actualized only where word and deed have not parted company, where words are not empty and deeds not brutal, where words are not used to veil intentions but to disclose realities, and where deeds are not used to violate and destroy but to establish relations and create new realities.  -Hannah Arendt, The Human…Read more When Power is Lost Posted on 14 January 2013 | 11:46 am

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

Uday Mehta: Gandhi and Political Truthfulness

“No one,” Hannah Arendt wrote, “has ever doubted that truth and politics are on rather bad terms with each other, and no one, as far as I know, has ever counted truthfulness among the political virtues.” That politics does and also needs deception is an ancient insight. Lies have long been regarded as necessary tools…Read more Uday Mehta: Gandhi and Political Truthfulness Posted on 31 July 2011 | 5:43 am