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A Student’s Personal Arendt Library

In this week's Library feature, we appreciate a student's personal Arendt library. Posted on 13 March 2015 | 10:44 am

Machine-man and man-machines in the last stage of the laboring society

“The last stage of the laboring society, the society of job holders, demands of its members a sheer automatic functioning, as though individual life had actually been submerged in the over-all life process of the species and the only active decision still required of the individual were to let go, so to speak, to abandon…Read more Machine-man and man-machines in the last stage of the laboring society Posted on 26 August 2013 | 2:59 pm

No Middle Ground

David Simon, writer of “The Wire,” has a great post responding to my recent essay on the “Misreading of ‘Eichmann in Jerusalem.’” Simon writes: Reading this essay, I began to understand that it suits no one of an ideological bent to land anywhere in the middle on the question of who the Eichmanns are and…Read more No Middle Ground Posted on 10 July 2013 | 10:20 am

Habermas on Arendt’s Conception of Power

Jürgen Habermas sees Arendt as usefully placing emphasis on the origin of power as opposed to its means of employment. In contrast to Max Weber, who understands power in terms of particular individuals seeking to realize a fixed goal, she separates power from the telos (end), developing what Habermas calls a theory of power as…Read more Habermas on Arendt’s Conception of Power Posted on 21 February 2013 | 10:40 am

Infinitely Intoxicating

Louis Pasteur once wrote: I see everywhere in the world, the inevitable expression of the concept of infinity…. The idea of God is nothing more than one form of the idea of infinity. So long as the mystery of the infinite weighs on the human mind, so long will temples be raised to the cult…Read more Infinitely Intoxicating Posted on 11 January 2013 | 12:38 pm

The Destiny of Freedom from Kant to Heidegger

The modern era is the age of the enlightenment, in which man throws off the shackles of religion and tradition and stands on his own feet. And yet it hardly seems as if we are living in the age of freedom. In an age of mass bureaucracy and scientific determinism, we are more wont to…Read more The Destiny of Freedom from Kant to Heidegger Posted on 9 November 2012 | 12:27 pm

In Memorium – Jacques Barzun

“Teaching is not a lost art but the regard 
for it is a lost tradition. Hence tomorrow’s problem will not be to 
get teachers, but to recognize the good ones and not discourage them
 before they have done their stint.” —Jacques Barzun, Teacher in
 America Jacques Barzun has died. With his passing we lose another…Read more In Memorium – Jacques Barzun Posted on 26 October 2012 | 12:03 pm

The Highest Law of the Land

“The highest laws of the land (America) are not only the constitution and constitutional laws, but also contracts.” -Hannah Arendt, Denktagebuch, p. 131 Having published The Origins of Totalitarianism, Arendt turned her attention  to the country around her.  In a sequence of entries in her Denktagebuch for September 1951, she starts by referring to America…Read more The Highest Law of the Land Posted on 30 July 2012 | 12:30 pm

Smart Guys on Wall Street

Nicholas Kristof asks the profound question today in his column: Is banking bad? He gives the equally enlightening answer: no. Only if you read down to the end of the column filled with such nuggets do you find the one truly revealing fact: In 2007, on the eve of the financial crisis, 47 percent of…Read more Smart Guys on Wall Street Posted on 19 January 2012 | 3:30 pm

In This Political Year in Which We Will Elect a New President

Just yesterday Republican Candidate and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich began running a television ad called “Timid or Bold.”  The point is to contrast his own apparently bold leadership with Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney’s supposedly timid style—a style and substance the ad compares with that of Barack Obama. Only Gingrich, so the…Read more In This Political Year in Which We Will Elect a New President Posted on 6 January 2012 | 5:09 pm