The crisis of truth is upon us and for many this is a phenomenon associated with Donald Trump. But Hannah Arendt diagnosed the crisis of truth in modern politics over 60 years ago. And in her essay “Truth and Politics” Arendt argues that one foundation for that crisis is the loss of a non-political standpoint from which one can speak about the world and politics.
Hannah Arendt Center Associate Fellow Jana V. Schmidt writes about the publication of the first Critical Edition of Hannah Arendt’s Complete Works. Schmidt’s ranging engagement reaches out to the broader reception of Arendt’s work and the posthumously published volumes of her work.
Hannah Arendt worried greatly about the rise of science. She took Niels Bohr seriously when he argued that “causality, determinism, and necessity of laws belonged to the categories of ‘our necessarily prejudiced conceptual frame’.” The new physics “defies description in terms of the ‘prejudices’ of the human mind[and] defies description in every conceivable way of human language.” Which is one reason why Albert Einstein...
In The Point’s “Quarantine Journal” Dawn Herrera Helphand reflects upon Hannah Arendt’s observation of the “infectious charm and petit Bonheur of the French way of life.” Herrera Helphand argues that Arendt’s reflection is a critique of petit bourgeois materialism to make the case against “coziness” in late capitalism.
Jill Lepore writes about the literature of epidemics, looking back at great works about plagues by Daniel Defoe, Mary Shelley, Edgar Allan Poe, Jack London, Stephen King, Albert Camus, and Jose Saramago. What all plague literature shares is, first, the knowledge that the plague threatens the human world, that is “cuts away the higher realms, the loftiest capacities of humanity, and leaves only the animal.”
Before the Corona pandemic we were already facing a loneliness epidemic. And now, with mandatory self-isolation, many are worried about what kind of impact this enforced aloneness will have for individuals. Hannah Arendt draws an important distinction between solitude and loneliness.