In the recent podcast on Arendt, Freedom, and Protest on the Political Theory Podcast, host Toby Buckle asks Roger Berkowitz why Hannah Arendt is so loved today. One answer comes from Jeremy Clarke who writes about his love affair with Hannah Arendt’s thinking, which he first encountered on a BBC radio show In Our Time.
In the last Amor Mundi Newsletter we linked to an essay by Giorgio Agamben where he embraced a rightly discredited theory that the Corona Virus was not worse than the flu, and that governments were hyping the dangers of the virus in order to justify repression and discipline. Agamben has since recognized his mistake and has now published a follow up called “Clarifications.”
The European Journal of Psychoanalysis has published a symposium “Coronavirus and Philosophers.” It begins with an excerpt from Michel Foucault’s Discipline and Punish about the quarantine of a town during the plague in the 17th century.
Eitan Hersh argues that college-educated voters only think they are engaged in politics, while what “they are doing is no closer to engaging in politics than watching SportsCenter is to playing football.” When college-educated voters donate online, follow the polls, and become fans of a candidate, they are less doing politics than participating in a spectator sport as spectators. And these hobbyists, Hersh writes, are hurting American politics.
In an essay on Hannah Arendt in a series on the Great Thinkers, Finn Bowring rightly focuses on Arendt’s worry about the power of intellectual elites. At home in abstraction and theories, intellectuals have an uncanny ability to lose themselves in flights of fancy and reject or deny the facts of this world. The philosophical temptation is to live amongst logically coherent fictions and deny those real facts that frustrate their beautiful forms.
This is not a post about a particular political candidate. Nellie Bowles writes about “The Dirtbag Left,” which is the left’s answer to Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, a hate-filled brand of populist outrage that is taking over a large fringe of the progressive movement.
What are the great problems facing the country? If one follows the political theatrics these days, it is whether we should have Medicare for all or Medicare for all who want it. Add to that questions about how much to tax billionaires and the middle class, how many immigrants should be welcomed, and National Disclosure Agreements. Arguably, however...
In an essay on Arendt in this year’s Critique 13/13 Seminars, Seyla Benhabib asks whether it makes sense to read Hannah Arendt’s The Human Condition as a core text in the somewhat arcane world of critical theory. For Benahabib, Arendt’s text is “critical” insofar as it “shares with the Marxist tradition a critique of the alienation of the homo faber from the products...