Hannah Arendt’s The Human Condition is not about human nature. Arendt says little if anything about what it means to be human in the sense of our natural humanity. Her inquiry is premised on the fact that we humans are conditioned beings, that we are born into an already existing world. That world is made through human artifice; it also conditions us humans insofar as we must live and die in a humanly built world.
“The pursuit of happiness” must be the most poetic phrase in the Constitution. Of course, the language throughout is elegant, the “felicity of pen” of Thomas Jefferson. However, his way about the pursuit of happiness grabs me by the heartstrings. No doubt this term lifted from Kant’s, “life, liberty, and property’ drew Arendt’s attention.
On the publication of the anthology “Denkräume”:
Jana Marlene Mader
Hannah Arendt’s spaces of thinking and on ours today
In “The Life of the Mind”, Hannah Arendt argues that thinking is a rebellion against the tyranny of time and a safeguard against the terror of our own finiteness. She notes that cognition removes us from the present while pondering where the thinking ego is located:
Jacob Blake was shot seven times in the back by three police officers as he was reaching into his car with his three children in the back seat. All cautionary rhetoric aside—we don't know the full story, he may have been reaching for a weapon, he was clearly not listening to the police—one fact is not in dispute to anyone watching the video of the attempted murder: Jacob Blake did not deserve to be shot seven times from behind and paralyzed.
Carmen Lea Dege writes about the resurgence of interest in existentialism amidst the Covid crisis. Tracing the history of existentialism in the 20thcentury, Dege looks at Hannah Arendt’s two essays on the problems of German and French existentialism while thinking about how Heidegger and Jaspers influenced her understanding of evil..
Politics and truth, Hannah Arendt reminds us, have never been on good terms. "Lies have always been regarded as necessary and justifiable tools not only of the politician's or the demagogue's but also of the statesman's trade." And yet, Arendt raises the question of "what injury political power is capable of inflicting upon truth."
On May 28, 1975, then Senator Joe Biden wrote a letter to Hannah Arendt.
Dear Miss Arendt, I read in a recent article by Tom Wicker of a paper that you read at the Boston Bicentennial Forum. As a member of the Foreign Relations Committee of the Senate, I am most interested in receiving a copy of your paper. Thank you. Sincerely, Joseph R. Biden Jr. United State Senator.
Adolph Reed is a son of the segregated South, a native of New Orleans who organized poor Black people and antiwar soldiers in the late 1960s and became a leading Socialist scholar at a trio of top universities.