“Human plurality, the basic condition of both action and speech, has the twofold character of equality and distinction.” Arendt sets plurality as the foundation of her understanding of man as a political being. According to plurality, we are all equal, which means we can understand each other and those ancestors who came before us and those will come after us. And yet, as distinct, we need to seek to make ourselves understood.
We’re here to talk about organizing on the ground. I actually wrote a book about that subject, which I’m going to plug shamelessly.1 I could talk about many, many different examples of organizing and how that builds and sustains social movements; I’m sure we’ll get into many more of them in the Q&A, and I’m happy to answer questions about anyone that you can think of.
By Jana Schmidt
In “Regarding the Cave” the Italian feminist philosopher Adriana Cavarero offers a reading of Plato’s allegory of the cave that expands on an interpretation of that same narrative by Hannah Arendt. Cavarero is perhaps the first to notice how Arendt’s remarks in “Tradition and the Modern Age,” “What is Authority?,” and The Human Condition connect, how together they form a spirited critique of Western philosophy, and...
On Monday, February 10th, Jamaican novelist Nicole Dennis-Benn visited Bard College as the first speaker of the 2020 Courage to Be lecture series. She is a public health researcher turned professional writer and the author of the acclaimed novel Patsy. Her work deals with issues of homophobia, sexualization of girls, socioeconomic disparities, and themes of identity and love.
Adam Steinbaugh reports on the decision by Babson College to fire an adjunct faculty member after complaints were made about social media posts he wrote in response to President Trump’s tweet threatening to bomb Iranian cultural sites. After Asheen Phansey suggested that Iran might offer a list of American cultural institutions to attack, Babson was criticized widely for supporting an anti-American professor who was calling for attacks on American cultural sites.
Masha Gessen interviews Judith Butler for The New Yorker. Butler’s new book, “The Force of Nonviolence” tackles the way we can imagine “an entirely new way for humans to live together in the world.” In the interview, Butler addresses questions of nonviolence, equality, and the liberal notion of individualism.
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...
Bard College Professor Justus Rosenberg has written a book about his Time in the Pyenees: Walter Benjamin, Heinrich Mann, and More, working with the Varian Fry and the Emergency Rescue Committee.
When Hannah Arendt went to study with Martin Heidegger, he was known as the “magician from Marbach,” because he made Plato and Aristotle come to life. As Arendt later reflected, people went to study with Heidegger to learn how to think. In an insightful and graceful essay, George Steiner takes on Hannah Arendt’s relationship with Martin Heidegger, in a review essay of their correspondence: “The Magician in Love.”