on Arendt’s the Origins of Totalitarianism


[I’ll post some more from my course on Arendt this semester. I began with Aristotle and Rousseau to set up the work for her. I gave an overview of her work the previous class and here we dive in, a bit, while noting common critiques of her work. Nevertheless in class, it was clear from questions that Arendt’s questioning of what to say about the ‘innocent’–those who history sometimes makes completely passive entities–was central.]

Hannah Arendt, Origins of Totalitarianism

Prefaces, 3-10, pp. 54-88

Wednesday 3 February, 2016

At the end of “On the Nature of Totalitarianism,” which we read for Monday, Arendt writes, “[T]he experience of the materially and sensually given world depends, in the last analysis, upon the fact that not one man, but men in the plural inhabit the earth” (EU, 360). Let me begin by noting that we should make sure to step back more…

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