Hannah Arendt

***Happy Birthday, Hannah Arendt…!!!***

She was a German-born political theorist. Though often described as a philosopher, she rejected that label on the grounds that philosophy is concerned with “man in the singular” and instead described herself as a political theorist because her work centers on the fact that “men, not Man, live on the earth and inhabit the world.” An assimilated Jew, she escaped Europe during the Holocaust and became an American citizen. Her works deal with the nature of power, and the subjects of politics, direct democracy, authority, and totalitarianism. The Hannah Arendt Prize is named in her honor.

In the intended third volume of The Life of Mind, Arendt was planning to engage the faculty of judgment by appropriating Kant’s Critique of Judgment; however, she did not live to write it. Nevertheless, although her notion of judging remains unknown, Arendt did leave manuscripts (“Thinking and Moral Considerations,” “Some Questions on Moral Philosophy,”) and lectures (Lectures on Kant’s Political Philosophy) concerning her thoughts on this mental faculty. The first two articles were edited and published by Jerome Kohn, an assistant of Arendt and a director of Hannah Arendt Center at The New School, and the last was edited and published by Ronald Beiner, professor of political science at the University of Toronto. Her personal library was deposited at Bard College at the Stevenson Library in 1976, and includes approximately 4,000 books, ephemera, and pamphlets from Arendt’s last apartment. The college has begun archiving some of the collection digitally, which is available at The Hannah Arendt Collection.

 

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