Political Science Hannah Arendt
by
Steven Maloney
  • LAST REVIEWED: 04 May 2015
  • LAST MODIFIED: 22 April 2013
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199756223-0090

Introduction

Hannah Arendt (b. 1906–d. 1975) was a singular political theorist and a voracious reader. Arendt’s works show traces of influence from a diverse cross-section of political writers. Her works are noted for their similarities to the civic republic tradition, existential philosophy, critical theory, and pragmatism, to name a few. Despite these influences, her work is difficult to pigeonhole into any single category. Her academic voice and theoretical positions also changed over time. Indeed, her work can be compared to that of a painter who composes sketches and studies to work out the contours of form and method before creating a major work. Arendt’s diverse “sketches and studies,” as well as the breadth of her references and influences, have resulted in divergent interpretations of her work from academics and readers alike.

General Overviews

The breadth of Hannah Arendt’s writings makes crafting a general overview a challenging task. Canovan 1994, Benhabib 2003, and Pitkin 1998 are the three most influential interpretations of Arendt’s work. Hill 1979 is frequently cited as the most important collection of essays on Arendt, but the book is hard to find in print. Villa 2002 offers a strong contemporary collection of essays that detail Arendt’s work. Kateb 1984 offers a portrait of Arendt that details her unique characteristics in light of the time and place in which she lived. McGowan 1998 is useful for readers who favor concise explanations of theory. Villa 1999 provides a valuable rebuttal to modern criticisms of Arendt.

  • Benhabib, Seyla. The Reluctant Modernism of Hannah Arendt. New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2003.

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    Benhabib argues that the human condition is not the central text of Hannah Arendt’s political thought. Further, she argues that Arendt’s work can be primarily understood as a form of “phenomenological essentialism” that derives from Heidegger, Husserl, and Jaspers’s influence.

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  • Canovan, Margaret. Hannah Arendt: A Reinterpretation of Her Political Thought. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1994.

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    Probably the most well-known overview of Hannah Arendt’s political thought. Canovan interprets Arendt’s major writings chapter by chapter, aiming for a clear explanation of her text over scholarly critique.

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  • Hill, Melvyn A., ed. The Recovery of the Public World. New York: St. Martin’s, 1979.

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    One of the most-cited collections of essays on Hannah Arendt. Also included at the end of the book is the transcript of a panel discussion with Arendt herself, featuring C. B. Macpherson, Mary McCarthy, Richard Bernstein, and Hans Morgenthau.

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  • Kateb, George. Hannah Arendt: Politics, Conscience, Evil. New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 1984

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    Kateb explores what he calls “disquieting” topics in Arendt’s work including her disdain for self-interest and her apparent rejection of choosing the lesser of two evils as morally acceptable political behavior.

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  • McGowan, John. Hannah Arendt: An Introduction. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1998.

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    A good introduction to Arendt and her work, as the book is short and focused. McGowan introduces Arendt in a way that does not invite the vertigo that often accompanies attempts to present a broad picture of her thought.

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  • Pitkin, Hanna Fenichel. The Attack of the Blob. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998.

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    Pitkin’s “blob hypothesis” reads Hannah Arendt’s description of “the social” as a shapeless form that invades new areas of the modern world and grows as it feeds. Pitkin argues Arendt’s view of society as “the blob” is a theoretical mistake.

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  • Villa, Dana R. Politics, Philosophy, Terror. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1999.

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    Takes on a variety of topics, with each chapter detailing a self-contained argument. Chapter 2’s commentary on Eichmann in Jerusalem and chapter 3’s defense of Arendt’s critical distance from Martin Heidegger offer a strong defense of Arendt’s theories in the face of relevant criticisms.

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  • Villa, Dana R., ed. The Cambridge Companion to Hannah Arendt. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2002.

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    A collection of essays that provides an overview of Hannah Arendt’s political thought. The contributor list is peopled with Arendt scholarship’s top names, and the authors span multiple academic disciplines.

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Arendt’s Works

Hannah Arendt’s articles, essays, books, and personal correspondence provide the reader with a wealth of direct source material, but this wealth also complicates as much as it clarifies. Arendt scholars have so much material to choose from that sorting the “noisy data” of her writing becomes a cumbersome task. Sub-categorization of her works and their significance may offer some assistance in this regard.

Major Works

Five of Arendt’s major works best represent her philosophy and writings. Arendt 1973 was a major intellectual contribution to the theoretical understanding of totalitarianism, though the book’s radical critique of traditionalist history and culture did not catch on. Arendt 1998 tried to reformulate her belief in the limits of rigidly patterned thought to anticipate history and understanding the enterprise of forming collective political morals. Arendt 1965 served as a comparative study between the French and American revolutions to show how the rigid approach to moralism and history of the French (and later Russian) revolutionary experience led to ruin, whereas the pragmatic approach of the American experience proved more successful. Arendt 1964 was Arendt’s most controversial book. Her coverage of Adolf Eichmann’s trial sparked public outrage from many corners of the Western world. Arendt’s characterization of evil as “banal” offended many people, but the claim is best understood in terms of Arendt’s doubt that there is a moral faculty that confers responsibility and guilt based on how that faculty wills actions. Arendt explains this theory in more detail in Arendt 1981.

  • Arendt, Hannah. Eichmann in Jerusalem. New York: Penguin, 1964.

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    Arendt’s report on the Eichmann trial details the farcical attempt to morally upbraid a human being who is so shallow that he is unavailable to feelings of guilt. Often overlooked is Arendt’s comparative study of the European response to the “Final Solution.”

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  • Arendt, Hannah. On Revolution. New York: Penguin, 1965.

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    A comparative study of the two traditions of modern revolution. Arendt argues that the first model, the American Revolution, met with historical success, whereas the French revolutionary model met with failure. She notes the irony that the language of modern politics is saturated with the language of the French tradition.

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  • Arendt, Hannah. The Origins of Totalitarianism. New York: Harcourt, 1973.

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    While a history in part, Origins also, by being a strange kind of historical story, makes an argument about the pluralistic ways in which we can think about history that not only calls into question conventional methods of cataloguing history but also our motives for desiring conventional historical analysis.

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  • Arendt, Hannah. The Life of the Mind. New York: Harcourt, 1981.

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    Published posthumously, unfinished, and meticulously edited by Mary McCarthy. The possible conclusion of the book is subject to intense speculation among Arendt scholars. With the most critical piece of the book, “Judging,” never completed, the book has exasperated many readers in its incomplete incarnation.

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  • Arendt, Hannah. The Human Condition. 2d ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998.

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    The second edition is preferable to the first edition, mostly for Margaret Canovan’s introduction. Arendt is skeptical of economic and technical instrumentalism in all of its forms (capitalism, Marxism, behaviorism, etc.) and traces the revaluation of the values attached to human activity from Ancient Greece to the modern age.

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Minor Works

The books listed here as minor works are pieces of the larger puzzle of Arendt’s work, and not the centerpiece of her intellectual career. Arendt 1961 and Arendt 1972 contain essays that express new ideas but are probably best considered as sketches and studies executed in preparation for her major works. Arendt likely had the never-completed “Introduction into Politics” in mind when drafting Arendt 1972. Arendt liked to play with ideas and concepts in her sketch work the way that an artist might play with light, color, or perspective. In Arendt 1974, the book-length sketch portrays Rahel Varnhagen. Arendt 1996 plays with the perceived boundaries between existentialist philosophy and classical and Christian philosophy, and Arendt 1992 gives readers a glimpse into the sketch work done in preparation for the never completed “Judging” section of Arendt 1981, cited under Major Works.

  • Arendt, Hannah. Between Past and Future. New York: Penguin, 1961.

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    Eight essays (originally six with two added in later printings) and a preface by Arendt. The essays serve as the most direct theoretical bridge between The Human Condition and the unfinished “The Life of the Mind.”

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  • Arendt, Hannah. Crises of the Republic. New York: Harcourt, 1972.

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    Contains three essays and an interview with Adelbert Reif. Throughout, Arendt appears to be working through her concept of action and the political by examining types of action (“Civil Disobedience,” “On Violence”) and the cost of de-prioritizing power (“Lying in Politics”).

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  • Arendt, Hannah. Rahel Varnhagen: The Life of a Jewess. New York: Harcourt, 1974.

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    An important Arendt writing for two reasons: (1) it is the primary source of use (and abuse) of psychological interpretations of Arendt; (2) it establishes the pariah/parvenu distinction that largely defines Arendt’s views on identity.

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  • Arendt, Hannah. Lectures on Kant’s Political Philosophy. Edited by Ronald Beiner. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992.

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    Features meticulously edited lecture notes of two Hannah Arendt lectures on Immanuel Kant. Beiner’s edition of the notes speculates as to what Arendt may have said had she lived to complete “Judging.”

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  • Arendt, Hannah. Love and Saint Augustine. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996.

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    A printed translation of Hannah Arendt’s dissertation. Arendt had begun to prepare the text for publication, so even though the piece was released posthumously in English, there is strong reason to believe that Arendt still found this work relevant in her later life.

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Collections

There are many collections of Arendt’s short writings available to the interested reader. Arendt herself authorized Arendt 1970, and Arendt 2000 combined some of Arendt’s more interesting and controversial articles (“Reflections on Little Rock,” for example) with excerpts from some of Arendt’s longer pieces. The explosion in the availability of Arendt’s pieces in English is owed to Jerome Kohn, who released a series of collections: Arendt 1994, Arendt 2003, Arendt 2005, and Arendt 2007. Arendt 1994 was a more general collection of unpublished papers that shows the breadth of material Arendt always presented in her thinking. The other Kohn collections are intended to focus on specific topics of controversy in Arendt scholarship. Arendt 2003 was released in part to provide more textual evidence for readers interested in figuring out Arendt’s theory of judgment that she was unable to complete before dying (see the section on Kant). Arendt 2005 provides source material on another unfinished Arendt project, what she called an “Introduction into Politics.” Arendt 2007 provides source material about Arendt’s views on being Jewish, invaluable for clearing up sloppier claims about her motives in covering the trial of Adolf Eichmann. The Hannah Arendt Papers at the Library of Congress maintains and has digitized a massive collection of Arendt’s personal papers as well. Some of these papers require fluency in German. The Hannah Arendt Collection shares Arendt’s book collection with digitized comments Arendt made in the margins.

Personal Letters

Arendt’s collected personal correspondences have become a focal point dangerously out of proportion to their value in explaining Arendt’s major works. Many of the letter chains are fragmentary and leave readers in danger of reading what they find interpretively convenient rather than interpretively justifiable. Arendt and McCarthy 1996 is, perhaps surprisingly, the most intellectual of the correspondences in terms of subject matter. With relationships firmly settled between the other parties, questions and exchanges between McCarthy and Arendt crackle a bit more than the mundane familiarity that can predominate in Arendt and Blucher 2000 or Arendt and Jaspers 1992. Arendt and Heidegger 2004 is a largely one-sided conversation, as many more of Heidegger’s letters survived than Arendt’s (especially early on, when Arendt’s letters to Heidegger would not be something Heidegger would want discovered). While interesting in some of the details, the sampling issues of the Arendt/Heidegger correspondence casts serious doubt on some of the generalizations that have been drawn from them. Finally, Arendt 2002 might be seen as a correspondence between Arendt and herself, as her Denktagebuch was literally a diary of thoughts: her first private workings out of the ideas and subjects that would be refined into her political theory.

  • Arendt, Hannah. Denktagebuch. Edited by Ursula Ludz and Ingeborg Nordmann. Munich: Piper Verlag, 2002.

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    Arendt’s “thought book,” a twenty-eight notebook diary of Hannah Arendt’s working out of questions and concepts for the first time. In German.

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  • Arendt, Hannah, and Heinrich Blucher. Within Four Walls: The Correspondence Between Hannah Arendt and Heinrich Blucher, 1936–1968. Edited by Lotte Kohler and translated by Peter Constantine. New York: Harcourt, 2000.

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    Correspondences between Arendt and her husband Heinrich Blucher, a Marxist thinker and a gifted lecturer on politics in his own right. For professional academics, seeing two giants in the New York intellectual scene experience the same job difficulties that we do today may prove interesting.

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  • Arendt, Hannah, and Martin Heidegger. Letters: 1925–1975. Edited by Ursula Ludz and translated by Andrew Shields. Orlando, FL: Harcourt, 2004.

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    Released in part to show the impoverished state of the source material for Ettinger’s book. Also features poetry written by Arendt and Heidegger that shows their immense creative power while giving us an offstage account of Arendt’s reconciliation with Elfride and Martin Heidegger.

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  • Arendt, Hannah, and Karl Jaspers. Correspondence: 1926–1969. Edited by Lotte Kohler and Hans Saner and translated by Robert Kimber and Rita Kimber. New York: Harcourt, 1992.

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    The largest volume of Arendt correspondence ever published, these letters chronicle Arendt’s attempt to bring Jaspers’ ideas to America, Jaspers’ following of Arendt’s career, life as survivors of the Holocaust, growing old, and the world of intellectuals they lived among.

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  • Arendt, Hannah, and Mary McCarthy. Between Friends: The Correspondence of Hannah Arendt and Mary McCarthy, 1949–1975. Edited by Carol Brightman. London: Secker and Warburg, 1996.

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    These letters reveal the striking gulf between McCarthy’s “Anglo” education and Arendt’s “Continental” education. Their conversations highlight their different backgrounds, but they also show how their passions for learning and thinking form the heart of their friendship.

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Anthologies

There are a number of good essay collections by other scholars about Hannah Arendt that have no real particular focus or unifying theme. Kaplan and Kessler 1989 and Calhoun and McGowan 1997 offer a useful sampling of the kinds of questions serious Arendt scholars consider. May and Kohn 1996 is a collection of essays about Arendt that commemorates the twentieth anniversary of her death, and Benhabib 2010 and Berkowitz, et al. 2010 were released to commemorate the centenary of Arendt’s birth.

Biographies

Arendt’s personal history is a fascinating tale in and of itself, and her intellectual biography is a source of some of the sharper points of contention in understanding her writing. Young-Bruehl 1982 offers the definitive story of Hannah Arendt’s personal life and must be the starting place for placing Arendt’s thinking in a personal context. Kristeva 2001 and Jay and Botstein 1979 both explore Arendt’s intellectual biography. Ettinger 1995 focuses on a particular incident in Arendt’s life, her affair with Martin Heidegger, and portrays Arendt as held under the spell of her charismatic professor. Maier-Katkin and Maier-Katkin 2007 examines Arendt’s personal relationship with Heidegger by focusing on the couple’s postwar reconciliation, where it interprets Arendt’s approach to forgiveness as a mature decision rather than a star-struck student’s search for approval.

  • Ettinger, Elzbieta. Hannah Arendt/Martin Heidegger. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1995.

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    Details the personal relationship between Martin Heidegger and Hannah Arendt by focusing largely on the correspondences between the two (see Arendt and Heidegger 2004, cited under Personal Letters). Many Arendt scholars object to Arendt’s portrayal in the book: the subsequent publication of Ettinger’s source material allows any interested reader to be their own judge.

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  • Jay, Martin, and Leon Botstein. “Hannah Arendt: Opposing Views.” Partisan Review 45.3 (1979): 349–380.

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    A sharp, clearly articulated exchange between two dramatically different views on Hannah Arendt’s intellectual life and its legacy.

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  • Kristeva, Julia. Hannah Arendt. Translated by Ross Guberman. New York: Columbia University Press, 2001.

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    An intellectual history of Hannah Arendt arguing that Arendt was interested in studying “life” above all else and explains Arendt’s works in these terms while being careful not to collapse Arendt’s thoughts on life into mainstream existentialism.

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  • Maier-Katkin, Daniel, and Birgit Maier-Katkin. “Love and Reconciliation: The Case of Hannah Arendt and Martin Heidegger.” Harvard Review 32 (2007): 34–48.

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    A paper that examines the relationship between Heidegger and Arendt from the perspective that Arendt’s decision to forgive Heidegger was based on serious, thoughtful reflection on Arendt’s part that evolved slowly over the course of her postwar life.

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  • Young-Bruehl, Elisabeth. For the Love of the World. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1982.

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    The authoritative source on Hannah Arendt’s life. For the Love of the World is a singular story that treats both Arendt’s life and work as revealing of her political philosophy.

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Democratic Theory

Hannah Arendt has contributed, either directly or through her interpreters, to many facets of democratic theory scholarship. Habermas 1977 and Jacobitti 1991 both claim Arendt as a deliberative democrat. Kateb 1983 and Isaac 1994 both discuss Arendt’s commitment to representative democracy even as she notes its shortcomings. Rodriguez 2008 reminds Arendt readers not to fall into the trap of thinking that Arendt’s critique of technocracy is the equivalent to being completely opposed to public administration. Hansen 1993 argues that Arendt’s political thought indirectly admits to an endorsement of social democracy, and Markell 2006 and Buckler 2011 both highlight the esoteric benefits of Arendt, arguing that she clears away archaic ideas and values to benefit democratic theory.

  • Buckler, Steve. Hannah Arendt and Political Theory: Challenging the Tradition. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2011.

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    Offers the theory that Arendt was an esoteric political theorist and that the method uniting all of her works is her intent to engage her readers out of their normal thought patterns for the purpose of either rethinking familiar ideas: or in some cases, bothering to come up with original ideas.

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  • Habermas, Jurgen. “Hannah Arendt’s Communications Concept of Power.” Translated by Thomas McCarthy. Social Research 44.1 (1977): 3–24.

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    Claims that Arendt is best seen as a promoter of communicative power whose theorizing misses “the deliberative turn” in political theory because of Arendt’s desire to preserve the distinction between theory and practice.

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  • Hansen, Phillip Birger. Hannah Arendt: Politics, History, and Citizenship. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1993.

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    Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this book is the way in which it ties Arendt to an advocacy for social democracy, though Arendt gets there in her own unique way.

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  • Isaac, Jeffrey C. “Oases in the Desert: Hannah Arendt on Democratic Politics.” American Political Science Review 88.1 (1994): 156–168.

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    Defends Hannah Arendt as a serious democratic theorist. Isaac argues against charges of elitism. Specifically, he notes that Arendt’s elites are chosen as the elites in democratic society for their representation of democratic character.

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  • Jacobitti, Suzanne. “The Public, the Private and the Moral: Hannah Arendt and Political Morality.” International Political Science Review 12.4 (1991): 281–293.

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    Argues that Arendt’s thinking on political friendship is a “deliberative turn” in democratic theory that upholds the need for democratic virtues that communitarians clamor for while also respecting the individuality and plural nature of human life that liberals consider sacrosanct.

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  • Kateb, George. “Arendt and Representative Democracy.” Salmagundi 60 (1983): 20–59.

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    Kateb explores Arendt’s complicated relationship with representative democracy in terms of her frustrations with the passivity it engenders in the many while also arguing that Arendt’s theorizing endorses representative democracy for its spirited resistance to atrocity.

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  • Markell, Patchen. “The Rule of the People: Arendt, Archê, and Democracy.” American Political Science Review 100.1 (2006): 1–14.

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    Markell explores how Arendt’s unorthodox use of the term “rule” is intended as a puzzle for the reader to solve. The solution reveals that many of the paradoxes in democratic theory about ruling are embedded in the language of justifying hierarchy.

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  • Rodriguez, Michelle. “The Challenge of Keeping a World: Hannah Arendt on Administration.” Polity 40.4 (2008): 488–508.

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    A careful analysis of the important role of public administration as understood in Hannah Arendt’s democratic theory.

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Civic Republicanism

The civic republican theme, for many political theorists, stands apart from conventional democratic theory because a large portion of democratic theory pays little to no attention to the importance of civic culture and civic participation in the health of political regimes. Arendt is viewed by a large portion of civic republicans as a major figure in the civic republican tradition. D’Entreves 1994 is probably the most cited book focusing on seeing Arendt primarily as a civic republican. Lloyd 1995 and Hammer 2002 tie Arendt to the larger tradition of civic republicanism, tracing her thought back through Roman and French republicanism. Howard 2010 argues that the Eastern European revolutions of 1989 bear evidence that Arendt’s complex participatory theory of governance has real-world credibility, while Canovan 1997 claims that Arendt is a conservative insofar as she believes in conserving the relationships that make the founding of freedom after revolutions possible. Canovan 1978, however, argues that Arendt’s participatory themes in her work are undermined by her elitist tendencies.

  • Canovan, Margaret. “The Contradictions of Hannah Arendt’s Political Thought.” Political Theory 6.1 (1978): 5–26.

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    Canovan argues that the “great contradiction” in Hannah Arendt’s political thought lies in the conflict between her advocacy of participatory democracy and her elitist tendencies exemplified by her disdain for the politics of self-interest.

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  • Canovan, Margaret. “Hannah Arendt as a Conservative Thinker.” In Hannah Arendt: Twenty Years Later. Edited by Larry May and Jerome Kohn, 11–32. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1997.

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    Posits that Arendt is fundamentally a “conservative” thinker insofar as she tries to conserve the kinds of relationships necessary to keep democratic politics functional and believes these relationships are prerequisites for solving economic problems.

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  • d’Entreves, Marizio Passerin. The Political Philosophy of Hannah Arendt. London: Routledge, 1994.

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    D’Entreves organizes Hannah Arendt’s political thought by focusing on Arendt’s commitments to participatory democratic theory. The author limits his focus to Arendt’s political commitments and critiques some of Arendt’s theoretical positions in the spirit of improving participatory democratic theory.

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  • Hammer, Dean. “Hannah Arendt and Roman Political Thought.” Political Theory 30.1 (2002): 124–149.

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    Addresses the neglect of Roman political thought on Hannah Arendt’s theorizing by previous commentaries. This article makes the interesting case that the Romans specifically provide Arendt a means of talking about politics as understood by the senses as opposed to by philosophy.

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  • Howard, Dick. “Keeping the Republic: Reading Arendt’s on Revolution After the Fall of the Berlin Wall.” In Politics in Dark Times: Encounters with Hannah Arendt. Edited by Seyla Benhabib, 277–290. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2010.

    DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511779060Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Argues that Arendt’s theory of democracy and democratic revolution is not a flat prescriptive theory about good and bad revolutions, but a complex analysis of the problem of human coordination that goes into legitimate democratic governance.

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  • Lloyd, Margie. “In Tocqueville’s Shadow: Hannah Arendt’s Liberal Republicanism.” Review of Politics 57.1 (1995): 31–58.

    DOI: 10.1017/S0034670500019926Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Traces the similarities in thought between Hannah Arendt and Alexis de Tocqueville with regard to their concern for despotism, their interest in political sociology as a “new science of politics,” as well as their commitment to civic engagement.

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On Revolution

On Revolution (Arendt 1965, cited under Major Works) is a work of central importance to democratic theorists generally and civic republicans in particular. As such, it has been the narrow focus of substantial scholarly attention. Nisbet 1977 and Shklar 1977 both defend the historical validity of the work by arguing that its non-conventional methods do not detract from the validity of the book’s central claims. Wellmar 2001 and Honig 1991 both explore the role of public justification and democratic legitimacy, which are two traditional liberal political theory questions not frequently associated with Hannah Arendt.

Rebellious Politics

“Rebellious politics” is a term for a normative theory that values politics that assert the dignity of human beings while consciously rejecting grounding this assertion of human dignity in metaphysical or religious terms. The rebellious politics movement is usually centered on authors and political actors concerned with various forms of political domination: from the 1930s resistance to totalitarianism and colonialism, to 20th- and 21st-century rebellions against dictatorships. Isaac 1992 explores the relationship intellectually and politically between Arendt and Camus, who he views as the two great figures of rebellious politics. Barber 2010 and Young-Bruehl 2006 both bring Arendt’s rebellious politics to modern-day reflections, with Barber arguing Americans can only now appreciate the rebellious character of The Origins of Totalitarianism (Arendt 1973, cited under Major Works) in the post-9/11 world. Honig 1993 and Gottsegen 1993 both read Arendt’s primary intellectual goal as defending human dignity without appeal to ideology or metaphysics, and Dossa 1989 argues that Arendt uses historical examples instead as a justification of human dignity, by looking back to an idealization of Periclean Athens. O’Byrne 2010 and Kateb 1977 both argue that Arendt’s rebellious politics frame allows her to write about some of the things she found attractive about existentialism without necessarily being a committed existentialist.

  • Barber, Benjamin R. “Hannah Arendt Between Europe and America.” In Politics in Dark Times: Encounters with Hannah Arendt. Edited by Seyla Benhabib, 259–276. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2010.

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    Argues that Arendt wrote The Origins of Totalitarianism in part to explain to Americans what exactly it was that they had defeated in World War II. Claims that only after the attacks of 11 September 2001 can Americans truly appreciate why Arendt wrote Origins.

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  • Dossa, Shiraz. The Public Realm and the Public Self. Waterloo, Canada: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 1989.

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    Claims that the ideal of citizenship in Periclean Athens is central to Arendt’s interest in the relationship between politics and meaning. The final chapter is an interesting interrogation of three figures that Arendt takes on in her own writing: Melville’s Billy Budd, Robespierre, and Adolf Eichmann.

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  • Gottsegen, Michael G. The Political Thought of Hannah Arendt. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1993.

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    Claims that Arendt’s mature writings (which, interestingly enough, do not include anything before The Human Condition) can be unified by understanding each of them as an attempt by Arendt to elaborate on her idealization of action in order to preserve human dignity and common sense.

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  • Honig, Bonnie. “Arendt’s Account of Action and Authority.” In Political Theory and the Displacement of Politics. By Bonnie Honig, 76–125. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1993.

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    In this rather substantial portion of her book, Honig draws out the themes of unpredictability, conflict, and contestation in Arendt’s writing that appear as variations on a theme of Nietzsche’s critique of systemic morality and Machiavelli’s virtu politics.

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  • Isaac, Jeffrey C. Arendt, Camus and Modern Rebellion. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1992.

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    Argues that while there is no evidence that either writer considered themselves to consciously be working on a common project, both Hannah Arendt and Albert Camus were interested in rebuilding public life and were largely informed by the collapse of their respective worlds in the mid-20th century.

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  • Kateb, George. “Freedom and Worldliness in the Thought of Hannah Arendt.” Political Theory 5.2 (1977): 141–182.

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    Trying to show just how radically important political life is to Hannah Arendt, Kateb claims that Arendt views political action as an existential salve that makes the finality of existence bearable. Also contains an excellent explanation of what Arendt might mean when she uses the term “political action.”

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  • O’Byrne, Anne. Natality and Finitude. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2010.

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    Argues that natality, particularly as developed by Hannah Arendt, is a more appropriate way to think about one’s own mortality than the previous expressions of “being-toward-death” offered by existentialism.

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  • Young-Bruehl, Elisabeth. Why Arendt Matters. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2006.

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    Young-Bruehl’s book attempts to extract the lessons of political judgment in Arendt and apply them to the world of 2006. Young-Bruehl makes clear that her comments on the world of 2006 are her own, but she takes great effort in distilling the lessons from each of Arendt’s major works.

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The Human Condition

Considered the central book in Hannah Arendt’s corpus for many of her serious readers. The Human Condition (Arendt 1998, cited under Major Works) often sparks lively debates about what precisely Arendt means when she writes about the public/private distinction, as is evidenced by the exchange in Pitkin 1981, Canovan 1982, and Knauer 1983. Meanwhile, Markell 2011 and Ricouer 1983 are useful resources for sorting out the differences between labor, work, and action as Arendt uses them in the book. Kateb 1983 also adds a nice guide for the perplexed, by elaborating on what Arendt means by the term “world alienation.” In terms of strong responses to criticism of the book, Tsao 2002 dispels the notion that Arendt has some bizarre Hellenic attachment, and Knauer 1980 argues that Arendt’s downplaying of self-interest in politics does not amount to an ignorance of self-interest.

Totalitarianism

Arendt’s theory of totalitarianism is one of her major intellectual contributions, and Morgenthau 1977 posits that it was her most important contribution to political thought. Good interpretations of her theory of totalitarianism include Hinchman 1984 and Birmingham 2006, while Dossa 1980 uses Arendt’s theory of totalitarianism to explain how Arendt set the Holocaust apart from other genocides in her thinking. Whitfield 1980 does a lovely job putting Arendt into conversation with the American intellectual community on the question of totalitarianism. Maloney and Miller 2007 and King and Stone 2007 both invite reflections on contemporary problems based on what can be learned from Arendt’s theory of totalitarianism.

  • Birmingham, Peg. Hannah Arendt and Human Rights: The Predicament of Common Responsibility. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2006.

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    Argues that Arendt’s “right to have rights” is a theory of rights that is predicated on a materialist, “post-metaphysical” view of human psychology, and grounded in our relationship between the unpredictability and responsibility of living in human communities.

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  • Dossa, Shiraz. “Human Status and Politics: Hannah Arendt on the Holocaust.” Canadian Journal of Political Science 13.2 (1980): 309–323.

    DOI: 10.1017/S0008423900033035Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Explains Arendt’s argument as to why the Holocaust is uniquely different than other genocides and argues that the distinctions Arendt makes are, in fact, European ethnocentric claims.

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  • Hinchman, Sandra K. “Common Sense and Political Barbarism in the Theory of Hannah Arendt.” Polity 17.2 (1984): 317–339.

    DOI: 10.2307/3234510Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Interprets Arendt’s view of the rise of totalitarianism in non-moralistic terms. This article particularly focuses on the breakdown of what Arendt called “common sense,” which Hinchman explains as the drawing of conclusions about appropriate action through the exchange of public reason.

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  • King, Richard H., and Dan Stone, eds. Hannah Arendt and the Uses of History: Imperialism, Nation, Race and Genocide. New York: Berghahn, 2007.

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    A collection of essays that tries to present a unified picture of Hannah Arendt’s theory of the related emergence of colonialism, racism, and totalitarianism. Places the historical fact of these events at the center of Arendt’s work, and posits the methods she employs are in service of explaining the events.

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  • Maloney, Steven Douglas, and Joshua A. Miller, eds. “Rhetoric and Terror: Learning from Arendt’s Attack on Cliché.” The Good Society 16.2 (2007): 10–37.

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    A symposium that invited four noted scholars (Peter Baehr, Peg Birminingham, Elisabeth Young-Bruehl, and George Kateb) to take lessons from Arendt’s Origins of Totalitarianism and apply them to the American “global war on terror” in the first decade of the 21st century.

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  • Morgenthau, Hans. “Hannah Arendt on Totalitarianism and Democracy.” Social Research 44.1 (1977): 127–131.

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    Argues that Hannah Arendt’s greatest contribution to political thought was her recognition of totalitarianism as an entirely new form of government.

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  • Whitfield, Stephen. Into the Dark: Hannah Arendt and Totalitarianism. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1980.

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    An intellectual history of Arendt’s thoughts on totalitarianism that brings in a wider cast of characters than much of the scholarship on Arendt often admits. Here, Arendt is in conversation with American contemporaries such as Walter Lippmann, Sidney Hook, Mary McCarthy, Agnes Heller, and Herbert Marcuse.

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The Eichmann Trial

For many years Arendt’s reporting on the Eichmann trial has been treated by Arendt scholars as if the topic were radioactive. Thus, most of the more interesting claims about the trial and Arendt’s coverage of it have emerged in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Dossa 1984 was one of the earliest strong defenses of the book, and many of its arguments still hold force against those who attempt to discredit the title. Nevertheless, Lipstadt 2011 shows that interest in discrediting Arendt’s account of the trial still exists. Rabinbach 2004 focuses on the fascinating story of the effect that Arendt’s reporting had on the intellectual community. Bernstein 1997, Bilsky 2001, and Mack 2009 all shift focus from the controversy regarding the book to its place within the constellation of Arendt’s other works.

  • Bernstein, Richard J. “Did Hannah Arendt Change Her Mind? From Radical Evil to the Banality of Evil.” In Hannah Arendt: Twenty Years Later. Edited by Larry May and Jerome Kohn, 127–146. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1997.

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    Argues against the traditional reading that Arendt abandoned her notion of “radical evil” in Origins of Totalitarianism for the “banality of evil” in Eichmann in Jerusalem.

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  • Bilsky, Leora Y. “When Actor and Spectator Meet in the Courtroom.” In Judgment, Imagination and Politics: Themes from Kant and Arendt. Edited by Ronald Beiner and Jennifer Nedelsky, 257–286. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2001.

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    Argues that Arendt’s reporting on the Eichmann trial can be best understood as an application of Arendt’s theory of judgment involving the relationship between actor and spectator.

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  • Dossa, Shiraz. “Hannah Arendt on Eichmann: The Public, the Private, and Evil.” Review of Politics 46.2 (1984): 163–182.

    DOI: 10.1017/S0034670500047719Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A close reading of Eichmann in Jerusalem that discredits moralistic interpretations of the book and defends the book as a serious work of political theory.

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  • Lipstadt, Deborah. The Eichmann Trial. New York: Shocken, 2011.

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    Written by a historian known for combating Holocaust deniers, Lipstadt retells the story of Adolf Eichmann’s arrest, capture, trial, and the subsequent debate kick-started by Hannah Arendt in a manner that emphasizes the role of the trial and Arendt’s reporting in facilitating a conversation about the victims of the Holocaust.

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  • Mack, Michael. “The Holocaust and Hannah Arendt’s Philosophical Critique of Philosophy: Eichmann in Jerusalem.” New German Critique 106 (2009): 35–60.

    DOI: 10.1215/0094033X-2008-020Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Contends that in order to properly read Eichmann in Jerusalem, the reader must pay careful attention to the fact that Arendt’s main target is ideology in general, and not any particular ideology.

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  • Rabinbach, Anson. “Eichmann in New York: The New York Intellectuals and the Hannah Arendt Controversy.” October 108 (2004): 97–111.

    DOI: 10.1162/016228704774115735Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    An essay detailing the divisions that formed among members of the New York City literary intelligentsia in the wake of Hannah Arendt’s publication of her reports from the Eichmann trial in The New Yorker.

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Jewish Identity

Hannah Arendt’s relationship with her Jewish identity has long been a central theme to understanding her writing. Commentaries frequently cite incidents in Young-Bruehl 1982, a biography of Arendt (cited under Biographies), regarding her mother’s insistence she walk out of class if she witnessed racial bullying, Arendt’s brief time in internment camps, and her involvement in Youth Aliyah as a refugee in Paris. The essays in Ascheim 2001 demonstrate that having an affair with a famous professor who later endorsed National Socialism, studying under Karl Jaspers, and writing a controversial report on the Eichmann trial only further complicates Arendt’s biographical relationship to her Jewish identity, which Bernstein 1996 claims is central to her political thought. Ring 1997 claims that hostility from the Jewish community about Eichmann actually hinges largely on her challenge to a male establishment within Jewish culture. Moruzzi 2001 generalizes Arendt’s own encounters with identity to a theory of the relationship between social identity and political participation.

Philosophy

While Arendt personally refused to call herself a philosopher, her work undoubtedly has much to say about philosophy, and philosophers have had much to say about her. Betz-Hull 2002, Kohn 1990, and Parekh 1981 all provide forceful reasons for seeing Arendt’s work as a rejection and an attempt at replacing the Western philosophic tradition. Canovan 1990 and Curtis 1999 both work through specific philosophy problems Arendt is trying to solve through extra-philosophic methods. Bradshaw 1989 believes that Arendt can be read in a manner similar to reading Aristotle, as practical thinker offering multiple versions of potential good lives; O’Sullivan 1976, conversely, argues that Arendt tells us little about the present due to her infatuation with the past. Disch 1994 takes the position that Arendt’s critique of objective perspective makes Arendt a skeptic of philosophic inquiry generally.

  • Betz-Hull, Margaret. The Hidden Philosophy of Hannah Arendt. London: RoutledgeCurzon, 2002.

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    Argues that Arendt’s work constitutes a “philosophy of mankind” by simultaneously articulating philosophies of pluralism, human interaction, and the material world.

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  • Bradshaw, Leah. Acting and Thinking: The Political Thought of Hannah Arendt. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1989.

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    Reads The Human Condition and The Life of the Mind as investigations into two different admirable kinds of lives that one can live. This is a helpful stratagem for readers interested in solving the tension between the two books because it suggests they are not in conflict at all.

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  • Canovan, Margaret. “Socrates or Heidegger? Hannah Arendt’s Reflections on Philosophy and Politics.” Social Research 57.1 (1990): 135–165.

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    Explores Arendt’s struggle to come to terms with the relationship between the pluralism of politics, and the withdrawal required for thinking necessary to sustain the plurality of the public.

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  • Curtis, Kimberly. Our Sense of the Real: Aesthetic Experience and Arendtian Politics. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1999.

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    Directly works through some of the most difficult claims advanced by Arendt about our experience of reality and how Arendt translates this into a description of our political life.

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  • Disch, Lisa Jane. Hannah Arendt and the Limits of Philosophy. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1994.

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    Argues that one of Arendt’s special contributions to philosophy is the way Arendt expresses her critique of the view that arguments can come from an objective “Archimedean point.” Also includes a nice introductory chapter that defines a lot of Arendt’s more perplexing vocabulary.

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  • Kohn, Jerome. “Thinking/Acting.” Social Research 57.1 (1990): 105–134.

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    A discussion of how Arendt’s theorizing on thinking and acting are directed toward “moral ends” even as Arendt’s work cannot adequately be described as a moral philosophy.

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  • O’Sullivan, Noel. “Hannah Arendt: Hellenic Nostalgia and Industrial Society.” In Contemporary Political Philosophers. Edited by Kenneth Minogue and Anthony de Crespigny, 228–251. London: Routledge, 1976.

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    Reads Arendt as having “a Hellenic nostalgia” that romanticized Achilles the way that Nietzsche (according to O’Sullivan) romanticizes his “overman.” Argues Arendt sees Athens to be a heroic city among polities and argues that her hero worship of the past blinds her to the impossibilities of her politics.

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  • Parekh, Bhiku. Hannah Arendt and the Search for a New Political Philosophy. London: Macmillan, 1981.

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    A thorough, carefully argued account of Hannah Arendt’s rejection of Western political philosophy. Perhaps as close as any reading of Arendt comes in terms of style and structure to the analytic style of reading Continental philosophers. Also directs some powerful arguments against politics founded on phenomenology in the conclusion.

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Existentialism

Arendt clearly got a healthy education in existentialism straight from the source in the form of tutelage from Martin Heidegger and Karl Jaspers (as well as others such as Husserl). How important this was in shaping Arendt’s work and methods is a source of contention among Arendt scholars. Commentary on Arendt and existentialism largely focuses on the importance of Heidegger, given the important personal, philosophical, and historical dimensions he represents. Nevertheless, there is also a substantial amount of quality work available on how Arendt’s writings fit in the tradition of other existentialist writers and even some credible claims that Arendt herself is a true existentialist.

Heidegger

The seriousness of the interest in Arendt’s relationship with Heidegger ranges from academic to tabloid, and Wolin 2001 tries to incorporate both ends of the spectrum in his characterization of Arendt’s intellectual dependence on Heidegger. Biskowski 1995 warns us not to get carried away because Arendt’s own writing tends to discredit the idea that she endorses many of the views that she herself is accused of having. Hinchman and Hinchman 1984 and Villa 1995 both argue that Heidegger’s influence was positive in that it sent Arendt on her own way to do her unique political theorizing. Taminiaux 1997 is a penetrating, creative exploration in comparing the two thinkers by putting them to work side by side on serious philosophical problems.

  • Biskowski, Lawrence J. “Politics Versus Aesthetics: Arendt’s Critique of Nietzsche and Heidegger.” Review of Politics 57.1 (1995): 59–89.

    DOI: 10.1017/S0034670500019938Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Offers a scholarly corrective to those who push Arendt’s “aesthetic” qualities too far by detailing the criticisms that Arendt makes against detached aestheticism in her readings of Nietzsche and Heidegger.

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  • Hinchman, Lewis P., and Sandra K. Hinchman. “In Heidegger’s Shadow: Hannah Arendt’s Phenomenological Humanism.” Review of Politics 46.2 (1984): 183–211.

    DOI: 10.1017/S0034670500047720Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Argues that Arendt’s work is indebted to Heidegger because of Arendt’s interest in what Heidegger termed “existentials”—the possible conceptualizations one might have for thinking of how one relates to the world. Argues that the fundamental break between Arendt and Heidegger occurs with regard to Heidegger’s distaste for pluralism.

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  • Taminiaux, Jacques. The Thracian Maid and the Professional Thinker. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1997.

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    Traces the intellectual disputes between Arendt and Heidegger on the value of being a professional thinker, their interpretation of praxis in Aristotle, their dispute over Heidegger’s fundamental ontology, the nature of action, and on judgment. Requires a strong Heidegger background to read with profit.

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  • Villa, Dana R. Arendt and Heidegger: The Fate of the Political. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1995.

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    Villa describes this book as a three-way conversation between Arendt, Heidegger, and the tradition of Western thought they criticize. However, the book offers far more than this, as Villa does a nice job orienting the reader to the importance of Aristotle, Kant, and Nietzsche in Arendt’s thought.

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  • Wolin, Richard. Heidegger’s Children: Hannah Arendt, Karl Löwith, Hans Jonas, and Herbert Marcuse. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2001.

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    Tries to establish that Arendt’s nostalgia for Ancient Greece, her use of existential themes, and her blurring of traditional views of culpability in covering the Eichmann trial are the result of Heidegger’s poisonous influence.

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Broader Existentialist Themes

Bowen-Moore 1989 argues that Arendt needs to be seen in the context of the broader existential tradition because Arendt’s concept of natality is a major innovation in existentialist philosophy. While Jay 1985 agrees that Arendt is an existentialist, it takes this as an indictment of Arendt rather than a cause for serious academic interest. Hinchman and Hinchman 1991 argues that Arendt’s political turn owes a debt to Jaspers’ rejection of the philosopher in isolation. Villa 1992 claims that Arendt uses Nietzsche for political ends by taking Nietzsche’s theory of the revaluation of values seriously while Honig 1993 replies that the scope of Villa’s reading of Arendt is too narrow.

Other Thinkers

Given the vibrancy of 20th-century political theory and philosophy, it is no surprise that scholars like to compare Arendt to a broad field of thinkers. Beiner 1990 and Villa 1998 both put Arendt in conversation with Leo Strauss while Halpern 2011 does the same with Jacques Ranciere. Baehr 2010 expands Arendt’s conversational reach into the field of sociology. Ring 1989 takes Arendt’s critique of Karl Marx and looks for common ground between the two.

The Life of the Mind

The Life of the Mind (Arendt 1981, cited under Major Works) may have marked the beginning of a “later Arendt” phase of writing had she only lived to complete these projects. As such, the book has a unique power over Arendt readers who are left to work through both what she means in the pieces of the book we have and what she might have meant had she finished. Jacobitti 1988 and Kalyvas 2004 are instructive in working through the section “Willing,” and Gray 1977 is one of the few reliable guides devoted to the section “Thinking.” Of the speculations of what was to come on the never-completed section on “Judging,” Young-Bruehl 1982 is a nice guide for those who do not want a massive dose of Kant. Wolin 1978 is a somewhat unflattering review of the book, and the reprimand from Elisabeth Young-Bruehl is sharp—as can be seen in their exchange in Young-Bruehl and Wolin 1979.

  • Gray, J. Glenn. “The Winds of Thought.” Social Research 44.2 (1977): 44–62.

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    Reflects on a lecture that Arendt gave at Colorado College in the early preparatory phases of Arendt’s work on The Life of the Mind. Gray postulates a relationship of reflective equilibrium between thinking and knowing in Arendt’s view of mental life.

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  • Jacobitti, Suzanne. “Hannah Arendt and the Will.” Political Theory 16.1 (1988): 53–76.

    DOI: 10.1177/0090591788016001004Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Provides a clear account of Arendt’s view of the will in relation to other mental faculties. Tries to create a theory of the self for Arendt’s view that is compatible with Arendt’s work but clears up confusions that crop up in The Life of the Mind.

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  • Kalyvas, Andreas. “From the Act to the Decision: Hannah Arendt and the Question of Decisionism.” Political Theory 32.3 (2004): 320–346.

    DOI: 10.1177/0090591704263032Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Argues that Hannah Arendt’s description of the will in The Life of the Mind conclusively shows that Arendt was anti-decisionist (the view that a claim has authority by virtue of the person or the process generating the claim being the appropriate location of authority independently of the content of the claim).

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  • Wolin, Sheldon. “Stopping to Think,.#x201d; New York Review of Books, October 1978, 16–28.

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    Wolin’s review takes Arendt to task for what he sees as Arendt’s bouts of wild speculation and what he calls her “majestic indifference” to other scholarship on the topics of which she writes about in The Life of the Mind.

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  • Young-Bruehl, Elisabeth. “Reflections on Hannah Arendt’s The Life of the Mind.” Political Theory 10.2 (1982): 277–305.

    DOI: 10.1177/0090591782010002008Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A thoroughly researched hypothesis as to what Hannah Arendt might have said had she lived to write Part 3 of The Life of the Mind on “Judging.” Young-Bruehl also provides an excellent outline of the existing parts of the book for readers puzzled by its structure.

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  • Young-Bruehl, Elisabeth, and Sheldon Wolin. “Exchange on Hannah Arendt.” New York Review of Books, January 1979, 46–47.

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    A sharp exchange between two heavyweights on the virtues of The Life of the Mind.

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Kant

The relationship between Arendt and Kant has a unique place in Arendt’s scholarship given Arendt’s intent to make use of Kant in the never completed final third of The Life of the Mind (Arendt 1981, cited under Major Works). Beiner and Nedelsky 2001 provides an overview of scholarly work in this corner of Arendt scholarship. Dostal 1984 argues that Arendt was looking to Kant to assert a general theory of psychological complexity. Norris 1996 and Riley 1987 both question the faithfulness of Arendt’s reading of Kant, whereas Zerilli 2005 argues Arendt’s reading of Kant is not as important as what she tries to accomplish with her interpretation.

Feminism

Arendt’s relationship to feminism is as ambiguous on first viewing, as are many of Arendt’s positions. Honig 1995 is the authoritative general overview of Arendt and feminism. Speaking from personal experience as a student, Kamarck 1993 saw Arendt as an important role model and a strong and inspirational female figure in the author’s life. Dietz 2002 and Orlie 1995 see Arendt as offering a way out of some the sticky problems that traditionally arise with regard to gender and social justice. Markus 1989 and Young-Bruehl 1997 explain Arendt’s enriching of the discipline’s conversation about women and politics.

  • Dietz, Mary. Turning Operations: Feminism, Arendt, and Politics. New York: Routledge, 2002.

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    Inspired by Arendt, Dietz criticizes both the materialist and Marxist schools of feminist thought. Also important for Arendt readers is that Dietz explores the ways feminist political thinkers have used Arendt for their own feminist ideologies rather than being faithful to Arendt’s meaning.

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  • Honig, Bonnie, ed. Feminist Interpretations of Hannah Arendt. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1995.

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    A collection of essays on Hannah Arendt from some of the giants in feminist political thought including: Melissa Orlie, Mary Dietz, Seyla Benhabib, Bonnie Honig, Hannah Fenichel Pitkin, and Jean Bethke Elshtain.

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  • Kamarck, Elizabeth Minnick. “Hannah Arendt: Thinking as We Are.” In Between Women. Edited by Carol Ascher, Louise DeSalvo, and Sara Ruddick, 171–185. New York: Routledge, 1993.

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    A moving piece about the time in Kamarck’s life spent under Hannah Arendt’s tutelage and what she sees as the life lessons from both Arendt’s teachings and their time spent together.

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  • Markus, Maria. “The ‘Anti-feminism’ of Hannah Arendt.” In Hannah Arendt: Thinking, Judging, Freedom. Edited by Gisela T. Kaplan and Clive S. Kessler, 76–87. London: Allen & Unwin, 1989.

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    Argues that Arendt is as suspicious of “sisterhood” movements in feminist theory as she was of the claims for “fraternity” in revolutionary France. Most feminist theory, Markus argues, calls for assimilation of outcasts rather than the establishing of relationships where oppressed groups may make reciprocal demands.

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  • Orlie, Melissa A. “Forgiving Trespasses, Promising Futures.” In Feminist Interpretations of Hannah Arendt. Edited by Bonnie Honig, 337–356. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1995.

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    Makes a compelling case that Arendt’s ideas of trespass, forgiveness, and the human relationship to social rules provide a strategy for thinking about the ethics of our own actions regardless of our inherited structural-historical advantages or disadvantages.

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  • Young-Bruehl, Elisabeth. “Hannah Arendt Among Feminists.” In Hannah Arendt: Twenty Years Later. Edited by Larry May and Jerome Kohn, 307–324. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1997.

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    Argues that Arendt’s valuable contribution to feminism rests in the ways in which Arendt was not a feminist, and forced feminist theorists to engage Arendt’s thought as a contrasting (rather than supporting) set of ideas.

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