The Reluctant Modernism of Hannah Arendt

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Rowman & Littlefield, 2003 - Political Science - 261 pages
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Interpreting the work of one of the most influential thinkers of the 20th century, The Reluctant Modernism of Hannah Arendt rereads Arendt's political philosophy in light of newly gained insights into the historico-cultural background of her work. Arguing against the standard interpretation of Hannah Arendt as an anti-modernist lover of the Greek polis, author Seyla Benhabib contends that Arendt's thought emerges out of a double legacy: German Existenz philosophy, particularly the thought of Martin Heidegger, and her experiences as a German-Jewess in the age of totalitarianism. This important volume reconsiders Arendt's theory of modernity, her concept of the public sphere, her distinction between the social and the political, her theory of totalitarianism, and her critique of the modern nation state, including her life long involvement with Jewish and Israeli politics.
 

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Contents

The Pariah and Her Shadow Hannah Arendts Biography of Rahel Varnhagen
1
Rahel Levin Varnhagens Quest for the World
5
The Salons as Female Public Sphere
14
The Rise of the Social
22
Jewish Politics and German Existenz Philosophy The Sources of Hannah Arendts Thought
35
What Is Existenz Philosophy?
47
The Concept of the World in Martin Heideggers Being and Time
51
The Destruction of the Public Sphere and the Emergence of Totalitarianism
62
Aristotle Arendt and Heidegger
114
The Art of Making and Subverting Distinctions With Arendt Contra Arendt
123
The Continuing Struggle With Karl Marx
130
An Untenable Divide
138
From the Problem of Judgment to the Public Sphere Rethinking Hannah Arendts Political Theory
172
Rereading Eichmann in Jerusalem
173
Judgment in Kants Moral Philosophy and Arendts Reappropriation
185
The Missing Normative Foundations of Arendtian Politics
193

Methodological and Historiographic Puzzles of Arendts Origins of Totalitarianism
63
EmpiricalAnalytical Aspects of Arendts Theory of Totalitarianism
69
Imperialism and the End of the Rights of Man
75
Imperialism and the Dilemmas of the Modern NationState
77
The Politics of Memory and the Morality of Historiography
86
The Theorist as Storyteller
91
The Dialogue With Martin Heidegger Arendts Ontology of The Human Condition
102
Plurality the World and the Solipsism of Heideggers Ontology
104
Action Narrative and the Web of Stories
107
Hannah Arendt and Jiirgen Habermas
199
Arendt Habermas and Beyond
203
Rethinking Privacy
211
The Personal is not the Political
221
Bibliography
235
Index
249
About the Author
261
Copyright

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About the author (2003)

Seyla Benhabib is Eugene Meyer Professor of Political Science and Philosophy at Yale University, and director of the Program in Ethics, Politics, and Economics.

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