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By Richard J. Bernstein

Hannah Arendt is more and more regarded as the most unique social and political thinkers of the 20 th century. during this vital ebook, Richard Bernstein units out to teach that a number of the most vital topics in Arendt's considering have their origins of their war of words with the Jewish query. via drawing close her mature paintings from this angle, we will be able to achieve a richer and extra sophisticated seize of her major principles.

Bernstein discusses a few of the key studies and occasions in Arendt's lifestyles tale with a view to express how they formed her considering. He examines her contrast among the Jewish parvenu and the pariah, and exhibits how the wakeful pariah turns into a foundation for knowing the autonomous philosopher. Arendt's inner most insights approximately politics emerged from her reflections on statelessness, which have been in accordance with her personal reports as a stateless individual. via confronting the horrors of totalitarianism and the focus camps, Arendt built her personal certain figuring out of genuine politics - the politics required to specific our humanity and which totalitarianism sought to destroy.

Finally, Bernstein takes up Arendt's obstacle with the phenomenon of the banality of evil. He follows her use of Eichmann that allows you to discover how the failure to imagine and to pass judgement on is the major for greedy this new phenomenon.

Hannah Arendt and the Jewish Question deals a brand new interpretation of Arendt and her paintings - one that situates her in her ancient context as an engaged Jewish highbrow.

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To the contrary, it truly is accurately simply because she stocks quite a bit with so-called postmodern and post-structuralist thinkers that we will be able to savor her relevance as a critic of the excesses of those highbrow “positions. ” one of many weakest and least passable points of those postmodern positions has been their failure to steer or remove darkness from political motion. A key it is because such a lot of thinkers who've been stricken by postmodern currents are interested in Arendt is simply because she indicates the opportunity of constructing an figuring out of politics that builds on the various insights of post-structuralism. Arendt can also be very important as a counter-voice to contemporary postmodern excesses simply because she defends a concrete, historic, positioned humanism which avoids the pitfalls of summary humanism. She definitely doesn't sign up for the anti-humanist bandwagon. There have additionally been major advancements in feminist interpretations of Arendt – professional and con. Arendt herself by no means had a lot sympathy with the women’s stream. She is a straightforward goal for feminists who see her as celebrating masculine agonistic virtues and reifying an objectionable public/private dichotomy that enhances the conventional picture of ladies as belonging solely to the family. One may possibly even label this the traditional feminist critique of Arendt – one that, regrettably, has prevailed. yet lately there were extra refined feminist readings of her paintings during which there's an appropriation of her proposal of the “conscious pariah” as an exemplar of the location of ladies who refuse to simply accept or assimilate to winning social relationships. there were those that have argued that Arendt’s notion of politics and public areas offers the foundation for rethinking the potential of a feminist politics. an essential present in fresh feminist readings of Arendt is the view that her pondering offers severe assets that may very likely remove darkness from and give a contribution to feminist matters. five From nonetheless one other point of view, there were various reviews that experience occupied with the complicated relationships with the philosophers who motivated Arendt’s considering. Arendt by no means considered herself as a qualified thinker. She even declared: “I don't belong to the circle of philosophers” (EU, 1). but she was once appropriating insights and subject matters – in resourceful and novel methods – from the philosophic culture. Aristotle, Heidegger, and Kant have been regularly resources of concept. 6 yet we're additionally coming to understand the significance of her highbrow encounters with Socrates, Plato, St Augustine, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, and Jaspers. there's additionally one other size of her existence and writings which has been getting into the foreground of dialogue, and that's greatly reworking our realizing of Arendt. for somebody who insisted that every one her pondering was once grounded in “personal experiences,” too little consciousness – at the very least until eventually lately – has been paid to Arendt’s personal old situatedness and the occasions that provoked her considering.

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