Power, Judgment and Political Evil

In Conversation with Hannah Arendt

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  • Edited by Andrew Schaap, University of Exeter, UK, Danielle Celermajer and Vrasidas Karalis both at The University of Sydney, Australia
  • Series: Rethinking Political and International Theory
  • In an interview with Günther Gaus for German television in 1964, Hannah Arendt insisted that she was not a philosopher but a political theorist. Disillusioned by the cooperation of German intellectuals with the Nazis, she said farewell to philosophy when she fled the country.

    This book examines Arendt's ideas about thinking, acting and political responsibility, investigating the relationship between the life of the mind and the life of action that preoccupied Arendt throughout her life. By joining in the conversation between Arendt and Gaus, each contributor probes her ideas about thinking and judging and their relation to responsibility, power and violence. An insightful and intelligent treatment of the work of Hannah Arendt, this volume will appeal to a wide number of fields beyond political theory and philosophy, including law, literary studies, social anthropology and cultural history.
  • Contents: Introduction: in conversation with Hannah Arendt, Danielle Celermajer, Andrew Schaap and Vrasidas Karalis; Part I Thinking, Judging and Responsibility: Hannah Arendt's philosophy of plurality: thinking and understanding and Eichmann in Jerusalem, Michael Mack; Thinking from underground, Max Deutscher; Arendt on responsibility, sensibility and democratic pluralism, Rosalyn Diprose; The ethics of friendship, Danielle Celermajer; The judgment of the statesperson, Marguerite La Caze; Thinking, conscience and acting in times of crises, Paul Formosa. Part II Conversation and Context: The pathos and promise of counter-history: Hannah Arendt and Ernst Cassirer's German-Jewish historical consciousness, Ned Curthoys; Truth, politics and democracy: Arendt, Orwell and Camus, Jeff Malpas; Power and paradox: Hannah Arendt's America, Peter Murphy; The politics of need, Andrew Schaap; Confronting violence and power: notes on Hannah Arendt's humanism (an investigation into discursive sources), Vrasidas Karalis; Index.
  • About the Editor: Andrew Schaap is Lecturer in Politics, University of Exeter, UK, Danielle Celermajer is Director, Asia Pacific Masters of Human Rights and Democratisation, University of Sydney, Australia and Vrasidas Karalis is Chair of Modern Greek Studies, University of Sydney, Australia
  • Reviews: 'When German television viewers tuned in to Günter Gaus's interview with Hannah Arendt in 1964, they got a glimpse of the vibrant animation of her political thought. The eleven essays in this book, inspired by scenes from that interview, bring Arendt's thought to life for us. They give us a vivid feeling for the contexts, intellectual and political, that mattered to Arendt; and they show us how, even as she rejected the subordination of politics to philosophy, Arendt made thinking matter to politics. A valuable collection, rich in insights not only about Arendt but about the enterprise of political theory.'
    Patchen Markell, The University of Chicago, USA