Download Hannah Arendt and Political Theory: Challenging the by Steve Buckler PDF

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By Steve Buckler

Rehabilitates Arendt's acceptance as a major political theorist via having a look afresh at her paintings. Hannah Arendt's paintings has been famous for its unorthodox and eclectic kind. Steve Buckler now indicates that her strange strategy displays a constant and designated notion of, and method of doing, political idea. via shut readings of her works, Buckler argues that Arendt's paintings is a vital and tough substitute to the extra orthodox tools attribute of either analytic and post-analytic political thought.

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Example text

Stories do justice to agents by recognising and preserving their ability to reveal themselves, in speech and action, as unique – as distinct from all others. And each life-story enters into history as the ‘storybook of mankind’. At the same time, this general story does not tell us all we need to know because ‘mankind’ is only an abstraction. This point is simultaneously an issue for politics because it implies a denial of what the tradition of political philosophy seeks, a truth underlying the realm of human affairs (Arendt 1958: 184).

So it is an individual experience that is nevertheless embryonically discursive and fitted for pertinence to the plural realm, the realm of action and appearance where the principal motif is dialogue: ‘the thinking dialogue between me and myself suggests that difference and otherness, which are such outstanding characteristics of the world of appearances as it is given to man for his habitat amongst a plurality of things, are the very conditions for the existence of man’s mental ego’ (Arendt 1981/I: 187).

Thinking may always involve a withdrawal of a sort but to the extent that we no longer see it, in the traditional manner, as an escape into a realm of special and exclusive insight, we can reconceive the thinking experience as one that remains rooted in concrete and common experience, to which we all have access (Arendt 1979: 303). This rethinking of thinking is therefore simultaneously democratising, such that ‘every thinker no matter how eminent remains “a man like you and me”, an appearance among appearances equipped with common sense’ (Arendt 1981/I: 53).

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