Access to the full content is only available to members of institutions that have purchased access. If you belong to such an institution, please log in or find out more about how to order.


Print

Contents

Arendt, Hannah (1906–75)

DOI
10.4324/9780415249126-DD004-1
DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-DD004-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved December 10, 2018, from https://www.rep.routledge.com/articles/biographical/arendt-hannah-1906-75/v-1

Article Summary

Hannah Arendt was one of the leading political thinkers of the twentieth century. She observed Nazi totalitarianism at close quarters and devoted much of her life to making sense of it. In her view it mobilized the atomized masses around a simple-minded ideology, and devised a form of rule in which bureaucratically minded officials performed murderous deeds with a clear conscience. For Arendt the only way to avoid totalitarianism was to establish a well-ordered political community that encouraged public participation and institutionalized political freedom. She considered politics to be one of the highest human activities because it enabled citizens to reflect on their collective life, to give meaning to their personal lives and to develop a creative and cohesive community. She was deeply worried that the economically obsessed modern age discouraged political activity, and created morally superficial people susceptible to the appeal of mindless adventurism.

Print
Citing this article:
Parekh, B.. Arendt, Hannah (1906–75), 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-DD004-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis, https://www.rep.routledge.com/articles/biographical/arendt-hannah-1906-75/v-1.
Copyright © 1998-2018 Routledge.

Related Searches

Topics

Periods