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The Human Condition, Arendt

Hannah Arendt was one of the most influential political philosophers of the 20th century. Having escaped from Nazi Germany during the Second World War, Arendt is in a unique position to bring a sense of urgency to her work. The Human Condition itself also reveals her "dialogue" with past philosophers ranging from Plato and Aristotle to Marx and Heidegger.

Although she is a fan of making many conceptual distinctions in this work (vita activa vs vita contemplativa, for example), questions to keep in mind that might keep us from losing the big picture include: What makes politics worthwhile? Should we be apathetic, and if so, is there a cost to apathy? Is politics any more urgent in modern society as compared to ancient Greece?

To read it for free online, use this link:

Keep in mind that you can only scroll on the website to read the book for free, you can't download it as a .pdf unless you want to pay for it.

Several people have asked me to suggest a more specific focus for the reading, but I've already told the first person who asked to primarily focus on the first ten chapters. So focus on the first ten chapters; if this meetup is successful another one can discuss the later chapters.

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  • George

    Sorry to be missing this one after all. Hannah might forgive being stuck on the phone with Mom. Til next time...

    March 10, 2013

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