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Arendt and Heidegger: The Fate of the Political by Dana Richard Villa

By Dana Richard Villa

This article goals to protect Arendt opposed to her devotees. the writer argues that Arendt's sweeping reconceptualization of the character and cost of political motion has been coated over and domesticated by way of admirers who had was hoping to enlist her of their much less radical philosophical/political tasks. opposed to the existing "Aristotelian" interpretation of her paintings, Villa explores Arendt's modernity, and certainly her postmodernity, in the course of the Heideggerian and Nietzschean topic of a holiday with culture on the closure of metaphysics. the writer makes a case for Arendt because the postmodern or post-metaphysical political theorist, the 1st political theorist to imagine during the nature of political motion after Nietzsche'a exposition of the dying of God. After giving an account of Arendt's concept of motion and Heidegger's effect on it, the booklet indicates how Arendt did justice to the Heideggerian and Nietzschean feedback of the metaphysical culture whereas keeping off the political conclusions they drew from their evaluations.

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First and foremost, politics as deliberative speech and common action presupposes a genuine plurality. Without plurality, without the diversity of perspectives implicit in “the fact that men, not Man, live on earth and inhabit the world,”113 no action in Arendt’s sense would be possible. Where this plurality has been neutered, as in the household, through force of common interest, or where it has been negated, as it has been under conditions of totalitarian domination, there political action is impossible.

Action and production are generically different. —Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics I. ARISTOTLE AND ARENDT ON THE SELF-CONTAINEDNESS OF ACTION Hannah Arendt begins The Human Condition by accusing the Western philosophical tradition of effacement. 1 From Arendt’s point of view, the Socratic tradition and Christianity share an obsession with an absolute Truth far greater than man and his deeds, a Truth available to man only through the cessation of all worldly activity. Contemplative stillness made a relationship to the eternal possible.

Yet she is unapologetic. Like Aristotle, she believes that the “good life” can be pursued only by “good” or the best individuals. Entry to the political realm should not be determined according to extrapolitical criteria, such as birth or wealth, but residence there should not be indiscriminately available to all. Arendt argues for a principle of distributive justice much like Aristotle’s when it comes to the privilege of being seen and heard by one’s peers.

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