Hannah Arendt's Between past and future : Six exercises in political thought PDF

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By Hannah Arendt

1963

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Thus the the neighborhood proper attitude of mortals, once they had reached of the immortal, was actionless and even speechless contemplation: most human capacity of pure 10 and the ultiinto words what it beholds, the Aristotelian vov$ 9 the highest and vision, cannot translate mate truth which the vision of ideas disclosed to Plato is likewise be caught in words. 11 Hence the cipprjTcv, something which cannot old paradox was resolved by the philosophers by denying to man an not the capacity to "immortalize," but the capability of measuring himself and his own deeds against the everlasting greatness of the cosmos, of matching, as it were, the immortality of nature and the solution clearly gods with an immortal greatness of his own.

Human History as a category of existence is of course older than the written word, older than Herodotus, older even than Not the Homer. historically but poetically speaking, its beginning lies rather in moment when Ulysses, at the court of the king of the Phaeacians, listened to the story of his of his life, now own deeds and sufferings, to the story a thing outside himself, an "object" for all to see and to hear. " But the transformation of single events and occurrences into history was essentially the same "imitation of action" in words which was Greek tragedy, 7 where, as Burckhardt once reemployed marked, "external action is hidden from the eye" through the reports of messengers, even though there was no objection at all to later in 8 showing the horrible.

Hence, when free men obeyed their government, or the laws of the polis, their obedience was called 7ra9aPX ia, a word which indicates clearly that obedience was ob- tained by persuasion and not by force. Barbarians were ruled by violence and slaves forced to labor, and since violent action and are alike in that they do not need speech to be effective, barbarians and slaves were avev Ao'yov, that is, they did not live with toil each other primarily by means of speech. Labor was to the Greeks essentially a nonpolitical, private affair, but violence was related to and established a contact, albeit negative, with other men.

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Between past and future : Six exercises in political thought by Hannah Arendt


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