Hannah Arendt: The Life of the Mind
Where are we when we think? What is the relationship between thinking, willing, and judging? Can thinking in itself condition people against doing evil in the world? In this course we will explore Hannah Arendt’s final work, The Life of the Mind. Written as a counterpart to The Human Condition, and in response to the fury provoked by her reportage on Eichmann in Jerusalem, The Life of the Mind explores the mental faculties of thinking, willing, and judging. Turning toward the distinction between the vita contemplativa (the life of contemplation) and the vita activa (the life of action), Arendt engages the tradition of western political thought in order to consider thinking as a worldly activity, and whether or not thinking itself contributes to our ability to tell right from wrong. In addition to the published manuscript, we will also look at the unpublished manuscripts for The Life of the Mind, and Arendt’s lectures on Kant.
Course ScheduleThursday, 6:30-9:30pm EST
September 17 — October 08, 2020