Hannah Arendt Seminar
J.D. Seminar 1189
| 3 credit hours
Hannah Arendt was one of the twentieth century's greatest and most influential political philosophers. But her philosophical contributions included legal and constitutional theory, as well as moral psychology and ethics, philosophy of history, and the analysis of violence and power. In law she had important ideas about international tribunals, criminal responsibility, civil disobedience, statelessness, and constitutionalism. Her book Eichmann in Jerusalem remains one of the classics of international criminal law.
In ethics she developed a view akin to contemporary particularism, and her moral psychology produced the famous (and much-misunderstood) concept of the "banality of evil." We will also take a sidelong glance at Arendt in connection with the philosophers who most influenced her (Augustine, Kant, Heidegger). Readings will be drawn from Eichmann in Jerusalem, The Human Condition, and portions of several other books (Between Past and Future, On Revolution, Men in Dark Times, Crises of the Republic, her Kant lectures); the important essays "Thinking and Moral Considerations" and "Organized Guilt and Universal Responsibility"; excerpts from her correspondences with Heidegger, Karl Jaspers, and Gershom Scholem; and related philosophical material by other authors.
This course is cross-listed as a graduate seminar in the philosophy department and government department, and will be held on the main campus. This course satisfies the WR requirement.
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