Chapter

Introduction

Steve Buckler

in Hannah Arendt and Political Theory

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780748639021
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748652853 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748639021.003.0001
Introduction

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In an interview broadcast on West German television in 1964, Hannah Arendt, by then a famous political thinker, insisted that she did not regard herself as a ‘philosopher’ and had no desire to be seen as such: her concern was with politics. There is, Arendt argued, a fundamental tension between the philosophical and the political. She wished to look at politics ‘with eyes unclouded by philosophy’. This book aims to explore the implications of this statement as they make themselves felt in Arendt's work and to suggest that they underwrite a distinctive, potent and consistently challenging way of theorising politics. This chapter notes that her unorthodox style is far from capricious and in fact betokens an attempt to think about politics in a manner that encapsulates a fidelity to the political itself in all its contingency and humanity.

Keywords: Hannah Arendt; political thinker; political philosophy; theorising politics

Chapter.  5672 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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