Lying and History

Cathy Caruth

in Thinking in Dark Times

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print December 2009 | ISBN: 9780823230754
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823235858 | DOI:
Lying and History

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This chapter addresses the problem of violence in the political realm by focusing on a question that emerges out of several late works by Hannah Arendt: What is history in the time of what Arendt calls “the modern lie”? In “Truth and Politics” (1967) and “Lying in Politics” (1971), Arendt reflects on what she considers a profound philosophical conundrum at the heart of politics and the political: an intimate and foundational relation between politics and the lie that has momentous implications for the way we think about political history. Beginning from a reflection on the nature of political action in the context of lying, Arendt ultimately enables a rethinking of the very nature of history around the possibility of its political denial.

Keywords: Hannah Arendt; violence; politics; political history; political action; lying

Chapter.  6983 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social and Political Philosophy

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