In this Book

The Public Realm and the Public Self
summary

From the time she set the intellectual world on fire with her reflections on Eichmann (1963), Hannah Arendt has been seen, essentially, as a literary commentator who had interesting things to say about political and cultural matters. In this critical study, Shiraz Dossa argues that Arendt is a political theorist in the sense in which Aristotle is a theorist, and that the key to her political theory lies in the twin notions of the “public realm” and the “public self”.

In this work, the author explains how Arendt’s unconventional and controversial views make sense on the terrain of her political theory. He shows that her judgement on thinkers, actors, and events as diverse as Plato, Marx, Machiavelli, Freud, Conrad, Hobbes, Hitler, the Holocaust, the French Revolution, and European colonialism flow directly from her political theory.

Tracing the origins of this theory to Homer and Periclean Athens, Dossa underlines Arendt’s unique contribution to reinventing the idea and the ideal of citizenship, reminding us that the public realm is the locus of friendship, community, identity, and in a certain sense, humanity. Arendt believes that no one who prefets his or her private interest to public affairs in the old sense can claim to be fully human or truly excellent.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright
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  1. About the author
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-vi
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  1. Preface
  2. pp. vii-xiii
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  1. Abbreviations
  2. pp. xiv-xiv
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  1. 1. HANNAH ARENDT AS A POLITICAL THEORIST
  2. pp. 1-17
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  1. 2. TRADITION AND THE PAST
  2. pp. 18-44
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  1. 3. VITA ACTIVA: NATURE AND POLITICS
  2. pp. 45-72
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  1. 4. THE PUBLIC REALM
  2. pp. 73-113
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  1. 5. MORALITY AND POLITICS
  2. pp. 114-141
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  1. Appendix: The Life of the Mind
  2. pp. 142-147
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  1. Selected writings on Arendt
  2. pp. 148-150
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 151-154
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