Download e-book for iPad: Arendt and Heidegger: The Fate of the Political by Dana Villa

By Dana Villa

ISBN-10: 0691044007

ISBN-13: 9780691044002

ISBN-10: 0691044015

ISBN-13: 9780691044019

ISBN-10: 1400813735

ISBN-13: 9781400813735

Theodor Adorno as soon as wrote an essay to "defend Bach opposed to his devotees." during this ebook Dana Villa does an identical for Hannah Arendt, whose sweeping reconceptualization of the character and price of political motion, he argues, has been coated over and domesticated by means of admirers (including severe theorists, communitarians, and participatory democrats) who had was hoping to enlist her of their much less radical philosophical or political initiatives. opposed to the existing "Aristotelian" interpretation of her paintings, Villa explores Arendt's modernity, and certainly her postmodernity, during the Heideggerian and Nietzschean topic of a holiday with culture on the closure of metaphysics.Villa's ebook, even if, is far greater than an insignificant correction of misinterpretations of an incredible thinker's paintings. really, he makes a persuasive case for Arendt because the postmodern or postmetaphysical political theorist, the 1st political theorist to imagine in the course of the nature of political motion after Nietzsche's exposition of the loss of life of God (i.e., the cave in of aim correlates to our beliefs, ends, and purposes). After giving an account of Arendt's idea of motion and Heidegger's impression on it, Villa indicates how Arendt did justice to the Heideggerian and Nietzschean feedback of the metaphysical culture whereas heading off the political conclusions they drew from their opinions. the result's a wide-ranging dialogue not just of Arendt and Heidegger, yet of Aristotle, Kant, Nietzsche, Habermas, and the complete query of politics after metaphysics.

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1 From Arendt’s point of view, the Socratic tradition and Christianity share an obsession with an absolute Truth far greater than man and his deeds, a Truth available to man only through the cessation of all worldly activity. Contemplative stillness made a relationship to the eternal possible. From this ascetic-theoretical perspective, the classical hierarchy of human activities was leveled: the component parts of the active life—labor, work, and action—appeared equally base, equally constrained by necessity.

58 I want to examine Arendt’s distinctions in light of this criterion, in order to show just how integral it is to her theory of political action. Her application of it, however, is less myopic than her critics believe. Arendt does not attempt to escape the pradoxes of an autonomous politics; rather, she thinks them through to the end. From her perspective, the preservation of freedom and human plurality is at stake. First, the distinctions themselves. Labor, according to Arendt, designates that part of human life devoted to subsistence and reproduction, to the fulfillment of 26 • C H A P T E R 1 • the biological needs necessary for the preservation of the individual and the species.

Arendt’s position on this issue becomes clearer if we refer, once again, to Aristotle. ”70 What distinguishes work from labor is the imposed character of the end it achieves. This end—for example, the making of a table—is not dictated by nature, but is rather imposed on it. Work or fabrication, for this reason, is inherently violent: “. . ”71 Work, then, destroys nature through its creation of artifacts. The products of work, which Arendt calls “reifications,” do not find their way back into the cycle of natural growth and decay, but endure outside it.

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Arendt and Heidegger: The Fate of the Political by Dana Villa

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