Hannah Arendt

Critical Essays

Edited by Lewis P. Hinchman & Sandra K. Hinchman

Series: SUNY series in Political Theory: Contemporary Issues
Paperback : 9780791418543, 456 pages, February 1994
Hardcover : 9780791418536, 456 pages, February 1994

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Table of contents




Part I. Totalitarianism and Evil

1. Is Totalitarianism a New Phenomenon? Reflections on Hannah Arendt's Origins of Totalitarianism
John L. Stanley

2. Hannah Arendt and the Politics of Evil
Berel Lang

3. Thinking and Moral Considerations: Socrates and Arendt's Eichmann
Joseph Beatty
Part II. Narrative and History

4. Explaining Dark Times: Hannah Arendt's Theory of Theory
David Luban

5. Hannah Arendt and the Redemptive Power of Narrative
Seyla Benhabib

Part III. The Public World and Personal Identity

6. Existentialism Politicized: Arendt's Debt to Jaspers
Lewis P. Hinchman and Sandra K. Hinchman

7. Politics as Culture: Hannah Arendt and the Public Realm
Margaret Canovan

Part IV. Action and Power

8. Hannah Arendt's Communications Concept of Power
Jürgen Habermas

9. Hannah Arendt and Feminist Politics
Mary G. Dietz

Part V. Justice, Equality, Democracy

10. Justice: On Relating Private and Public
Hanna Fenichel Pitkin

11. Hannah Arendt: Democracy and the Political
Sheldon S. Wolin

12. Hannah Arendt's Argument for Council Democracy
John F. Sitton
Part VI. Thinking and Judging

13. Reflections on Hannah Arendt's The Life of the Mind
Elisabeth Young-Bruehl

14. Judging in a World of Appearances: A Commentary on Hannah Arendt's Unwritten Finale
Ronald Beiner





This work presents both the range of Arendt's political thought and the patterns of controversy it has elicited. The essays are arranged in six parts around important themes in Arendt's work: totalitarianism and evil; narrative and history; the public world and personal identity; action and power; justice, equality, and democracy; and thinking and judging. Despite such thematic diversity, virtually all the contributors have made an effort to build bridges between interest-driven politics and Arendt's Hellenic/existential politics. Although some are quite critical of the way Arendt develops her theory, most sympathize with her project of rescuing politics from both the foreshortening glance of the philosopher and its assimilation to social and biological processes. This volume treats Arendt's work as an imperfect, somewhat time-bound but still invaluable resource for challenging some of our most tenacious prejudices about what politics is and how to study it.

The following eminent Arendt scholars have contributed chapters to this book: Ronald Beiner, Margaret Canovan, Elisabeth Young-Bruehl, Seyla Benhabib, Jürgen Habermas, Hanna Pitkin, and Sheldon Wolin.

Lewis P. Hinchman is Associate Professor of Government at Clarkson University. Sandra K. Hinchman is Associate Professor of Government at St. Lawrence University.


"This is by far the best collection of essays I have seen on Hannah Arendt. It is an important resource for anybody studying her work. "—Jennifer Ring, University of South Carolina

"Hannah Arendt is arguably the greatest political philosopher of this century, certainly one of the greatest, and a well-selected collection of critical essays on her work is important. The diversity of essay selection is welcome. No single point of view nor single discipline predominates, although contributions from political scientists and philosophers are most significant in the collection overall. "—Jean Bethke Elshtain, Vanderbilt University

"In many ways the editors have done exemplary work. They offer a fine general introduction as well as helpful specific prefaces to each section. Their own remarks are intelligent, informed, thoughtful, and establish a continuity of themes between sections while sharpening debate in them…Many of the essays are so good and have attained such considerable notoriety that there will be a ready audience for the book. "—J. Peter Euben, University of California, Santa Cruz