Arendt is a Racist? Reflections on Little Rock

Reading: “Reflections on Little Rock” Monday November 20, 2017 6-8 pm Harold Washington Library 6th Floor North Study Room Philosophers and Critical Theorists are familiar with issues of anti-Semitism in Heidegger’s work, and Arendt’s relationship with Heidegger has of course been part of those discussions. Hannah Arendt is widely understood to be a highly regarded Jewish…

The Human Condition – Discussion Series

Critical Theory Chicago has had a few events discussing the works of Arendt, and most recently The Human Condition. Since there has been enough interest, here is the rest of the book broken up into a series of discussions. Please join us. Sessions to Join and Sections to Read You can view the CTC calendar,…

Labor, Fertility, and Property – CTC Arendt Discussion

[…] labor became the source of all productivity and the expression of the very humanity of man. -The Human Condition pg 101 To understand labor, property, and wealth in modernity, we will discuss how these came to be understood by the great political thinkers of modernity – Locke, Smith, Marx, and Arendt. To continue our…

Labor and Life – A CTC Discussion

[T]he daily fight in which the human body is engaged to keep their world clean and prevent its decay bears little resemblance to heroic deeds; the endurance it needs to repair every day anew the waste of of yesterday is not courage, and what makes the effort painful is not danger but its relentless repetition….

An Agonistic Model of Democracy – Mouffe v. Arendt

And, now for something completely different… …Well, at least someone who disagrees with some of Arendt’s main points – Chantal Mouffe. Our discussions around Arendt’s political writings, as thought provoking in informative as they are, often left some attendees wondering what options we have for political structures in this brave new modern capitalist world. Perhaps…

What is the Private Realm to a Political Philosopher?

For thinkers faced with the reality of extreme connectivity in the era of the internet, the thin lines we’ve drawn between the public and private are all the more interesting. Though this connectivity is indeed a new way of being in many ways, these concerns with the ramifications of the sorts of boundaries drawn to…

The Human Condition

“The modern world, in which we live today, was born with the first atomic explosions. I do not discuss this modern world, against whose background this book was written. I confine myself, on the one hand, to an analysis of those general human capacities which grow out of the human condition and are permanent, that…

Totalitarianism: A Discussion on Ideology and Terror

In response to a rise in nationalism, there is also a rise in discussions about what an authoritarian regime looks like. In many of these discussions, Hannah Arendt’s research on Nazi-era Germany and her political theories have informed concerns and hopes for our political future. Critical Theory Chicago has recently had a repeated interest in political…

Introduction into Politics – Leading into Genuine Action

This is the end. And the beginning. After this American Presidential election, many of us find ourselves asking what we can do. Perhaps some of us can start by broadening our understanding of politics in the first place as action. “Introduction into Politics” is the final essay in The Promise of Politics. which is a collection of essays on…

Montesquieu, Hegel, Marx, and the End of Tradition

Continuing Through The Promise of Politics Thank you to the participants at Critical Theory Chicago discussions! We’ve had such interesting conversations about and a growing interest in Arendt’s political philosophy that we are moving on through the rest of The Promise of Politics. If you missed the first two, don’t be afraid to jump in. The…

The Tradition of Political Thought

In The Promise of Politics Hannah Arendt examines the abyss that opened between thought and action – a tradition beginning with Plato and culminating with Marx.  A tradition that ultimately fails. At our last meetup we critiqued her essay “Socrates,” where she proposed that Plato, writing under the full impact of a politically decaying society,…