Hannah Arendt

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Arendt, Hannah (14 October 1906 - 4 December 1975)

Arendt, a German-American political theorist who was the daughter of secular Jewish parents, studied philosophy with Martin Heidegger at the University of Marburg, and had a long romantic relationship with her teacher, one that has been criticized because of his support of and membership in the Nazi Party.

During one of their separations, she moved to Heidelberg and with Karl Jaspers as her advisor wrote a dissertation on the concept of love in the thought of Saint Augustine.

In 1929 she married Günther Anders in Berlin, and they divorced in 1937. In 1940 she married Heinrich Blücher, a member of the Germany Communist Party. He encouraged her to become involved with Marxism and political theory - her Marxism was unorthodox, however, as shown in The Origins of Totalitarianism (1951) and The Human Condition (1958).

Her other works include The Human Condition (1958), Eichmann in Jerusalem (1963), and The Life of the Mind (1977). The 1958 work was controversial in its exploration of the complicity of the European nations in the destruction of the Jews and of what she termed the “eerie banality of the Nazi evil.” The 1977 work was incomplete at the time of her death but has been published.

In 1950 she became a naturalized citizen of the United States and was a visirting scholar at the University of California, Berkeley; Columbia University; and Northwestern University. In 1959 she became the first woman appointed a full professorship at Princeton.

She was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters

Arendt was not a believer in God. Dying at the age of 69, she was buried at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York - her husband had taught there for many years.

Selected Works

Der Liebesbegriff bei Augustin. Versuch einer philosophischen Interpretation (1929)
The Origins of Totalitarianism (1951)
Rahel Varnhagen: the life of a Jewess (1958,
Translated by Richard and Clara Winston)
The Human Condition (1958, 1998)
Die ungarische Revolution und der totalitäre Imperialismus (1958)
Between Past and Future: Eight Exercises in Political Thought (1954,
Reissued with additional text in 1968)
On Revolution (1962)
Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil (1963)
Men in Dark Times (1968)
Crises of the Republic: Lying in Politics; Civil Disobedience; On Violence; Thoughts
on Politics and Revolution (1969) Civil Disobedience originally appeared, in
somewhat different form, in The New Yorker. Versions of the other essays
originally appeared in The New York Review of Books.
The Jew as Pariah: Jewish Identity and Politics in the Modern Age (1978,
Edited with an introduction by Ron H. Feldman
Life of the Mind (1978, 1981)
Responsibility and Judgment (2005)
Love and Saint Augustine (2003, Edited with an Interpretive Essay by Joanna
Vecchiarelli Scott and Judith Chelius Scott)
Responsibility and Judgment (2003, Edited with an introduction by Jerome Kohn)
Essays in Understanding, 1930-1954: Formation, Exile, and Totalitarianism (2005,
Edited by Jerome Kohn)
On Violence (1970)
Men in Dark Times (970)
Lectures on Kant's Political Philosophy (1992, Edited and with an Interpretive
Essay by Ronald Beiner)
Hannah Arendt and Karl Jaspers Correspondence, 1926–1969 (1992, Edited by
Lotte Kohler and Hans Saner, translated by Robert Kimber and Rita Kimber)
Within Four Walls: The Correspondence between Hannah Arendt and Heinrich
Blücher, 1936-1968 (2000, Edited by Lotte Kohler, translated by Peter Constantine)
The Portable Hannah Arendt (2003, and Peter Baehr)
Letters, 1925-1975/Hannah Arendt and Martin Heidegger (2004, Edited by Ursula
Ludz, translated Andrew Shields)
The Origins of Totalitarianism: Introduction by Samantha Powers (2004)
The Promise of Politics (2005, Edited and with an Introduction by Jerome Kohn)
On Revolution (2006, and Jonathan Schell)
Between Past and Future (2006 and Jerome Kohn
Arendt und Benjamin: Texte, Briefe, Dokumente (2006, Edited by Detlev Schöttker
and Erdmut Wizisla)
Eichman in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil (2006, with Amos Elon)
The Jewish Writings (2007, Edited by Jerome Kohn and Ron H. Feldman)
The Promise of Politics (2007)
Reflections on Literature and Culture (2008, Edited and with an introduction
by Susannah Young-ah Gottlieb)

(For a description of her intellectual as well as physical attraction to Heidegger, see the entry for Martin Heidegger. The two had a sexual relationship despite his never expressing regret about the Holocaust and his not helping his Jewish students, although he did not actively harass or persecute them.)

{Paul Edwards, “Heidegger’s Quest for Being,” Journal of Philosophy 64:437-470, 1989; DGC}