The (Meta)politics of Thinking : On Arendt and the Greeks
Backman, J. (2021). The (Meta)politics of Thinking : On Arendt and the Greeks. In K. L. Larsen, & P. R. Gilbert (Eds.), Phenomenological Interpretations of Ancient Philosophy (pp. 260-282). Brill. Studies in Contemporary Phenomenology, 20. https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004446779_011
Published inStudies in Contemporary Phenomenology
© 2021 Brill
In this chapter, Jussi Backman approaches Hannah Arendt’s readings of ancient philosophy by setting out from her perspective on the intellectual, political, and moral crisis characterizing Western societies in the twentieth century, a crisis to which the rise of totalitarianism bears witness. To Arendt, the political catastrophes haunting the twentieth century have roots in a tradition of political philosophy reaching back to the Greek beginnings of philosophy. Two principal features of Arendt’s exchange with the ancients are highlighted. The first is her account, in The Human Condition (1958), of the profound transformation of the Greek perceptions of political life initiated by Plato, the founder of the Western tradition of political philosophy; this transformation, according to Arendt, leads to an instrumentalization of politics as a means toward a higher end. The second feature is Arendt’s distinction, in her unfinished Life of the Mind (1977–8), between three different points of departure for thinking discovered by ancient philosophy—wonder, fear, and conscience—and three different outcomes of thinking—contemplation, willing, and judging. Backman argues that what connects these two interpretations of ancient philosophy is an attempt to rethink and rearticulate the complex relationship between thinking and action, between the reflective vita contemplativa and the world-oriented vita activa. ...
Parent publication ISBN978-90-04-44676-2
Is part of publicationPhenomenological Interpretations of Ancient Philosophy
Publication in research information system
MetadataShow full item record
Related funder(s)Academy of Finland
Funding program(s)Academy Research Fellow, AoF
Showing items with similar title or keywords.
Backman, Jussi; Cimino, Antonio (Oxford University Press, 2022)In the introduction to the volume, the editors explain the overarching aim of the volume and contextualize the main themes of its chapters. Even if the notions of biopolitics and biopower have played a crucial role in ...
Backman, Jussi (Oxford University Press, 2022)This chapter approaches the question of biopolitics in ancient political thought looking not at specific political techniques but at notions of the final aim of the political community. It argues that the “happiness” ...
Parvikko, Tuija (Eurooppalaisen filosofian seura ry, 2008)
Reuter, Martina (Eurooppalaisen filosofian seura ry, 2014)
The Value of the Surface : Reappreciating Embodiment, Labor, and Necessity in Arendt's Political Thought Hyvönen, Ari-Elmeri (Duke University Press, 2021)Through an unorthodox reading of Hannah Arendt, this article argues that her political thought contains unacknowledged resources for conceptualizing embodiment in politics, and in relation to the economy, physical needs, ...