What is the course about?
Drawing on Arendt’s key works ‘The Human Condition’ (1958) and ‘The Life of The Mind’ (1971), aspects of her thought such as the emphasis on natality (birth, beginnings), plurality of human-being (“... men, not Man, live on the earth and inhabit the world.”), and political action as direct public expression will be examined.
What will we cover?
• Arendt’s concepts of human plurality and natality as the basis for a cosmopolitan, republican politics.
• Arendt’s conception of philosophy as spontaneous thinking and narrative as the search for freedom in action and expressive excellence.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
• Explain Arendt’s distinctions between labour, work, and action.
• Discuss whether Arendt’s republicanism is a viable political philosophy.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
The course does not assume any prior knowledge, only an interest in the key topics. Some experience of introductory philosophy would be beneficial.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
The course will run in seminar format with short presentations including group discussion and Q&A. There may be some readings discussed in pairs or small groups in the sessions. Slides and relevant links will be available online. No work outside class.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Notemaking equipment of your own choice. Handouts from relevant portions of texts will be drawn from the following book (which you might find useful for your own further study):
• The Portable Hannah Arendt. Penguin Classics (2003).
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
You might also be interested in HP090 Being and Empathy: the philosophy of Edith Stein.
General information and advice on courses at City Lit is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details