Arendt, Augustine, and the New Beginning: The Action Theory and Moral Thought of Hannah Arendt in the Light of Her Dissertation on St. Augustine

Overview

A splendid piece of scholarship on a major twentieth-century thinker often overlooked. / This book presents an original scholarly analysis of the work of political theorist Hannah Arendt, focusing on an area hitherto ignored: the ways in which Augustine's thought forms the foundation of Arendt's work. Stephan Kampowski here offers readers a valuable overview of central aspects of Arendt's thought, addressing perennial existential and philosophical questions at the heart of every...
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Overview

A splendid piece of scholarship on a major twentieth-century thinker often overlooked. / This book presents an original scholarly analysis of the work of political theorist Hannah Arendt, focusing on an area hitherto ignored: the ways in which Augustine's thought forms the foundation of Arendt's work. Stephan Kampowski here offers readers a valuable overview of central aspects of Arendt's thought, addressing perennial existential and philosophical questions at the heart of every human being.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802827241
  • Publisher: Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 12/8/2008
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephan Kampowski is Assistant Professor of moral philosophy at the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family in Rome, where he has also earned his doctoral degree.
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Table of Contents

Foreword Livio Melina xi

Acknowledgments xv

Introduction xvii

I The Biographical and Bibliographical Context of Our Study 1

II Scott and Stark on Arendt and Augustine 13

III Arendt's Theory of Action 25

A What Is an Action for Arendt? 25

1 Action as [characters not reproducible] or [characters not reproducible] 26

2 Action as a Second Birth - A New Beginning Manifesting the Agent 45

a Action as a New Beginning 45

b Action as Manifesting the Agent 57

c The Relation between Speech and Action 59

B The Basic Condition for Action in Arendt's Thought: Human Plurality 61

1 Arendt contra Heidegger: Human Plurality as the Medium of Action 61

2 Action and Intersubjectivity: To Act Is to Act in Concert 65

3 Love and Hannah Arendt 68

IV Arendt and Moral Considerations 75

Introduction 75

1 Why We Can Examine The Life of the Mind for Arendt's "Moral Considerations" 75

2 The Central Themes of The Life of the Mind 76

3 How We Will Proceed 79

A Thinking and Morality 80

1 The Meaning of Thoughtlessness 81

Objection: Thoughtlessness and Culpability 85

2 The Meaning of Thinking 92

Objection: Heidegger 94

3 How Does Thinking Condition Anyone against Committing Grave Evil? 99

a Thinking and Conscience 100

Objection: Formalism, Relativism, Moral Non-cognitivism? 104

Critique: Intellectualism - Arendt and Virtue 113

Comparison: Arendt and the Christian Notion of Conscience 118

b Thinking and Judgment 119

i The "Liberation of Judgment" 119

ii The "Enlarged Mentality" 126

Excursus: The Imagination 127

Application: Imagination and Judgment 132

c Thinking and Gratitude 136

Comparison: Gratitude asFundamental Christian Moral Principle 141

Conclusion, Prospects, and Transition 142

B Willing and Beginning 143

Introduction 143

a The Central Theme of "Willing" 143

b Justification of the Close Attention to the Augustine Chapter 146

1 The Problem of the New - The Will as the Faculty of Beginning 146

a Problems with Aristotle's Account 146

b Creation as a Paradigm of a New Beginning 148

c Foundation as a Paradigm of a New Beginning 151

d The Hint of a Solution in St. Augustine 152

e The Problem of the New and the Passions 154

2 Arendt's Augustine Chapter 156

a The Will in Itself in The Confessions 156

Excursus: Some Moral Implications of Arendt's and Augustine's Phenomenological Analysis of the Will as Split between Velle and Nolle 160

b The Will in Relation to the Other Faculties in On the Trinity 163

c The Will Seen from the Perspective of the Temporality of the Human Faculties in The City of God 167

Conclusion and Prospects 171

V Elements and Fundamental Motifs of Arendt's Action Theory and Moral Thought in Der Liebesbegriff 173

Introduction 173

A Presentation of the Text 174

1 Love as Desire 174

2 Love as Return 177

3 Love as Caritas Socialis 181

Excursus: Another Solution in Augustine? 184

B Persisting Fundamental Motifs: The Temporality and Dependency of Human Existence 187

Introduction 187

1 Human Temporality 188

a Temporality in Der Liebesbegriff and in Her Later Writings 188

b The Significance of Human Temporality for Hannah Arendt's Theory of Action and Her Moral Thought 190

i Only a Temporal Being Can Act in Arendt's Sense 190

ii Human Temporality and Arendt's Moral Thought: A Temporal Being Needs to Remember in Order to Find the Meaning of His Existence 192

2 Human Conditionedness 195

a Human Conditionedness in Der Liebesbegriff and in Arendt's Later Writings 195

i Arendt on Human Conditionedness in The Human Condition 195

ii Mortality, Natality, and Plurality as Structure of Der Liebesbegriff 197

iii Mortality (Chapter 1): The Turn to the Future and Analogues in Arendt's Later Writings 198

iv Natality (Chapter 2): The Turn to the Past and Analogues in Arendt's Later Writings 201

v Human Plurality (Chapter 3): Man's Common Descent and Analogues in Arendt's Later Writings 209

b The Significance of Human Conditionedness for Hannah Arendt's Theory of Action and Her Moral Thought 211

i Action as an End in Itself 211

ii Action as Interaction 215

iii Man between Resentment and Gratitude 219

Summary 221

Conclusion 223

Endnotes 231

Bibliography 344

Permissions 357

Index 358

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