The Life of the Mind

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Considered by many to be Hannah Arendt's greatest work, and published as she neared the end of her life, The Life of the Mind investigates thought itself as it exists in contemplative life. In a shift from her previous writings, most of which focus on the world outside the mind, this was planned as three volumes that would explore the activities of the mind considered by Arendt to be fundamental. What emerged is a rich, challenging analysis of human mental activity, considered ...
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The Life of the Mind

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Overview

Considered by many to be Hannah Arendt's greatest work, and published as she neared the end of her life, The Life of the Mind investigates thought itself as it exists in contemplative life. In a shift from her previous writings, most of which focus on the world outside the mind, this was planned as three volumes that would explore the activities of the mind considered by Arendt to be fundamental. What emerged is a rich, challenging analysis of human mental activity, considered in terms of thinking, willing, and judging.

This final achievement, presented here in a complete one-volume edition, may be seen as a legacy to our own and future generations.

An analysis of the human process of thinking, and of the human will and its significance.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780151518968
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 3/1/1978
  • Series: Her the Life of the Mind ; V. 2
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Pages: 277

Meet the Author

MARY MCCARTHY (1912-1989) was a short-story writer, bestselling novelist, essayist, and critic. She was the author of The Stones of Florence and Birds of America, among other books.

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Table of Contents

Editor's Note xiii
1 Thinking
Introduction 3
I Appearance
1 The world's phenomenal nature 19
2 (True) being and (mere) appearance: the two-world theory 23
3 The reversal of the metaphysical hierarchy: the value of the surface 26
4 Body and soul; soul and mind 30
5 Appearance and semblance 37
6 The thinking ego and the self: Kant 40
7 Reality and the thinking ego: the Cartesian doubt and the sensus communis 45
8 Science and common sense; Kant's distinction between intellect and reason; truth and meaning 53
II Mental Activities in a World of Appearances
9 Invisibility and withdrawal 69
10 The intramural warfare between thought and common sense 80
11 Thinking and doing: the spectator 92
12 Language and metaphor 98
13 Metaphor and the ineffable 110
III What Makes Us Think?
14 The pre-philosophic assumptions of Greek philosophy 129
15 Plato's answer and its echoes 141
16 The Roman answer 151
17 The answer of Socrates 166
18 The two-in-one 179
IV Where Are We When We Think?
19 "Tantot je pense et tantot je suis" (Valery): the nowhere 197
20 The gap between past and future: the nunc stans 202
21 Postscriptum 213
Notes 217
2 Willing
Introduction 3
I The Philosophers and the Will
1 Time and mental activities 11
2 The Will and the modern age 19
3 The main objections to the Will in post-medieval philosophy 23
4 The problem of the new 28
5 The clash between thinking and willing: the tonality of mental activities 34
6 Hegel's solution: the philosophy of History 39
II Quaestio mihi factus sum: The Discovery of the Inner Man
7 The faculty of choice: proairesis, the forerunner of the Will 55
8 The Apostle Paul and the impotence of the Will 63
9 Epictetus and the omnipotence of the Will 73
10 Augustine, the first philosopher of the Will 84
III Will and Intellect
11 Thomas Aquinas and the primacy of Intellect 113
12 Duns Scotus and the primacy of the Will 125
IV Conclusions
13 German Idealism and the "rainbow-bridge of concepts" 149
14 Nietzsche's repudiation of the Will 158
15 Heidegger's Will-not-to-will 172
16 The abyss of freedom and the novus ordo seclorum 195
Notes 219
Editor's Postface 241
Appendix Judging: Excerpts from Lectures on Kant's Political Philosophy 255
Indexes 273
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