Hannah Arendt and the source of human values

Hannah Arendt was a literary intellectual, defined by Thomas Pynchon as, “people who read and think.” Like Socrates, Hannah Arendt thought and went where thought took her. Arendt’s thinking led her
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Hannah Arendt was a literary intellectual, defined by Thomas Pynchon as, “people who read and think.” Like Socrates, Hannah Arendt thought and went where thought took her. Arendt’s thinking led her many places, but one of the more interesting topics she thought about was the source of human values. Arendt shared Nietzsche’s and Marx’s belief that moral values are made by humans and not, as the Enlightenment believed, independently existing principles of right and wrong. As Nietzsche and Marx are both earlier in history and more forceful in their language then Arendt (and also, notably, men), Arendt’s own thinking on how values are made gets less attention than it merits. Arendt devotes much of her most important book, The Human Condition, to elaborating three different categorical distinctions important for how she thinks our experience of existence shapes how we make human values. She calls the first distinction the social/private/political distinction, the second the. . .

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News source: OUPblog » Philosophy

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