By Lars Rensmann, Samir Gandesha
Hannah Arendt and Theodor W. Adorno, of the main influential political philosophers and theorists of the 20 th century, have been contemporaries with related pursuits, backgrounds, and a shared adventure of exile. but before, no ebook has introduced them jointly. during this first comparative learn in their paintings, best students speak about divergences, expose miraculous affinities, and locate universal floor among the 2 thinkers. This pioneering paintings recovers the relevance of Arendt and Adorno for modern political concept and philosophy and lays the root for a serious knowing of political modernity: from universalistic claims for political freedom to the abyss of genocidal politics.
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Additional resources for Arendt and Adorno: Political and Philosophical Investigations
It is precisely their experience of exile that has the most to offer us today, in a period of forced migration perhaps not seen on an equivalent scale since the interwar period, and that will no doubt increase in the near future. That is, for both Arendt and Adorno, such a conception of experience, while perhaps present in nascent form prior to their forced exile from Germany, undergoes an intensified development as a direct effect of their own respective confrontations with the condition of a loss of Heimat (home).
86 This desperate experience of loss of citizenship is constitutive for Arendt’s brilliant analysis of the aporiae of human rights in The Origins of Totalitarianism. Here she interprets the fundamental loss of the “right to have rights,” the right to be a member of a political community, as the precondition of extermination. According to Arendt, the loss of citizenship also means the loss of worldliness; the loss of a polity makes humans politically superfluous and can, in the modern age of organized mankind, simultaneously be understood as an expulsion from humanity87 that leads to the nakedness of bare 26 lars rensmann and samir gandesha life (zōē).
39 Arendt is not concerned to establish some inevitable continuity between the past and present that would compel us to view what happened as what had to happen. She objects to this trap of historicist understanding and maintains that the future is radically underdetermined. If we recall Benjamin’s chess-playing puppet, Arendt is concerned to show that the mysterious hunchback behind it does not pull all the strings of history after all. Instead, she is searching for the “elements” of totalitarianism, for those currents of thought, political events, and outlook that form a particular configuration and crystallization of elements, quite differently than they did in their original context.
Arendt and Adorno: Political and Philosophical Investigations by Lars Rensmann, Samir Gandesha