In an interview with GÃ¼nther Gaus for German television in 1964, Hannah Arendt insisted that she was not a philosopher but a political theorist. Disillusioned by the cooperation of German intellectuals with the Nazis, she said farewell to philosophy when she fled the country. This book examines Arendt's ideas about thinking, acting and political responsibility, investigating the relationship between the life of the mind and the life of action that preoccupied Arendt throughout her life. By joining in the conversation between Arendt and Gaus, each contributor probes her ideas about thinking and judging and their relation to responsibility, power and violence. An insightful and intelligent treatment of the work of Hannah Arendt, this volume will appeal to a wide number of fields beyond political theory and philosophy, including law, literary studies, social anthropology and cultural history.
'When German television viewers tuned in to GÃ¼nter Gaus's interview with Hannah Arendt in 1964, they got a glimpse of the vibrant animation of her political thought. The eleven essays in this book, inspired by scenes from that interview, bring Arendt's thought to life for us. They give us a vivid feeling for the contexts, intellectual and political, that mattered to Arendt; and they show us how, even as she rejected the subordination of politics to philosophy, Arendt made thinking matter to politics. A valuable collection, rich in insights not only about Arendt but about the enterprise of political theory.' Patchen Markell, The University of Chicago, USA