Sunday, May 10, 2009

18a Hannah Arendt (1906 - 1975)

Today I'll begin with showing you a few scenes, in which you can hear and see Hannah Arendt in person.

About Truth and Politics, statements and talks by and with Hannah Arendt.

INTERVIEWER: Misses Hannah Arendt you are the first women who in the series will be presented, the first woman, although with a profession already for a long time regarded as male profession, you are philosopher.

INTERVIEWER: Allow me after this introduction to get to my first question: do you regard your role among the philosophers, in spite of the recognition and respect which people feel for you, as something exceptional or do you address here an problem of emancipation, which never has existed for you.

HANNAH ARENDT: I am afraid I first have to protest: I dont belong to the group of philosophers. My profession, if you could call it that, is Political Theory. I dont regard myself at all as a philosopher. And I am not....believe not, accepted int the group of philosophers, what you so kindly are thinking.

HANNAH ARENDT: But when we talk about the other question, which you mentioned in your introduction, it is since a long time a male profession. Well, it doesnt need to stay a male profession, It could be very well possible, that one day a woman could become a philosopher ....

INTERVIEWER: I see you as one.....

HANNAH ARENDT: Well...I cant do anything against that....I, myself, am allowed the give my opinion, am I not?

INTERVIEWER: Please do....

HANNAH ARENDT: And it is my opinion that I am not a my opinion I have dropped once and for all philosophy. I have studied philosophy, as you know, but that doesnt mean that I kept myself to it.

The next scene shows Hannah Arendt in New York.

If we would take Hannah Arendt on her word I should dismiss this class on her ^_^, however as I already said several times, I hold the word 'philosopher' in our context to mean 'thinker' and she can't deny that she is a thinker.

And she must admit that she loves philosophy or at least philosophers. She had a love affair with Martin Heidegger and later with Karl Jaspers. There must have been a deep mutual respect, because she stayed in touch with both philosophers till death parted them.

August 12, 1975 she paid a last visit to Martin Heidegger in Freiburg, Germany. On December 4, 1975 Hannah Arendt died in her appartment in New York unexpectedly because of a stroke.

Was Hannah Arendt a philosopher? Definitely not in the way Ayn Rand was, who created something that almost looks like a doctrine, involving epistemology, ethics an political philosophy.

In the first place, the profession of Hannah Arendt was, as she said herself, Political Theory. She has been dedicated to that subject almost all her life after graduation. And in the second place, although she confined her thinking to one specific field, you wont find a system in her thinking, some theoretical core.

In fact, to understand the sense of that, I had to think of our discussion last Tuesday, where we wondered about the meaning of philosophy , when it always comes up with the same questions even after the 161 lectures I held till now.

But we also concluded that learning about this multitude of ideas and explanations and theories, we can see things constantly from different angles, opening new paths into our future.

And that is also the deeper meaning of the work of Hannah Arendt. She was able to come up with insights and explanations of what was happening in the world, which were new, forced others to rethink their opinions.

Not because she offered the truth, but because everyone should be aware of the fact that he never possesses an absolute truth in his personal opinions.

Next lecture I yet will try to bring some ideas to your attention that are, as you could say, returning constants in the thinking of Hannah Arendt. In the meantime it gives you lots of time for your own reseach on Hannah Arendt.

The Discussion

[13:35] herman Bergson: So far the introduction of Hannah Arendt
[13:35] Alarice Beaumont: there is an annual price in germany which is given to a person for getting into politcal thinking
[13:35] Gemma Cleanslate: the encyclopedia of philos , has a lot on her
[13:35] hope63 Shepherd: i liked that approach that learning about mulitude of ideas.. the past and the present.. the individual and his part in society.. the BEEING.. and its relation to the univgerse..
[13:35] Alarice Beaumont: that is neat.. so she will be remembered
[13:35] herman Bergson: That would be very appropriate
[13:35] Gemma Cleanslate: and her thoughts
[13:36] Mickorod Renard: yes i read that Gemma
[13:36] herman Bergson: yes....
[13:36] Samuel Okelly: did arendt deny the existemce of an absolute truth or simply hold the view that it was unobtainable for us to achieve?
[13:36] herman Bergson: There is a lot of information on her
[13:36] itsme Frederix: She got a lot of discussion about her interpretation of Eichman (sorry if Henry already mentioned that)
[13:36] Gemma Cleanslate: I think like ayn rand her philosphy was due to her experiences in early life
[13:37] herman Bergson: the remark about truth was mine Samuel...I dont know if Arendt would agree with me :-)
[13:37] Corona Anatine: suppose you obtained 'absolute truth' how would you know you had achieved it
[13:37] herman Bergson: Yes Itsme....not everyone agreed with ehr
[13:37] Samuel Okelly: -cor, enlightment? revealed truths?
[13:37] herman Bergson: But that will be presented in the next lecture for the Eichmann issue is very interesting in respect to her views
[13:37] hope63 Shepherd: i propose that everyone reads kafka's :before the law.. and the question of ultimate truth will be resolved..
[13:38] Alarice Beaumont: a human being will never reach absolute truth.. in my opinonn
[13:38] Mickorod Renard: I think she took a phenemology approach to her work
[13:38] itsme Frederix: Oke sorry Herman (i'm to fast and always late)
[13:38] herman Bergson: Yes Mickorod....she really attended lectures from Husserll himself
[13:39] itsme Frederix: and Heidegger of course ;)
[13:39] herman Bergson: Yes and Jaspers too :-)
[13:39] herman Bergson: She wrote her dissertation under supervision of Jaspers
[13:39] Samuel Okelly: i noted her interest with kant and his critue of reason
[13:40] Mickorod Renard: do you think her aproach in this way gave her a broader insight?
[13:40] herman Bergson: At the end of her life she held a series of eleven lectures on th epolitical thinking of Kant
[13:41] herman Bergson: Yes Mickorod....
[13:41] Corona Anatine: but even before you search for 'ultimate truth ' you would have to define what it consisted of
[13:41] herman Bergson: there are several ways , methods in philosophical thinking...
[13:41] herman Bergson: personally I am biased by analytical philosophical method, but the continental way shouldnt be discarded
[13:42] Mickorod Renard: I get the feeling phenemology has less restraints
[13:42] herman Bergson: Hannah Arendt is a good example of that approach
[13:42] herman Bergson: could say it is a more literary approach to philosophical questions
[13:42] Marya Blaisdale: I don't think there are any ultimate truths, since truth is a perception of sorts, an analysis - and there can be no truth without context - so anything can only have meaning and truth when approached from a specific context.
[13:43] herman Bergson: I totally agree Marya
[13:43] herman Bergson: Hello Cailleach...
[13:43] Cailleach Shan: Sorry I'm late Herman..... just came to say hello really.
[13:43] herman Bergson smiles
[13:43] AristotleVon Doobie: Hello
[13:43] herman Bergson: hello then
[13:44] Alarice Beaumont: HI Cail
[13:44] Anja Amaterasu: Hello
[13:44] Mickorod Renard: hello cail
[13:44] herman Bergson: But an important thing in Marya's remark...
[13:44] itsme Frederix: Marya, maybe the only thruth exists if it is without any context ;)
[13:44] herman Bergson: Already found in Wittgenstein tho...
[13:44] Samuel Okelly: isnt it a truth statement to say there is "no ultimate truth"????
[13:44] Corona Anatine: truth without context ?
[13:44] herman Bergson: the meaning of contexts...
[13:44] hope63 Shepherd: microcosmos and macrosmos seem to be in many ways identical.. what we are loooking for is the identities of the inbetweens..
[13:45] Marya Blaisdale: if there is no context, itsme, then there are no way to apply any analysis, so I don't see that they can exist independely :)
[13:45] herman Bergson: To analyse problems and isssues within a context
[13:45] itsme Frederix: Corana, well if you add context you add interpretation and other things, hard to say what thruth is then
[13:45] Lokifluff Clarity: to imagine something outside of context is to think empirically
[13:45] Corona Anatine: no neccesarily
[13:46] herman Bergson: this makes philosophical method also a matter of guarding for use of concepts outside of context
[13:46] Corona Anatine: context does not = interpretation
[13:46] Samuel Okelly: a lack of awareness of something in no way negates it's existence
[13:46] herman Bergson: and using concepts in the wrong context
[13:47] itsme Frederix: Corora context is what (also) happens and is observed to happen
[13:47] herman Bergson: I think you could say a context is an interpretation with its own conceptual coherence and logic
[13:47] Corona Anatine: indeed so samuel
[13:47] Corona Anatine: perhaps i use the term differently
[13:47] Corona Anatine: tome context is the thing seen objectively
[13:48] itsme Frederix: or Corona I do - never mind - Hanna Arend had a lot off context I guess
[13:49] herman Bergson: if you see a context as an interpretation with its own conceptual coherence and logic there is no use for a concept of objectivity
[13:49] herman Bergson: Besides we fall into the trap of digital thinking again...
[13:49] herman Bergson: objectivity - subjectivity
[13:50] itsme Frederix: right you are female phils. so keep the analoge way in sight
[13:50] herman Bergson: what do you mean Itsme :-)
[13:50] Corona Anatine: how do you make that = Herman ?
[13:51] itsme Frederix: well digital agains analoge, discretionary agains smooth
[13:51] itsme Frederix: *smooth continously
[13:51] herman Bergson: In that sense Hannah Arendt is an analogue thinker I would say
[13:52] itsme Frederix: I agree, and I think I explained my sentence
[13:52] Laila Schuman: i have always looked for a TRUTH that would exist even if i do not.... because i am afraid of my mind saying.. this is truth
[13:53] itsme Frederix: Laila, have looked - past?
[13:53] Corona Anatine: there is bound to be such laila
[13:53] Corona Anatine: but
[13:53] herman Bergson: That is not so dangerous, Liala,I would say...
[13:53] Corona Anatine: wil can never get to that
[13:53] herman Bergson: There is contexual truth in the sense that statements within a context should not be contradictory
[13:54] Laila Schuman: Itsme..what do you mean .. past?
[13:54] herman Bergson: and when we see a contradiction we have a problem to solve
[13:54] itsme Frederix: Laila, well you said have always looked - do you think different now?
[13:54] Mickorod Renard: Noun 1. context - discourse that surrounds a language unit and helps to determine its interpretation
[13:54] itsme Frederix: or get doubts
[13:55] Laila Schuman: no... it feels like i will never find/know
[13:55] Corona Anatine: just because there is a contradiction does not mean there has to be a solution
[13:55] Gemma Cleanslate: i am afraid i have to go now
[13:55] herman Bergson: Ok defenition Mickorod
[13:55] Gemma Cleanslate: see you next tuesday
[13:55] itsme Frederix: but still you keep looking for it - maybe there is no other way - imagine if you had found it what then ..
[13:55] AristotleVon Doobie: bye Gemma
[13:55] herman Bergson: Bye Gemma
[13:55] Mickorod Renard: bye gemma
[13:55] Qwark Allen: and me to
[13:55] Qwark Allen: ******* Herman *******
[13:55] Qwark Allen: ty
[13:55] AristotleVon Doobie: late on Qwark
[13:56] Alarice Beaumont: ye Gemma
[13:56] Samuel Okelly: tc gem
[13:56] Cailleach Shan: cu Gem
[13:56] herman Bergson: Bye Qwark..:-)
[13:56] Corona Anatine: you would not know if it had been found
[13:56] herman Bergson: This class was a kind of experiment to integrate Youtube material
[13:57] Corona Anatine: wel it did not seem to work this end
[13:57] herman Bergson: I think it went better than the first try with Ayn Rand..
[13:57] Mickorod Renard: It worked well tonite herman
[13:57] Lokifluff Clarity: herman i think the youtube material was a great integration
[13:57] Cailleach Shan: Rats.... sorry I missed that bit Herman.
[13:57] herman Bergson: I'll show you afterwards Cailleach if you like
[13:57] Corona Anatine: ayn rand i got the video tonight - nothing
[13:57] Alarice Beaumont: well it did work Herman
[13:57] Cailleach Shan: Thanks Herman.
[13:57] herman Bergson: I find it exciting to see the person we are talking about...
[13:58] herman Bergson: makes philosophy so toeo speak more human
[13:58] Alarice Beaumont: i think it's great to hear them!
[13:58] Mickorod Renard: this lady phillo (or not) is very interesting I think
[13:58] herman Bergson: Yes she is Mickorod
[13:58] herman Bergson: I hope I can show you that in my next lecture
[13:58] Mickorod Renard: I look forward to hearing more about her
[13:59] herman Bergson: May I thank you all then for participating....
[13:59] Corona Anatine: can it be explained again - how to find tonight video ?
[13:59] Mickorod Renard: thankyou Herman
[13:59] Marya Blaisdale: Thank you Herman :)
[13:59] AristotleVon Doobie: Thank you, Professor
[13:59] Lokifluff Clarity: thank you herman
[13:59] herman Bergson: yes. Corona..I can give you the URLs I used
[13:59] Alarice Beaumont:
[13:59] Samuel Okelly: thank you herman :)
[13:59] Mickorod Renard: I think she was of Christian upbringing too
[13:59] Corona Anatine: ok - now that would have produced it
[13:59] Mickorod Renard: grin
[13:59] herman Bergson: but a search on Hannah Arendt on Youtube gives you tons of movies
[14:00] Samuel Okelly: she was jewish
[14:00] Corona Anatine: ah well she cant be perfect
[14:00] Mickorod Renard: he he he
[14:00] herman Bergson: Yes Samuel..I am Dutch
[14:00] herman Bergson: wrong joke Corona :-)
[14:00] Mickorod Renard: look her up Sam
[14:00] Samuel Okelly: "Hannah Arendt (October 14, 1906 – December 4, 1975) was an influential German-Jewish political theorist. " wiki
[14:01] Mickorod Renard: ok,,now i have stired it up,,I have to go
[14:01] AristotleVon Doobie: bye Mick
[14:01] herman Bergson: Wrong...she was German-Jewish-American
[14:01] Mickorod Renard: yes,,but she was brought up in a christian environment
[14:01] Lokifluff Clarity: one could argue, however, that because she was in the company of such philosophers as Jaspers, Heidegger and Husserl, that her reluctance to consider herself a philsopher may have something to do
[14:01] Samuel Okelly: cor, anto, semitic is not allowed but anti-christian is ok?
[14:01] Anne Charles: she was a secular Jew
[14:01] Mickorod Renard: ok,,see u all,,bye Herman
[14:02] herman Bergson: That crossed my mind too Loki
[14:02] Lokifluff Clarity: with her admiration for those colleagues... it could have been a humble statement on her part
[14:02] Samuel Okelly: thanks again herman! tc every1 :)
[14:02] Mickorod Renard: Sam,,u can fly?
[14:02] Lokifluff Clarity: particularly poignant given her love affairs with one or two of them perhaps?
[14:03] herman Bergson: yes..I was surprised by her remarks..
[14:03] herman Bergson: Were my ideas too, Loki
[14:03] Corona Anatine: ty Alarice - have found the vid
[14:03] Lokifluff Clarity: :-)
[14:04] herman Bergson: But that is proivate life and no philosophy not too imoportant to mention :-)
[14:04] herman Bergson: But yet..arent we all curious ^_^
[14:05] Lokifluff Clarity: well.. i think it is important when one tries to dismiss her as not being a philosopher
[14:05] Seneca Quandry: It might shed light on her as a philosopher though, Herman. I think Loki is right: Arendt was humble and viewed her male colleagues as Great Philosophers. In many respects, however, I think she surpassed them.
[14:05] Cailleach Shan: I think ones personal philosophy always manifests in lifestyle in some way or another.
[14:05] Corona Anatine: by hermans definiton she is one
[14:05] Anne Charles: Time to go, thanks Professor, bye everyone
[14:05] Seneca Quandry: Epictetus also refused to call himself a philosopher.
[14:05] herman Bergson: True seneca....she wasnt the women's lib type
[14:05] Alarice Beaumont: tschüss Anne
[14:05] Corona Anatine: if philosiphy = thinking
[14:06] Ze Novikov: must be off bb everyone ty Herman
[14:06] herman Bergson: when you listen the first interview to the end she says so
[14:06] Laila Schuman: van gogh would never call himself an artist... he "revered" art so much
[14:06] Marya Blaisdale: Thanks again Herman, bye all :)
[14:06] Corona Anatine: although it is hard to imagine an unthinking philosipohy
[14:06] herman Bergson: Bye Marya
[14:06] Lokifluff Clarity: bye Marya!
[14:07] AristotleVon Doobie: if one is, then what good is a lable?
[14:07] Seneca Quandry: Exactly, Laila. Epictetus thought that it was for other people to decide whether his work was 'philosophy.'
[14:07] Seneca Quandry: Perhaps Arendt had a similar view.
[14:07] hope63 Shepherd: i dfon't think she was "humble" she critizised heidegger on some of his arguments.. and she felt that she was more qualified in heer field.. understanding of social and political relations in regard to man..
[14:07] herman Bergson: Whatever you call her...she wrote important studies
[14:07] Lokifluff Clarity: indeed!
[14:08] herman Bergson: Well may I thank you for your participation for today and thus cocnlude our discussion
[14:09] Lokifluff Clarity: thank you herman!
[14:09] herman Bergson: We'll meet again on Tuesday and seewhat Hannah Arendt has to tell us
[14:09] Laila Schuman: ohhhh it is a new woman in class...that is how it happened
[14:10] Seneca Quandry: Yes, thanks Herman. It's wonderful that you provide this forum.
[14:10] herman Bergson: It is my SLife, Seneca ^_^
[14:10] Seneca Quandry: :-)
[14:10] Lokifluff Clarity: :-)
[14:10] Corona Anatine: ty Herman
[14:12] Laila Schuman: so sorry... i must run... be well all
[14:12] itsme Frederix: Herman, great being here - got some busy time/holiday but in a few weeks I will attend more regular again
[14:12] AristotleVon Doobie: bye Laila
[14:12] herman Bergson: Yes I missed you Itsme..:-)
[14:12] AristotleVon Doobie: wow
[14:12] AristotleVon Doobie: did you se that
[14:13] AristotleVon Doobie: I think I hit the ceiling
[14:13] AristotleVon Doobie: :)
[14:13] herman Bergson: great job Aristotle..
[14:13] AristotleVon Doobie: thanks LOL
[14:13] itsme Frederix: Well I missed a lot last time, but also had some additionals that ompensated
[14:13] herman Bergson: comes with the job, by the way
[14:13] Hokon Cazalet: food time for me, bye folks =)
[14:13] AristotleVon Doobie: got to run, good bye all
[14:13] AristotleVon Doobie: thanks agai Herman
[14:13] herman Bergson: Bye Hokon
[14:14] Corona Anatine: Bye
[14:14] hope63 Shepherd: bye hokon.. bon appetit:)
Posted by herman_bergson on 2009-02-13 05:34:46

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