Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 53–60 | Cite as

Socializing the public: invoking Hannah Arendt’s critique of modernity to evaluate reproductive technologies

Scientific Contribution


The article examines the writings of one of the most influential political philosophers, Hannah Arendt, and specifically focuses on her views regarding the distinction between the private and the public and the transformation of the public to the social by modernity. Arendt’s theory of human activity and critique of modernity are explored to critically evaluate the social contributions and implications of reproductive technologies especially where the use of such technologies is most dominant within Western societies. Focusing on empirical studies on new reproductive technologies in Israel, it is argued, powerfully demonstrates Arendt’s theory, and broadens the perspectives through which society should evaluate these new technologies towards a more reflective understanding of its current laws and policies and their affect on women more generally.


Reproductive technologies Hannah Arendt Reproductive health law and policy Israel 



Special thanks are deserved to Shlomi Segall, Ori Lev as well as the reviewers of Medicine, Healthcare and Philosophy who commented on early drafts.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Hebrew University of JerusalemJerusalemIsrael

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