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  • © 2017

Hannah Arendt's Theory of Political Action

Daimonic Disclosure of the ‘Who'

Palgrave Macmillan

Authors:

  • Offers a close and compelling reading of Hannah Arendt's work

  • Explores how to recognize beliefs in the presence of the divine in human action while respecting the plurality of political opinion

  • Brings Arendt into conversation with modern life issues such as the increasing religiosity of global political life and divine justifications of violence

Part of the book series: International Political Theory (IPoT)

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  • ISBN: 978-3-319-53438-1
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Softcover Book USD 119.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
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Table of contents (8 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-xi
  2. Introduction

    • Trevor Tchir
    Pages 1-13
  3. Appearances of the Divine ‘Daimon’

    • Trevor Tchir
    Pages 65-95
  4. Aletheia: The Influence of Heidegger

    • Trevor Tchir
    Pages 97-124
  5. Conclusion

    • Trevor Tchir
    Pages 235-246
  6. Back Matter

    Pages 247-258

About this book

This book presents an account of Hannah Arendt’s performative and non-sovereign theory of freedom and political action, with special focus on action’s disclosure of the unique ‘who’ of each agent. It aims to illuminate Arendt’s critique of sovereign rule, totalitarianism, and world-alienation, her defense of a distinct political sphere for engaged citizen action and judgment, her conception of the ‘right to have rights,’ and her rejection of teleological philosophies of history. Arendt proposes that in modern, pluralistic, secular public spheres, no one metaphysical or religious idea can authoritatively validate political actions or opinions absolutely. At the same time, she sees action and thinking as revealing an inescapable existential illusion of a divine element in human beings, a notion represented well by the ‘daimon’ metaphor that appears in Arendt’s own work and in key works by Plato, Heidegger, Jaspers, and Kant, with which she engages. While providing a post-metaphysical theory of action and judgment, Arendt performs the fact that many of the legitimating concepts of contemporary secular politics retain a residual vocabulary of transcendence. This book will be of interest not only to Arendt scholars, but also to students of identity politics, the critique of sovereignty, international political theory, political theology, and the philosophy of history.  

 

Keywords

  • Hannah Arendt's theory of freedom and political action
  • critique of sovereign rule
  • critique of totalitarianism
  • the ‘right to have rights'
  • critique of sovereignty
  • political theology
  • philosophy of history
  • international political theory
  • divine elements in human beings
  • contemporary secular politics
  • teleological philosophies of history
  • Hannah Arendt's daimon metaphor
  • Hannah Arendt and Plato
  • Hannah Arendt and Heidegger
  • Hannah Arendt and Karl Jaspers
  • Hannah Arendt and Kant
  • Hannah Arendt and Marx

Reviews

“This book advances our understanding of Hannah Arendt’s ideas of action and political life with an original and provocative focus on the idea of the Daimon. Tchir critically assesses Arendt’s encounter with Heidegger, Marx, and Kant, leaving us with a better understanding of her and the political theorists with whom she grappled. As a result, we are left with new insights into how Arendt’s political theory can speak to the contemporary condition.” (Professor Anthony Lang, University of St. Andrews, UK) 

“This is a rich and provocative account of Arendt’s concept of human action as both non-sovereign and un-moored in relation to traditional sources of authority and belief.   Tchir’s emphasis on the daimonic dimension of ‘the who’ powerfully suggests the mysterious process of negotiation between thinking (withdrawing from the world of human affairs) and politics (engaging in this world) that characterises action.” (Professor Anna Yeatman, Western Sydney University, Australia)

“Hannah Arendt was a resolutely worldly thinker, but she could never shake what Trevor Tchir calls the "grammar of transcendence"—no more than Socrates could escape his daimon. This rich, erudite study tracks the figure of the daimon across a surprisingly wide range of Arendt's work—which, Tchir shows, can be read as a sustained attempt to transform this divine power into a figure of secular non-sovereignty. A compelling intervention.” (Dr. Patchen Markell, the University of Chicago, USA)

Authors and Affiliations

  • Department of Law and Politics, Algoma University, Sault Ste. Marie, Canada

    Trevor Tchir

About the author

Trevor Tchir is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Algoma University,Canada. 

Bibliographic Information

Buying options

eBook USD 89.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-319-53438-1
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book USD 119.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book USD 119.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)