David Withun's Reviews > The Human Condition

The Human Condition by Hannah Arendt
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Jun 10, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: favorites, philosophy
Read in June, 2012 — I own a copy

Arendt's book is a masterpiece of modern philosophy. Like any masterpiece, especially of philosophy, and even more especially of modern philosophy, this mistakes it very difficult to summarize. In this book, she draws on the history of Western thought from the ancient Jews, Greeks, and Romans through to Marx and Nietzsche to diagnose, as the title puts it, “the human condition.” Nearly every page is filled with insight into what it means to be human. She moves swiftly through the ages, introducing us to the ideas that have shaped our modern way of life and our way of viewing ourselves. And she finally ends with where we are at and why a reevaluation of our own humanity is now more pressing than ever (and now even more pressing than when Arendt wrote the book): our worst fears have been realized. Man has been simultaneously reduced to the state of an animal – a biological machine of no lasting worth – and elevated to the position of a god – capable of destroying worlds. What are we to do now? I recommend that everyone read this book – and ponder every word deeply.
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02/04 marked as: read

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