Hannah Arendt

What is action?

Two collectives: anon and not

Image of protest with sign saying "Inaugurate The Resistance"

In The Human Condition (1958), Hannah Arendt describes three central human activities: labor, work, and action. Labor “corresponds to the biological process,” and includes anything we do to keep ourselves and others alive: food production and preparation, cleaning, childbirth. Work is whatever contributes to the “world of things,” the made world: craftwork, construction, city planning, but also the creation of works of art and of laws. 

In The Human Condition (1958), Hannah Arendt describes three central human activities: labor, work, and action. Labor “corresponds to the biological process,” and includes anything we do to keep ourselves and others alive: food production and preparation, cleaning, childbirth. Work is whatever contributes to the “world of things,” the made world: craftwork, construction, city planning, but also the creation of works of art and of laws. So what is action?

'Bright Eyes'

Registry Hall, Ellis Island.
Registry Hall, Ellis Island. 1911 Tomasz, 1914 Anastasia. In 1996 Art Garfunkel played a concert here and sang the song "Bright Eyes".

Playing with translation is learning about one’s own language, one’s own history, how it came to be that certain words emerge from the mouth. I was working this morning on a wee project from last August, started after a research group meeting (working together on the question What is production?) where we considered Hannah Arendt and, inevitably, Heidegger.

Flingy unholy alliance

The New York Times lead, for a story published in 1995: "One of the gossipy curiosities of 20th-century philosophy is that Hannah Arendt, the German-born Jewish philosopher remembered for her fierce and unforgiving attacks on totalitarianism, had a youthful fling in the 1920s with Martin Heidegger." Here is a link to that story, and here's a response to the matter by Aharon Meytahl.

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