Hannah Arendt – a female philosopher

Not to be, as “the ant that just crawls on the wheel of fate” (Herder), the female philosopher Hannah Arendt flirts with the advise of Hugo von Hofmannsthal, who sought to awaken in us “the old tenderness for the world.”
♥ Ant ♥
title=”♥ Ant ♥ photo by vipul sarang, click on the picture to enter his galleries on Flickr
Frizztext: it’s great that by a new movie this important female philosopher (played by Barbara Sukowa) gets new attention… For Hannah Arendt’s philosophy of existence it is important, to think of communication and dialogue as the core of human dignity (and she feels deeply related to the German philosopher Karl Jaspers). About the famous Martin Heidegger, her former ex-lover, she wrote down in a note the settlement: “A debatable issue is whether Heidegger’s philosophy has not been unduly taken seriously”. On Karl Marx she criticized his doctrinaire way (who did not) – more sympathetic to her is Sören Kierkegaard‘s despair. Albert Camus: she liked the pose of his defiance, and the father of modern philosophy, Immanuel Kant, he was admired by her for his extraordinary serenity.
The famous Jewish victim Anne Frank was revealed by a Dutch (not German) police man. Why? Only because the mediocre are following a ridiculous desire for career advancement? The Jewish philosopher Hannah Arendt had the idea, to describe this as “the banality of evil” when she reported about Adolf Eichmann, the minor official who organized the transport of millions of Jews to their extermination into the gas chambers.
Hannah Arendt: “The greatest evil in the world is the evil committed by nobodies. It is this phenomenon that I have called the banality of evil!”

the film by Margarethe von Trotta will start in the USA on May 29th 2013!
I’ve commented there:
The banality of evil“, a terminus of the philosopher Hannah Arendt referred to the Third Reich, actually becomes quite true here as well. Though not millions of people were killed as in Nazi Germany during WW II: but the modern neo-Nazi attacks undermine more and more cities in Germany. There are probably many “banal” followers: police covering facts, intelligence agencies removing files, judges performing callous, tactless, arrogant towards the international press…


About frizztext

writer, photographer, guitarist

29 responses to “Hannah Arendt – a female philosopher

  1. Thank you for alerting us to this film. I hope to see it. It is unimaginable the evil committed by nobodies, and how they were able to succeed.


  2. Looks like a powerful film. Why are there so few famous female philosophers?


  3. museconfuse

    Your quote above brings to mind another quote by Hannah Arendt , ““Under conditions of tyranny it is far easier to act than to think. ”
    ― Hannah Arendt


    • thank you, you inspired me to google for Hannah Arendt QUOTES:
      for example:
      “By its very nature the beautiful is isolated from everything else.
      From beauty no road leads to reality.”
      [frizztext: for me this could be an advice for photographers: don’t put the focus on kitsch and romantic, try to catch the sadness of reality… or let me say: “Dear photographers: From Kitsch there is not any bridge to reality!”
      Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/h/hannah_arendt.html#FbUZBEHhd0Z9xBSx.99


      • museconfuse

        I had to google to get the exact wording of the quote. I’m always afraid to misquote!

        I like your advice “…try to catch the sadness of reality”


        • blind clarinetist
          dear “muse of the confused” I’m happy with you, understanding that you are glad now to get a new home in Frankfurt with your loved one = that’s a top decade in your life for sure. On the other hand I cannot forget the blind clarinetist Rob in Brussels, who played with me (frizz on guitar) last year in Brussels.
          rapeseed blues
          And last week a kind of third daughter (Dutch) visited us with her two little boys and her husband – and she now gets a dog too (Blindenhund), because her increasing, worsening blindness makes it necessary. So, addicted to photography: I never will forget those, who can’t see anymore. I helped our third daughter last week to run through a large yellow field of rape or flax. Maybe her last impression, before she dives into permanent darkness.


          • museconfuse

            I love the photo of Rob and you guys must have had a really good gig.

            And I’m sorry about your daughter (I know she’s not blood related) and I think it’s great that she did run through a large yellow field – something I would do too.


    • etwas deutsch, Richtung Frankfurt: Arendt findet Kierkegaards Verzweiflung sympathischer als das Heideggersche Pathos, (aber die rührende Widerspenstigkeit von Camus wäre niemals zu messen an Kants Ernsthaftigkeit …) – sich als Existenzphilosophin begreifend, hat Hannah Arendt gewagt (wie auch der Ex-Psychiater Jaspers) psychologische Grundmuster zu beschreiben …


  4. A great post, Frizz. I’ll put the movie on my “to see” list. Her work is wonderful. I read some of it when I was researching my novel. She gave us a way to understand the atrocities of the world wars in the 20th Century.


  5. Your posts always fascinate me, Frizz. The information is very interesting and thought provoking. It leaves one with the desire to seek out more information about whatever it is your posting. This one is also emotional. The sad reality that someone could soon be without sight … someone close to you is sad. I hope time will be kind.


  6. Dietmar, I think it is so true “The greatest evil in the world is the evil committed by nobodies.” I have always asked why people are so focused on Hitler when they talk about the Jewish genocide. It is insane that people think one man made an entire nation, or even continent commit the holocaust. They don’t like to think that individual common people were complicit and that there is evil in all of us and we need to take responsibility. Maybe that is why. Because we see it in ourselves. It is just so convenient to say — one man made us do it! Same thing with ‘good role model.’ Such a stupid idea. Now that Lance Amstrong has admitted what he did, what are the people going to do who used him as the cookie cutter model for their lives?


    • “The greatest evil in the world
      is the evil committed by nobodies.”
      for example: male policemen in India,
      ignoring female gang rape victims …
      that’s why I said: India needs in every police station a female officer too (that’s standard in Germany meanwhile) – because evil is inside every male person (?)


  7. http://www.amazon.de/review/R110KLSD17JTUZ

    die am “massachusetts institute of technology humanities” lehrende professorin elzbieta ettinger schreibt mit psychologischem scharfblick über die beziehung hannah arendt / martin heidegger. als studentin verliebte sich die jüdin 1924 in den gerade durch “SEIN und ZEIT” berühmt gewordenen heidegger – der allerdings verheiratet war. dennoch unterhielten sie vier jahre eine heimliche liebesbeziehung, die zerbrach, weil sich heidegger enthusiastisch dem hitler-regime zuwandte und die jüdin arendt fallen ließ wie eine heiße kartoffel. um so trauriger, dass hannah arendt, tief in sich selbst zerspalten, nach dem krieg aufgrund gewisser sklavischer, masochistischer, chronischer verliebtheit heidegger wieder mehrmals kontaktierte (ausgerechnet auf ihren europa-reisen als generaldirektorin der “commission on european jewish cultural reconstruction”). die ehefrau elfride heidegger giftete, hannah arendt sei vernagelt und blödsinnig vor eifersucht, hannah arendt gab zu protokoll, frau heidegger sei so unbelehrbar, dass sie wohl immer noch bereit sei, alle juden zu ersäufen, derer sie habhaft werden könne. obwohl die philosophin hannah arendt weltweit zum symbol des aufrechten, mutigen ganges und der souveränen kritikfähigkeit wurde, war sie im schwächeren, abgespaltenen, aber öfters wieder in die handlungskompetenz geratenden regredierenden teil ihrer ICH-struktur die unterwürfige studentin geblieben, die ihren professor anhimmelt – egal, was er auf dem kerbholz hat. die amerikanische professorin elzbieta ettinger kreidet ihr zurecht etwas entnervt an, es habe doch nun nicht unbedingt nötig sein müssen, dass sie für die reputation des nationalsozialisten heidegger in den USA gekämpft habe – andererseits schildert sie die abläufe empathie-fähig genug, dass dem leser die erkenntnis zugänglich wird, dass es sich hier um das lebens-schicksal eines traumatisierten menschen handelt: hannahs vater starb, als sie 7 jahre alt war, leicht gerät ein solchermaßen verunsicherter mensch in die gefahr, scheinbar stärkere vater-ersatz-figuren bei trübung der objektiven urteilskraft zu idealisieren [so schenkte sie ihm gegen ende ihres lebens (er lebte 5 monate länger als sie) ihre englisch-sprachigen, international berühmt gewordenen veröffentlichungen – obwohl er englisch nicht verstand und auch sonst zu eitel war, sich für ihr leben statt für seines zu interessieren]. elzbieta ettinger’s arbeit ermöglicht es, den GANZEN menschen hannah arendt zu verstehen, nicht nur seine erfolgs-fassade, sondern auch die nachtseite einer pathologischen unterwürfigkeit …



  8. It is pitiful that some nobodies will resort to committing evils in order to become a somebody.


  9. Thank you for profiling this new movie, I do hope to see it.

    In thinking about good and evil, I’m also reminded of the following quote: “If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”
    ― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956

    Then there was Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s observation that goes something like this: “If there is no God, then all things are permitted.”


  10. Wow! What an amazing photo! And also a very interesting information. I remember that when I studied philosophy at preparatory school, we only read and discussed about the work of men philosophers but never about the work of any woman, it wasn’t at the study program, so in those times I didn’t know that there were women philosophers. I would like to see the movie.


  11. Just like to add my thanks to you for this post and telling us about the Hannah Arendt film. It’s interesting, too, how your thoughtful posts prompt other people’s stories and wise words. A real multiplier effect, and the best part of blogging. Also thank you for your comment on my recent post.


  12. WordsFallFromMyEyes

    This is a marvellous read. I remember reading Camus. I SO FELT IT – ‘The Outsider’.

    I’d love to see this film. Hope it comes to Australia.


  13. Pingback: Neo Nazi Trial in Germany | Flickr Comments

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