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Human Condition (2ND 98 Edition)


Human Condition (2ND 98 Edition) Cover

ISBN13: 9780226025988
ISBN10: 0226025985
Condition: Student Owned
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Synopses & Reviews

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Publisher Comments:

A work of striking originality bursting with unexpected insights, The Human Condition is in many respects more relevant now than when it first appeared in 1958. In her study of the state of modern humanity, Hannah Arendt considers humankind from the perspective of the actions of which it is capable. The problems Arendt identified then—diminishing human agency and political freedom, the paradox that as human powers increase through technological and humanistic inquiry, we are less equipped to control the consequences of our actions—continue to confront us today. This new edition, published to coincide with the fortieth anniversary of its original publication, contains an improved and expanded index and a new introduction by noted Arendt scholar Margaret Canovan which incisively analyzes the book's argument and examines its present relevance. A classic in political and social theory, The Human Condition is a work that has proved both timeless and perpetually timely.

Hannah Arendt (1906-1975) was one of the leading social theorists in the United States. Her Lectures on Kant's Political Philosophy and Love and Saint Augustine are also published by the University of Chicago Press.

Book News Annotation:

Updated edition of a work originally published in 1958; includes an expanded index and an introduction by Arendt scholar Margaret Canovan (political thought, U. of Keele, England) which analyzes the book and its contemporary relevance. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (


Considering humankind from the perspective of the actions of which it is capable, this text addresses diminishing human agency and political freedom - the paradox that as human powers increase through technology and inquiry, we are less equipped to control the consequences of our actions.

Table of Contents



I. The Human Condition

1 Vita Activa and the Human Condition

2 The Term Vita Activa

3 Eternity versus Immortality

II. The Public and the Private Realm

4 Man: A Social or a Political Animal

5 The Polis and the Household

6 The Rise of the Social

7 The Public Realm: The Common

8 The Private Realm: Property

9 The Social and the Private

10 The Location of Human Activities

III. Labor

11 "The Labour of Our Body and the Work of Our Hands"

12 The Thing-Character of the World

13 Labor and Life

14 Labor and Fertility

15 The Privacy of Property and Wealth

16 The Instruments of Work and the Division of Labor

17 A Consumers' Society

IV. Work

18 The Durability of the World

19 Reification

20 Instrumentality and Animal Laborans

21 Instrumentality and Homo Faber

22 The Exchange Market

23 The Permanence of the World and the Work of Art

V. Action

24 The Disclosure of the Agent in Speech and Action

25 The Web of Relationships and the Enacted Stories

26 The Frailty of Human Affairs

27 The Greek Solution

28 Power and the Space of Appearance

29 Homo Faber and the Space of Appearance

30 The Labor Movement

31 The Traditional Substitution of Making for Acting

32 The Process Character of Action

33 Irreversibility and the Power To Forgive

34 Unpredictability and the Power of Promise

VI. The Vita Activa and the Modern Age

35 World Alienation

36 The Discovery of the Archimedean Point

37 Universal versus Natural Science

38 The Rise of the Cartesian Doubt

39 Introspection and the Loss of Common Sense

40 Thought and the Modern World View

41 The Reversal of Contemplation and Action

42 The Reversal within the Vita Activa and the Victory of Homo Faber

43 The Defeat of Homo Faber and the Principle of Happiness

44 Life as the Highest Good

45 The Victory of the Animal Laborans



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David Gerstle, July 12, 2009 (view all comments by David Gerstle)
What a lovely gift that Hannah Arendt gave the world in this book. The fact that her work is often unused in the social sciences is baffling to me, although I also hold the knowledge I have gained from this work in particular as a private, driving motivation for my own research.

Arendt's argument in 'The Human Condition' focuses upon human labors and the production of the 'human artifice' through our tools, technology, and know-how. The mediating layer of technology and ideology between ourselves and nature is - to Arendt's thinking - the sphere of human political action, which should be the primary concern of any intellectual concerned with the sanity and safety of the world. Her positions return frequently to a central theme: that the place of our philosophical labors should not proceed from some (imaginary) exterior point of observation, but approach human problems as situations in which we are fully imbedded and invested. In this sense, I feel, Arendt makes the arguments of Marxism without the dogmatic thrust of most of its proponents, and she does so through prose that is a joy to read and consider again and again.

I truly cannot recommend this book enough to anyone (that is, everyone) who worries of the crises of our times, the brutality of our conflicts, the uses of our scientific knowledge, or the places and persons from which we might draw hope. However this book might be approached, I have never left its pages without feeling changed, challenged, and inspired.
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Product Details

Canovan, Margaret
Canovan, Margaret
Introduction by:
Canovan, Margaret
Canovan, Margaret
Cram 101
Cram 101
Cram101 Textbook Reviews, Textbook Revie
Canovan, Margaret
Arendt, 2nd Edition
Arendt, Hannah
Cram101 Textbook Reviews
University of Chicago Press
Chicago :
Sociology - General
History & Surveys - Modern
Book Notes
Philosophy : General
Edition Number:
Edition Description:
Cram101 Textbook Outlines
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
9 x 6 in

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Human Condition (2ND 98 Edition) Used Trade Paper
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Product details 370 pages University of Chicago Press - English 9780226025988 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Considering humankind from the perspective of the actions of which it is capable, this text addresses diminishing human agency and political freedom - the paradox that as human powers increase through technology and inquiry, we are less equipped to control the consequences of our actions.
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