Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘Arendt’

The Banality of Evil: Anti-feminism and the Left

Last week, I finally sat down with some friends and watched the 2012 film, “Hannah Arendt,” by Margarethe von Trotta.  The film focuses on Arendt’s trip to Israel to watch the Eichmann trial and the writing of her article for The New Yorker on the trial, Eichmann in Jerusalem.  With nice timing, The New Yorker is making its archives including this article available for a limited time on its website so check it out here.  Arendt argues in that essay that what was most appalling about the trial and about Eichmann and most frightening for a political environment tending more and more to totalitarianism was that Eichmann did not claim to think.   Read more

Nafplion: The Leisure to Think

Thinkers from Plato to Marx remark on the need for leisure–for leisure time won by having one’s expenses covered and necessities provided–to engage in the life of the mind.  After the busy work of investigating Athens, we have now settled into the leisurely place of Nafplion where we have plenty of time to think.  I’ve set two thinking projects for myself: one is a paper on Arendt and Aristotle that I’m giving at the American Political Science Association (APSA) at the end of the summer and the other is a piece on Aristotle’s conception of government, politeuma, which I have presented a number of times and am now ready to send it out for publication. Read more

Famous men have the whole earth as their memorial.

The title of this post comes from Pericles’ Funeral Oration as recounted by Thucydides in History of the Peloponnesian War.  My very patient traveling companion read it aloud to me today in the Kerameikos District, the Classical-era cemetery where Pericles gave that oration after the first dead had been returned to Athens at the start of the Peloponnesian War. Thucydides remembers Pericles speaking thus: They [the dead] gave their lives to her [Athens] and to all of us, and for their own selves they won praises that never grow old, the most splendid of sepulchres–not the sepulchre in which their bodies are laid, but where their glory remains eternal in men’s minds, always there on the right occasion to stir others to speech or action. Read more

Hellas Yes!

Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people’s hats off – then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can. Melville, Moby Dick

On Monday, I get to sea.  I am traveling to Greece for five weeks.  First, a week in Athens and then south to Nafplio where most of June will be spent.  Brief forays to Delphi, Corinth, Mycenae and Sparta will interrupt writing work all thanks to funds from the Byron K. Trippet Assistant Professorship that I hold at Wabash College. Read more