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Thinking in Dark TimesHannah Arendt on Ethics and Politics$
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Roger Berkowitz, Jeffrey Katz, and Thomas Keenan

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780823230754

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823230754.001.0001

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Thinking in Dark Times

Thinking in Dark Times

(p.3) Introduction Thinking in Dark Times
Thinking in Dark Times

Roger Berkowitz

Fordham University Press

This introductory chapter begins with a brief review of Hannah Arendt's works, including Men in Dark Times where she responds to what she calls the light of the public that obscures everything; and The Origins of Totalitarianism, where she examines the roots of totalitarianism in rootlessness, loneliness, and thoughtlessness. It argues that for Arendt, what is needed in dark times are people who think and who, in thinking, make for themselves the space to judge. Instead of reason, Arendt teaches the supreme importance of thinking—the habit of erecting obstacles to oversimplifications, compromises, and conventions. An overview of the subsequent chapters is presented.

Keywords:   Hannah Arendt, darkness, evil, thinking, totalitarianism, rootlessness, loneliness, thoughtlessness

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