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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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Lying and History

Lying and History

(p.79) Lying and History
Thinking in Dark Times

Cathy Caruth

Fordham University Press

This chapter addresses the problem of violence in the political realm by focusing on a question that emerges out of several late works by Hannah Arendt: What is history in the time of what Arendt calls “the modern lie”? In “Truth and Politics” (1967) and “Lying in Politics” (1971), Arendt reflects on what she considers a profound philosophical conundrum at the heart of politics and the political: an intimate and foundational relation between politics and the lie that has momentous implications for the way we think about political history. Beginning from a reflection on the nature of political action in the context of lying, Arendt ultimately enables a rethinking of the very nature of history around the possibility of its political denial.

Keywords:   Hannah Arendt, violence, politics, political history, political action, lying

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