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On Hermits...

No human life, not even the life of the hermit in nature’s wilderness, is possible without a world which directly or indirectly testifies to the presence of other humans.

Hannah Arendt, The Human Condition, 1958. pg. 22



Hers is such an intriguing, social philosophy. The phenomenology of it has the existential feel of Heidegger without being quite as difficult or as overtly withdrawn (?) into the question of being. It’s worldliness in which she’s interested…

yeah, i’m finding that as well. she’s very, very german… like hegel and heidegger and gadamer she constructs a “history” of philosohpy while at the same time her own philosophy. (only she’s not as obtuse as hegel nor as hermetically, opaque as heidegger… which makes her deceptively simple.)

i should wonder, as well, how much buber is in her

by her biography, there was definitely more heidegger in her than buber.

i think my last two comments are among the most banal i’ve ever made…

Would you have preferred they were crude?

had they been crude maybe they could be refined or refashioned.

as banal they simply lie there as a burger wrapper by an interstate exit

I dunno. I think allusions to HA’s sex life is pretty far from being refinable. Or is there something more that can be done with this that I’m not seeing?

Heidegger’s opening letter to “Miss Arendt,” in which he asks only, Ettinger reports, “that she let him help her to remain faithful to herself.”

She would subsequently describe Heidegger, in letters that Ettinger cites, as “ly[ing] notoriously always and everywhere, and whenever he can” (1950); “He certainly believed that … he could buy off the whole world at the lowest possible price and cheat his way out of everything that is embarrassing to him” (1949).

like i said, it lies there like a burger wrapper, testifying to the seedier side of interstate travel…

From those lines, H sounds like a sleazebag.

a nazi slezebag, inexplicably forgiven by arendt, despite his various attempts to rid himself of her and his increasing jealousy as her star rose.

Right—though I meant sleazebag in principle, without regard to him also being a Nazi, which means he was doubly a sleazebag.

Or does it work that way? Of those Nazis who became such by choice, were there Nazis who were not sleazebags save in their Nazism?

Well, his sleazebaginess (or congenital duplicitousness) might show him to be an even worse nazi than the true believer. that is, supposing his nazism was what some claim it to be, just an expedient stance to not loose his post and what he had worked for… doesn’t this make it all the worse? a true believer in something twisted is to be pittied (and punished should their belief in this lead to crimes against humanity), a lying bastard who does not believe in this but adopts it because being a lying bastard is suits him, is to cast out of the republic and no amount of retraction should excuse them.

re: the possibility of non-sleazy Nazis, the only group I can think of would be young people: late teens, early 20s. In other words, people old enough to make moral decisions, but young enough to be easily swept up in wild philosophies.

Picked up Arendt today, got about 15 pages into it. Will be in London for most of the rest of the week on a temporary teaching gig, but I’ll take it along with me in the hopes that I can steal a few pages in quiet moments here and there. It will be good for me to dislodge my teeth from kb.net for a little while as well.

right, that group and the senile octogenarians are the only ones that might be non-sleazy

and maybe deaf, dumb, blind kids that play a mean pin ball