Sunday, December 10, 2006

Russell Jacoby on Hannah Arendt

Russell Jacoby, best known for his books on the vanishing public intellectual and other topics, weighs in on Hannah Arendt's influence or lack thereof in current intellectual life, forgot where I clipped this...Chronicle?:

“Yet if her star shines so brightly, it is because the American intellectual firmament is so dim. After all, who or where are the other political philosophers? The last great political American philosopher, John Dewey, died in 1952. Since then American philosophy — with the partial exception of Richard Rorty — has vanished into technical issues; within the subfield of political philosophy, the largest of its figures, John Rawls, remains abstract and insular. His work may quicken the attenuated pulse of academic philosophers, but it does not move the rest of us.”

I think we can look to other fields for compelling political discussions, such as the work of Robert Bellah in sociology, as well as feminist theorists in ethics and political philosophy. Martha Nussbaum is conducting important work that considers current global issues. I have found Habermas's distinctions between the lifeworld and the systemsworld helpful and powerful as Jim Garrison and I think about reverence in education.

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home