Hannah Arendt Analysis

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Hannah Arendt was a famous political theorist of the twentieth century who dedicated her works to the nature of power and politics. One of her well-known articles for The New Yorker, Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil raised a lot of controversy towards her among Jewish people. However, she denied all the falsehood accusation of defending Eichmann, and she wrote a book called Responsibility and Judgment, where she gave explanations to all her views and principles more clearly. In this essay I will expand on Arendt’s concept of thinking as it applies to “moral reversal”, issues of consent, and responsibility during World War II for all atrocities which took place during this difficult time. The main argument and the core…show more content…
According to Merriam -Webster’s dictionary, thinking is an action of using our mind to produce ideas, decisions or opinions. In addition, thinking helps us to consider things carefully and understand what is important. Arendt defines it as, “disposition to live together explicitly with oneself, to have intercourse with oneself, that is to be engaged in that silent dialogue between me and myself which, since Socrates and Plato , we usually call thinking” (Arendt, 44-45). In my view, this definition more specifically applies to “moral reversal” during WWII period. In her argument Arendt examines two categories of people, those who supported Hitler’s ideas, and those who did not. She calls “doubters and skeptics more reliable” than those who simply follow the rules of a leader (Arendt, 45). People who did not share Nazi’s views were able to decide for themselves, to make their own judgments and mistakes, thus, they indeed were thinking. Such people are used to questioning the authority and live with their own minds because they know that whatever happens they would have to live with themselves. The idea to live the rest of their life with a murderer, which is with themselves, if they agreed to kill Jews, seemed reasonably…show more content…
Morality from Latin means manner or proper behavior, differentiation of actions between good and wrong. In other words, morality is weighing social and cultural values by contrasting them to the moral code. The issues of morality are also discussed in Responsibility and Judgment: “…it seems to be much easier to condition human behavior and to make people conduct themselves in the most unexpected and outrageous manner, than it is to persuade anybody to learn from experience, as the saying goes; that is, to start thinking and judging” (page 37). Morality in its concept intertwines with responsibility because being responsible implies actions which are morally right. For example, choosing the “lesser evil” does not mean that we do not bear responsibility for the consequences of our actions. Judgment, in its turn, may be defined as opinion or decision based on a careful thought, therefore, the idea of thinking lies at the heart of such terms as responsibility, morality, and

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