Document Detail

"The Human Condition" as social ontology: Hannah Arendt on society, action and knowledge.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21809509     Owner:  HMD     Status:  MEDLINE    
Hannah Arendt is widely regarded as a political theorist who sought to rescue politics from "society," and political theory from the social sciences. This conventional view has had the effect of distracting attention from many of Arendt's most important insights concerning the constitution of "society" and the significance of the social sciences. In this article, I argue that Hannah Arendt's distinctions between labor, work, and action, as these are discussed in "The Human Condition" and elsewhere, are best understood as a set of claims about the fundamental structures of human societies. Understanding Arendt in this way introduces interesting parallels between Arendt's work and both classical and contemporary sociology. From this I draw a number of conclusions concerning Arendt's conception of "society," and extend these insights into two contemporary debates within contemporary theoretical sociology: the need for a differentiated ontology of the social world, and the changing role that novel forms of knowledge play in contemporary society as major sources of social change and order.
Philip Walsh
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Historical Article; Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  History of the human sciences     Volume:  24     ISSN:  0952-6951     ISO Abbreviation:  Hist Human Sci     Publication Date:  2011  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-08-02     Completed Date:  2011-09-30     Revised Date:  2013-04-05    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  100967737     Medline TA:  Hist Human Sci     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  120-37     Citation Subset:  Q    
York Univ., Canada.
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MeSH Terms
Civilization / history
History, 20th Century
Metaphysics* / history
Population Groups / ethnology,  history,  psychology
Social Behavior / history
Social Change* / history
Social Identification*
Societies / history
Sociology* / education,  history

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