The Human Condition: Second Edition

University of Chicago Press
Free sample

The past year has seen a resurgence of interest in the political thinker Hannah Arendt, “the theorist of beginnings,” whose work probes the logics underlying unexpected transformations—from totalitarianism to revolution.

A work of striking originality, The Human Condition is in many respects more relevant now than when it first appeared in 1958. In her study of the state of modern humanity, Hannah Arendt considers humankind from the perspective of the actions of which it is capable. The problems Arendt identified then—diminishing human agency and political freedom, the paradox that as human powers increase through technological and humanistic inquiry, we are less equipped to control the consequences of our actions—continue to confront us today. This new edition, published to coincide with the sixtieth anniversary of its original publication, contains Margaret Canovan’s 1998 introduction and a new foreword by Danielle Allen.

A classic in political and social theory, The Human Condition is a work that has proved both timeless and perpetually timely.
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Additional Information

Publisher
University of Chicago Press
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Published on
Jan 11, 2019
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Pages
380
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ISBN
9780226586748
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Language
English
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Genres
Philosophy / General
Philosophy / Political
Political Science / History & Theory
Social Science / Sociology / Social Theory
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Here, for the first time in English, is volume one of Jurgen Habermas's long-awaited magnum opus: The Theory of Communicative Action. This pathbreaking work is guided by three interrelated concerns: (1) to develop a concept of communicative rationality that is no longer tied to the subjective and individualistic premises of modern social and political theory; (2) to construct a two-level concept of society that integrates the 'lifeworld' and 'system' paradigms; and (3) to sketch out a critical theory of modernity that explains its sociopathologies in a new way.

Habermas approaches these tasks through a combination of conceptual analyses, systematic reflections, and critical reconstructions of such predecessors as Marx and Weber, Durkheim and Mead, Horkheimer and Adorno, Schutz and Parsons. Reason and the Rationalization of Society develops a sociological theory of action that stresses not its means-ends or teleological aspect, but the need to coordinate action socially via communication. In the introductory chapter Habermas sets out a powerful series of arguments on such foundational issues as cultural and historical relativism, the methodology of Verstehen, the inseparabilty of interpretation from critique. In addition to clarifying the normative foundations of critical social inquiry, this sets the stage for a systematic appropriation of Weber's theory of rationalization and its Marxist reception by Lukacs, Horkheimer and Adorno.

This is an important book for degree students of philosophy, sociology and related subjects.

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