Hannah Arendt

by Sofia

Es ist schwer, die Wahrheit zu sagen, denn es gibt zwar nur eine; aber sie ist lebendig und hat daher ein lebendig wechselndes Gesicht. Franz Kakfa

Understanding and Politics: The Difficulties of Understanding
from The Burden of Our Time

“…[W]e can never be prepared for the inexhaustible literalness of this “everything”–so each event in human history reveals an unexpected landscape of human deeds, sufferings, and new possibilities which together transcend the sum total of all willed intentions and the significance of all origins” (320).

“According to Augustine, … man not only has the capacity of beginning, but is this beginning himself” (321).

“Even though we have lost yardsticks by which to measure, and rules under which to subsume the particular, a being whose essence is beginning may have enough of origin within himself to understand without preconceived categories and to judge without the set of customary rules which is morality” (321).

“…[U]nderstanding is a strange enterprise. … [I]t may … somewhat resemble philosophy, in which great thoughts always turn in circles, engaging the human mind in nothing less than an interminable dialogue between itself and the essence of everything that is” (322).

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