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Thinking and reconstruction of the public sphere

Author: PanFeiOu
Tutor: YuWuJin
School: Fudan University
Course: Foreign Philosophy
Keywords: public realm private realm ideological terror violence judgment spectator actor
CLC: D0-02
Type: PhD thesis
Year: 2004
Downloads: 1202
Quote: 7
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The discussions on the theory of the public realm seem to have formed one of the most attractive topics in the sphere of the political philosophical research in recent years. Hannan Arendt, the famous German-bom scholar ,who is regarded as one of the most important political philosophers in the 20* century, did make her own contribution to this topic, constituting a rich resource of the research of the public realm. This dissertation, however, will be devoted into demonstrating her achievements in this respect and into re-thinking what she did think.According to the author, the starting-point of Hannah Arendt’s approach to the theory of the public realm is her reflection upon the decline of the public realm. This kind of reflection does involve in itself her discussion on the distinction between the public realm and the private realm, the relationship between philosophy and politics, and that between the thinking-ability of the individuals and the public realm, etc.Arendt’s tour of philosophical investigation was ended by her analysis of the "judgment", which is not only one of the thinking-abilities of the individuals but also the indication to the connection to the being of others. Following the pattern of Arendt’s research of the theory of the public realm, this dissertation will represent her political philosophical thought by raising and answering the questions listed below:1. Why the public realm declined? 2. How can the reconstruction of the public realm be possible? 3. How can the resconstruction of this kind be implemented? So far as the last two questions are concerned , Hannah Arendt’s standpoint of reconstructing the public realm, as the author believes, lies in her concern for the so-called "the thinking things", including the thinking itself, judgment, imagination, the sense of taste, sensus communis, and so on. This standpoint also offers her a chance to find a point of balance between the private realm and the public realm, between the spectators and the actors, or between philosophy and politics.According to the author, the motive of Arendt’s philosophical thinking should be described as her longing , appealing or the seeking for the human-freedom , rather than as her despair of the freedom. Not only her analysis and the critique of the origins of totalitarianism, the human conditions and the consumers’ society, but also her unwritten finale on Kantian political philosophy, can be seen as to be penetrated by her reflections upon the conditions and the possibilities of human-beings Political and ethical problems concerning these reflections include "How can human-beings behuman-beings", "Whether the common Good exists between human-beings", "Whether human-beings can get along with each other in a better way", "Can human-beings be better human-beings", "How can a comfortable public space be built without paying the cost of the adequately free private space", and so on. Although Arendt did not articulate a dear solution to these problems, she still offer us a specific access to them by analyzing the phenomena which have already existed in the political sphere such as ideological tenor, the end of the Rights of Man, lies, violence, hypocrisy, guilt, evil, and by examining the conceptions such as the natality and the plurality of human-beings, the capacity of actions and thinking, and the sensus communis. She not only argued for the unique of Man but also emphasized the human-beings in the plural sense; Her formulation of her anti- totalitarianism thought not only demonstrated her guard against the possible invasion of the private space made by the public space, but also shows us her yearning for the re-birth of the public realm; Her inclination to classical republicanism not only echoes the ancient Greek spirit, but also can be interfused into the contemporary philosophical context.

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CLC: > Political, legal > Political Theory > Theory of scientific socialism ( Zonglun )
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