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Republican Echo–the Study of Arendt’s Public Realm Theory

Author: LiMingLiang
Tutor: WangCaiBo
School: Jilin University
Course: Political Theory
Keywords: Public Realm Action Freedom Republicanism
CLC: D091
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2013
Downloads: 43
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Abstract


German-American scholar Hannah Arendt which is one of the most outstanding,most original political philosopher in the twentieth century’s, proposed creatively the“public realm” theory based on rethinking the crisis of modernity and the decline of thepublic realm,and promoted the conceptualization of the "public realm", opened thecurtain of the late twentieth century republican Rejuvenation Movement and make theoldest Western tradition of political ideology once again become one of the core issuesof the Western political circles. Arendt provides rich ideological resources for the studyof contemporary political theory with its lively and keen insights, but unlike the strictsense of the "political philosopher", her thoughts complied with any existing system,worded bulls and Syria, studied under numerous, the researchers were hard to get herreal intention. In order to truly demonstrate the achievements of the great thinker’stheory, and to reveal some involved theoretical characteristics that domesticresearchers have yet to be further clarified, I will start from the public realm andreshape its political and ideological line.The horrors in Nazi Germany and the great changes that occurred in the wholeworld before and after World War II are of decisive significance for Arendt’s publicrealm. In her opinion, the reason why the totalitarian government is the most thorough,most desperate human experience in its collapse of all interpersonal space, is that iterase the individuality of the person, deprived of the protection of the ability toperceive our own experience-"common sense ".The lose of basic living elements ofthe public realm, causes the collapse of the public realm and eventually brings disasterto the private realm, which completely abolished the meaning of the individual. Thisarticle will integrate Arendt’s political thought and theory about public realm indifferent stages, and focus on three issues, first, the background and why public realmtheory proposing, second, the definition and the range of public realm, third how tocreate and maintain the public realm during public realm gradually declining.Arendt believes that people, who are free from the natural necessity and sufferingof life, create public realm from plural political activities. In the common world, everyone highlights the uniqueness of its own to others. Legal and institutional areregulating people’s public life; simultaneously legal and institutional are created andupdated by people’s word and action that based on environment. Eventually thesewords and deeds will be narrated by standers into history. By contrast, all the contentsof the society and material production are excluded from the public realm, once theactivities of individual life maintaining and population subsisting get public nature, thepublic realm will inevitably decline and be replaced by the rise of society. But in thecourse of history, sometimes, the revolutionary spirit involved two factors, theexperience of creating new things and creating lasting political structure, and revivedthe political life in unexpected ways.For modern people who are under the totalitarian, the assertion derived throughthe analysis unite phenomenon once existed in the public realm, not only is a majordevelopment of classical republicanism, but also reveals the hope exists in humanthemselves. Suffering from dark ages, Arendt always expects to build a public realmthat is open to all citizens, but only the immortality pursuits are happy to exposure, andit will be the land full of hope and freedom, in which, at any time, people shared actionand speech that can break the causal chain and create a superior history for humanbeing.

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CLC: > Political, legal > Political Theory > History of Political Science,History of Political Thought > World History of Political Thought
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