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What was Hannah Arendt's political philosophy?

Overall, Arendt was a strong critic of totalitarianism and an advocate of individual freedom, offering distinctive insights. She believed that both fascism and communism arose under illusions of inevitability based on the lack of real political community in modern life. She did not consider

German-American social and political philosopher Hannah Arendt was an ardent critic of all forms of totalitarianism (AP).

German-American social and political philosopher Hannah Arendt was an ardent critic of all forms of totalitarianism (AP).

herself an existentialist because she thought "we are" is a more important starting point for philosophy than "I am." Her positive model of society was active citizen participation in ways that leave social and private interests out of civic identities.

Arendt's analysis of the trial of the Nazi Adolf Eichmann, in which she introduced the concept of the "banality of evil," was very controversial for her criticism of how Eichmann's trial was conducted in Israel, and how Jewish leaders had behaved under German dictator Adolf Hitler. Arendt's last work was an examination of practical judgment in political contexts in which she used the figure of Socrates (460-399 b.c.e.) to posit inner dialogues. Conscience, she said, had the role of supporting friendship with one's self.

Who was Herbert Marcuse?

Herbert Marcuse (1898-1979) generally inspired left wing thought in the United States after he was exiled from Germany in 1933. He was, for example, African American political activist Angela Davis' dissertation adviser, and Abbie Hoffman, one of the radical founders of the "New Left," studied with him as well.

Marcuse's primary theme was that philosophy is necessary to combat political oppression. He drew on Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) and Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) to criticize Marxism for its underlying Enlightenment faith in reason. He thought that Western democracies, as well as communist regimes, used scientific methods to deprive people of freedom through mass education and the trivialization of culture into entertainment. His major theme was the ways in which political repression was mirrored in psycho-sexual repression. His main works include Reason and Revolution (1941), Eros and Civilization (1955), One-Dimensional Man (1964), and Critique of Pure Tolerance (1969).

African American social critic and political activist Angela Davis has remained relevant since the 1970s by continuing to write on race and gender issues (AP).

African American social critic and political activist Angela Davis has remained relevant since the 1970s by continuing to write on race and gender issues (AP).

Who is Angela Davis?

Angela Davis (1944-) is a world-famous African American social critic and political activist. In 1970, she was acting assistant professor in the philosophy department at the University of California, Los Angeles, and a member of the Communist Party USA. She was also once associated with the Black Panther Party. Davis was criminally indicted for helping Black Panther member George Jackson to escape from a courtroom in Marin County, California, in 1970. The guns Jackson used were registered in Angela Davis' name. She was for a while on the FBI's most wanted list after she fled arrest. In the end, Davis was acquitted of criminal charges and was rehired at the university. Davis claimed that she never completed her dissertation because it was "lost" in papers confiscated by the FBI. She has since developed a distinguished career in critical writings about race and gender as well as the "prison industrial complex" in contemporary American culture.

Davis' principal works include If They Come in the Morning: Voices of Resistance (1971), Frame Up: The Opening Defense Statement Made (1972), Angela Davis: An Autobiography (1974), Women, Race and Class (1981), Violence against Women and the Ongoing Challenge to Racism (1985), Women, Culture and Politics (1989), Blues Legacies and Black Feminism: Gertrude "Ma" Rainey, Bessie Smith, and Billie Holiday (1999), Are Prisons Obsolete? (2003), and Abolition Democracy: Beyond Prisons, Torture, and Empire (2005).

Who was Erich Fromm?

Erich Fromm (1900-1980) established his reputation in political psychology with Escape from Freedom (1941), which was a condemnation of authoritarian societies. His Art of Loving was an international best seller in 1956. His distinction between different types of love in that work was a revelation to some Western readers. Fromm drew on the Talmud to extol individuality and criticize totalitarianism. Many of his readers were inspired by his combination of Marxism with psychoanalysis in a way that respected individuality.

 
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