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Human Rights Project, Hannah Arendt Center, and Center for Civic Engagement present

The Anti-Political Prejudices of Modernity: A Civic Humanist Critique

A Lecture by Michael McCarthy

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

" No other human ability has suffered to such an extent from the progress of the modern age as the capacity for action, the capacity to begin something new".

Hannah Arendt, Crises of the Republic

Hannah Arendt was neither a liberal nor a Marxist. In fact, her critique of the Western political tradition spares neither ancients nor moderns, neither classical philosophers and theologians nor modern economists and social theorists. Arendt was rather a civic humanist, a reflective adherent of the civic republican and revolutionary traditions. My reflections, undertaken in her memory, revolve around two closely related questions. Why was Arendt so critical of the political heritage of the modern age? Why was the political promise of modernity never fulfilled? The unifying theme connecting Arendt's answers to these questions is the world alienation of modernity. McCarthy's lecture will explore one principal source of that alienation and clarify the political alternative Arendt offered in response: knowledge and love of the world.

For more information, call 845-758-7878, or e-mail bhollenb@bard.edu.

Time: 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Location: Olin, Room 102