chapter  7
18 Pages

COSMOPOLITANISM AND THE LIFE OF THE MIND: The critique of nihilism

This chapter, as the title suggests, draws self-consciously on a reconstruction of Hannah Arendt’s The Life of the Mind. I refer to this text in part to affirm the importance of the life of the mind in any vision of cosmopolitan order and in part to explore the critical role cosmopolitanism plays in understanding the life of the mind as it is currently lived. My thesis is that Arendt’s perplexing, late and unfinished text offers not only a defence of the life of the mind but also a diagnosis of the pathologies of the life of the modern mind. It is, if you wish, a critique of modern reason.