chapter  8
18 Pages

Arendt

From public realm to ‘worldlessness’
WithAlan Haworth

A parallel objection suggests that Hannah Arendt’s thought is tainted with a certain misogyny, a certain hostility to feminism. On the face of things, this can appear just as absurd as the previous objection given the manifest concern for justice and equality that runs throughout her writing. The social realm is, thus, portrayed as an arena within which public institutions and practices are deployed but, nevertheless, in the service of ends that are essentially private. Labour, is defined by Arendt as, ‘the activity which corresponds to the biological process of the human body, whose spontaneous growth, metabolism, and eventual decay are bound to the vital necessities produced and fed into the life process by labour’. Within mainstream political philosophy, there has been a tendency to sideline Arendt’s work; even to ignore it completely. It is true that points in Arendt’s particular narrative may be open to criticism.