chapter  9
32 Pages

What and How We Learned from Hannah Arendt: An Exchange of Letters

ByElisabeth Young-Bruehl, Jerome Kohn

This chapter presents a collection of essays on Hannah Arendt and education. It focuses on a wide array of Arendtian concepts such as natality, action, freedom, public space, authority and judgment which are particularly relevant for education in a democratic society. Hannah Arendt's essay "Understanding and Politics" presents her vision of how understanding and politics are—or can be—related; the authors want to ask about how a person can be educated for "understanding", in the sense she gave to that rich word. Adult education is altogether different. The human condition crucially involved in it is worldliness. Adults educate one another to be in the world, which, in varying historical circumstances, may mean to be at home in the world, or to be alienated from it, or some mixture of these modes. In the modern world, adults do not conservatively give one another a shared tradition, they have to make a common world.