Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: May 06, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412958660 | Print ISBN: 9781412958653 | Online ISBN: 9781412958660| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Arendt, Hannah (1906–1975)
Hannah Arendt, daughter of secular Jewish parents, studied phenomenological and existentialist philosophy in Weimar Germany with Edmund Husserl, Karl Jaspers, and Martin Heidegger (with whom she had a brief affair). In 1933, she fled Germany for Paris. Arendt's disillusionment with philosophy was no doubt due in part to her dismay at Heidegger's support for the Nazi regime while rector of the University of Freiburg from 1933 to 1934. When war broke out between France and Germany, she was briefly interned as an enemy alien in France before emigrating to the United States in 1941. Arendt made her name as a political theorist in the United States after the war through her writings on totalitarianism, violence, the public sphere, revolution, and civil disobedience. She coined the controversial phrase, “the banality of evil,” to characterize the thoughtlessness of Nazi war criminal, Adolf Eichmann, whose trial in Jerusalem she reported on for The ...