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Eichmann, the Banality of Evil, and Thinking in Arendt’s Thought*

17/10/2009

Bethania Assy

ABSTRACT: I analyze the ways in which the faculty of thinking can avoid evil action, taking into account Hannah Arendt’s discussion regarding the banality of evil and thoughtlessness in connection with the Eichmann trial. I focus on the following question posed by Arendt: “Could the activity of thinking as such, the habit of examining and reflecting upon whatever happens to come to pass, regardless of specific content and quite independent of results, could this activity be of such a nature that it ‘conditions’ men against evildoing?” Examples of the connection between evildoing and thinking include the distinction between the commonplace and the banal, and the absence of the depth characteristic of banality and the necessity of thinking as the means for depth. I then focus upon Arendt’s model thinker (Socrates) and argue that the faculty of thinking works to avoid evildoing by utilizing the Socratic principle of noncontradiction.

“What is the subject of our thought? Experience! Nothing else!” (1) (Hannah Arendt)

Eichmann in Jerusalem (2) was originated when Hannah Arendt went to Jerusalem in order to report, for The New Yorker, on the trial of Otto Adolf Eichmann, (3) who was acused of crimes against the Jewish people, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. The trial began in April 15, 1961. The New York Times had announced Eichmann’s capture by Israeli agents in Argentina, in May 24, 1960. Israel and Argentina had discussed Eichmann’s extradition to Israel, and the United Nations finally decided the legality of Jerusalem Trial. After the confirmation that Eichamnn was to be judged in Israel, Arendt asked The New Yorker‘s director, William Shamn, to do a complete report of the Eichmann case in Israel.

Arendt’s first reaction to Eichmann, “the man in the glass booth,” was — nicht einmal unheimlich — not even sinister.” (4) She argues that “The deeds were monstrous, but the doer … was quite ordinary, commonplace, and neither demonic nor monstrous.” (5) Arendt’s perception that Eichmann seemed to be a common man, evidenced in his transparent superficiality and mediocrity left her astonished in measuring the unaccounted evil committed by him, that is, organizing the deportation of millions of Jews to the concentration camps. Actually, what Arendt had detected in Eichmann was not even stupidity, in her words, he portrayed something entirely negative, it was thoughtlessness. Eichmann’s ordinariness implied in an incapacity for independent critical thought: “… the only specific characteristic one could detect in his past as well as in his behavior during the trial and the preceding police examination was something entirely negative: it was not stupidity but a curious, quite authentic inability to think.” (6) (emphasis added) Eichmann became the protagonist of a kind of experience apparently so quotidian, the absence of the critical thought. Arendt says: “When confronted with situations for which such routine procedures did not exist, he [Eichmann] was helpless, and his cliché-ridden language produced on the stand, as it had evidently done in his official life, a kind of macabre comedy. Clichés, stock phrases, adherence to conventional, standardized codes of expression and conduct have the socially recognized function of protecting us against reality, that is, against the claim on our thinking attention that all events and facts make by virtue of their existence.” (7)

Eichmann had always acted according to the restrict limits allowed by the laws and ordinances. Those attitudes resulted in the clouding between virtues and vices of a blind obedience. In fact, it was not only Eichmann, as an isolated person, who was normal, whereas all other bureaucrats were sadist monsters. One was before a bureaucratic compact mass of men who were perfectly normal, but whose acts were monstrous. Behind such terrible normality of the bureaucratic mass, who was able to commit the greatest atrocities that the world has even seen, Arendt addressed the question of the banality of evil. This normality opened up the precedent regarding the possibility that some attitudes commonly repudiated by a society — in this case the Nazi German attitudes — find as a locus of manifestation the common citizen, who has not reflected on the content of the rules.Richard Bernstein highlights this “normal and ordinary behavior” of the bureaucratic mass in not thinking about the real meaning of the rules themselves, in the sense that they would behave in the same manner in the manufacturing of either food or corpses. “We may find it almost impossible to image how someone could ‘think'(or rather, not think) in this manner, whereby manufacturing food, bombs, or corpses are ‘in essence the same’ and where this can become ‘normal’, ‘ordinary’ behavior. This is the mentality that Arendt believed she was facing in Eichmann… .” (8) Eichmann has brought up the radical danger of “such remoteness from reality and such thoughtlessness.” (9)

II

Subsequently, it seems that the Arendtian portrait of a banal Eichmann has become more than a lesson, as Arendt maintained against those who had affirmed that the banality of evil implied a theorization about the phenomenon of evil. (10) The banality of evil has accentuated the whole relationship among the faculty of thinking, the capacity to distinguish between right and wrong, the faculty of judgment, and their moral implications, tasks that have been extremely significant in Arendt’s work since her first writtings in the late 1940s about the phenomenon of the Totalitarianism.

The apex of detachment of Eichmann’s mind between the reality of such events, and a logical process able (11) “to wrest” his speech and thought was described then by Arendt in the final moment of Eichmann’s death. Eichmann was incapable of articulating anything other than what he had heard all his life, in such a way that “…these ‘lofty words’ should completely becloud the reality of his own death.” (12) With such description, Arendt for the first time utilizes the term banality of evil : “It was as though in those last minutes he was summing up the lesson that this long course in human wickedness had taught us — the lesson of the fearsome, word-and-thought-denying banality of evil.” (13) (emphasis added) Such a “lesson,” whose potentiality denys word and thought, did not seem to frame the usual standards of evil, such as pathology, self-interest, and ideological conviction of the doer, and so one. Almost 10 years after Eichmann in Jerusalem, Arendt reaffirms in Thinking and Moral Considerations this same dimension of evil: “… the phenomenon of evil deeds, committed on a gigantic scale, which could not be traced to any particularity of wickedness, pathology, or ideological conviction in the doer, whose only personal distinction was a perhaps extraordinary shallowness.” (14) Arendt stressed a kind of phenomenon in which the doer exposes an impressive superficiality, in which Eichmann became the factual example. With the following question Arendt substantially circumscribes the main delineation in which the banality of evil will be the result: “Could the activity of thinking as such, the habit of examining and reflecting upon whatever happens to come to pass, regardless of specific content and quite independent of results, could this activity be of such a nature that it ‘conditions’ men against evil-doing?” (15) (emphasis added)

In other words, does the faculty of thinking, in its intrinsic nature and attributes, involve the possibility of avoiding evil-doing? At least in “border situations”? In 1946, Arendt had already mentioned the deep meaning of experiences through which the reality became an urgent element for the philosophical task in modernity. Arendt takes Jasper’s expression “border situations” to describe such incalculable and unforeseable situations in which the man is forced to think.

The banality of evil, whose potentiality denys word and thought, did not seem to frame the usual standards of evil, such as pathology of evil, self-interest, ideological conviction of the doer, intentional evil, or even an obstinate set of ideas that had impelled him to evil and so one. Eichmann portrayed the factual example of a kind of evil manifestation that was not found in the traditional dimensions. In this sense, Arendt raises the question about whether such traditional dimentions of evil are a necessary condition of evil-doing. Has the phenomenon of evil necessarily a volitive root? Or, in other words, has the imperative condition to the evil-doing been the evil based on traditional foundations? It was undeniable that this new whole of questions about the phenomenon of evil, whose roots were not anchored in the philosophical, moral, religious traditional standards, at least will open a new perspective on the understanding of evil. Such notion was mentioned by Arendt in the first pages of The Life of the Mind‘s introduction: “Behind that phrase [banality of evil], I held no thesis or doctrine, although I was dimly aware of the fact that it went counter to our tradition of thought — literary, theological, or philosophic — about the phenomenon of Evil.” (16) Evil as a demoniac portion like Lucifer, the falling angel, mentioned by the religious tradition; the evil mobilized by weakness, envy, or even the hate that evil feels by Good, exemplifyed in the literary tradition in Shakespeare; for Arendt all of them cannot explain what had happened in Nazi Germany, brought into light by Eichmann. Arendt says: “… I felt was shocking because it contradicts our theories about evil,…” (17) The perplexity before a phenomenon that contradicted the known theories about evil, and the clear relationship between the problem of evil and the faculty of thinking, were what Arendt have pointed out by the expression the banality of evil.

In a correspondence with Grafton, in 1963, Arendt distinguishes between banal and commonplace with regard to the banality of evil. Arendt says: “For me, there is a very important difference: ‘commonplace’ is what frequently, commonly happens, but something can be banal even if it is not common.” (18) Banal does not presuppose that the evil has a commonplace in everyone. Evil can become banal even if evil itself is not trivial to anyone. Thus, banality of evil does not mean that the evil itself is trivial and common to everybody. This distinction between commonplace and banal is clear in a conference organized on her work in Toronto, in 1972, in which Arendt affirms that the notion that “there is an Eichmann in each one of us” is a complete misunderstanding. Arendt says: “…you say that I said there is an Eichmann in each one of us. Oh no! There is none in you and none in me! This doesn’t mean that there are not quite a number of Eichmanns. But they look really quite different. I always hated this notion of ‘Eichmann in each one of us’. This is simply not true. This would be as untrue as the opposite, that Eichmann is in nobody.” (19)

Arendt emphasizes that the absence of critical thinking was common among “Eichmanns.” Such absence could directly affect the evil-doing that became banal by the fact that this block of Eichmanns did not exercise their capacity of thinking.Thus, for Arendt, it is not true that “there is an Eichmann in each one of us,” and that the banality of evil has a commonplace in each of us. In fact, there was a deep inclination of a whole society to not exercise the faculty of thinking. Even in Eichmann in Jerusalem Arendt says: “… if this is ‘banal’ and even funny, if with the best will in the world one cannot extract any diabolical or demonic profundity from Eichmann, that is still far from calling it commonplace” (20) (emphasis added)

Let us take another penetrating aspect related to the banality of evil: the absence of roots. I would like to discuss two implications concerning the meaning of “no-roots” in the banality of evil. Firstly, for Arendt, such evil has no-roots in the sense that it has not-roots in any kind of manifestation of evil presented by our tradition as a whole. In a draft written for a debate about Eichmann in Jerusalem in Hofstra College in 1964, Arendt accentuated that banality means: ” ‘No roots’, not rooted in ‘evil motives’ or ‘urges’ or strength of ‘temptation’ (human nature) or ‘Evil be thou my good: Richard III’ etc.” (21) In another undated draft she says: “Banality of Evil — … Root-less, no demonic forces. Evil be thou my good! No Radical Evil.” (22) In The Life of the Mind Arendt writes: “However, what I was confronted with was utterly different and still undeniably factual. I was struck by a manifest shallowness in the doer that made it impossible to trace the incontestable evil of his deeds to any deeper level of roots or motives.” (23) That means, the banality of evil has, as a deep understanding, a notion of evil that has no roots in “evil motives.” (24)

Secondly, The notion that the banality of evil has “no-roots” is inherently connected with Arendt’s understanding that only the faculty of thinking can reach the profundity, and consequently reach the roots. In one of the clearest moments about this Arendt says: “I mean that evil is not radical, going to the roots (radix), that is has no depth, and that for this very reason it is so terribly difficult to think about it, since thinking, by definition, wants to reach the roots. Evil is a surface phenomenon, and instead of being radical, it is merely extreme. We resist evil by not being swept away by the surface of things, by stopping ourselves and beginning to think, that is, by reaching another dimension than the horizon of everyday life. In other words, the more superficial someone is, the more likely will he be to yield to evil. An indication of such superficiality is the use of clichés, and Eichmann, …was a perfect example.” (25) (emphasis added)

Looking for some profundity in Eichmann that could explain the roots of evil, Arendt found an absence of evil motives, as if the evil was a superficial phenomenon in opposition to the faculty of thinking, in which we necessarily reach profundity. Since “… thinking, by definition, wants to reach the roots,” the banality of evil, such evil without roots, can be understood essentially by the resulting movement from thoughtlessness. Eichmann, by the fact that he was not able to exercise the faculty of thinking, could not find any profundity with regard to his deeds. Such aspects are mentioned by Arendt in one of the most controversial statements in her correspondence with Gershom Scholem. Arendt emphasizes that evil could spread “like a fungus on the surface” mainly because there is no depth, and that solely stopping ,and starting to think, can reach the depth. Arendt emphasizes: “It is indeed my opinion now that evil is never ‘radical’, that it is only extreme, and that it possesses neither depth nor any demonic dimension. It can overgrow and lay waste the whole world precisely because it spreads like a fungus on the surface. It is ‘thought-defying’, as I said, because thought tries to reach some depth, to go to roots, and the moment it concerns itself with evil, it is frustrated because there is nothing. That is its ‘banality’. Only the good has depth and can be radical.” (26) (emphasis added)

III

“Thinking is the only activity that needs nothing but itself for its exercise.” (27) (emphasis added) (Hannah Arendt)

Let us raise the question that comes naturally from sthe two former topic: How, then, does the faculty of thinking work in order to avoid evil? First of all, according to Arendt, the moral and ethic standards based on habits and customs have shown that they can just be changed by a new set of rules of behavior dictated by the current society.In Personal Responsibility under Dictatorship, Arendt emphasizes: “It was as though morality, at the very moment of its collapse within an old, highly civilized nation, stood revealed in its original meaning, as a set of mores, of customs and manners, which could be exchanged for another set with no more trouble than it would take to change the table manners of a whole people.” (28) Thenceforth, Arendt claims the bridge between morality and the faculty of thinking. In this same article quoted above she asks how is was possible that few persons resisted the moral collapse and had not adhered to the regime, despite any coercion. Arendt herself answers: “The answer to the …question is relatively simple. The nonparticipants, called irresponsible by the majority, were the only ones who dared judge by themselves, and they were capable of doing so not because they disposed of a better system of values or because the old standards of right and wrong were still firmly planted in their mind and conscience but, … because their conscience did not function in this, as were, automatic way, … they asked themselves to what an extent they would still be able to live in peace with themselves after having committed certain deeds; and they decided that it would be better to do nothing, not because the world would then be charged for the better, but because only on this condition could they go on living with themselves.” (29) (emphasis added)

Arendt clearly attributes to the faculty of thinking the presupposition for this kind of judging extremely necessary in times of moral collapse, that is to say, “when the chips are down.” Arendt argues: “The presupposition for this kind of judging is not a highly developed intelligence or sophistication in moral matters, but merely the habit of living together explicitly with oneself, that is, of being engaged in that silent dialogue between me and myself which since Socrates and Plato we usually call thinking.” (30) (emphasis added)

Arendt enumerates three basic propositions that involve the faculty of thinking and the problem of evil. First, one must presuppose that the faculty of thinking is accessible to everyone, rather than the privilege of “professional thinkers.” Second, if the faculty of thinking, as we will see, has an antagonistic result regarding solid axioms, then, one cannot expect that such faculty builds any kind of moral foundation, or even, any moral commandment. And finally, if the faculty of thinking concerns the invisible, it consequently takes no place directly in the world of appearances. (31) Taking into account these three presuppositions, Arendt asks how the faculty of thinking can be relevant not only to the problem of evil, but also, to the avoidance of evil-doing. Her answer would be indicative of the trajectory of such a faculty, that is, only through the functioning of the faculty of thinking, what for Arendt means: looking for the experiences of thought. She says: “Inability to think is not stupidity; it can be found in highly intelligent people, and wickedness is hardly its cause, if only because thoughtlessness as well as stupidity are much more frequent phenomena, is necessary to cause great evil… Hence, in Kantian terms, one would need philosophy, the exercise of reason as the faculty of thought, to prevent evil.” (32) (emphasis added) In fact, Arendt has made clear that after the experience of totalitarianism, we cannot walk upon the firm soil of established moral standards. Rather, since this experience, we have been confined to live in the company of ourselves, meaning by that that we are condemned to the continuos examination of the events through our activity of thinking.

Describing the faculty of thinking, Arendt takes the Kantian distinction between reason, Vernunft, and intellect, Verstand. In a broad sense, the former, as a faculty of thinking, aims at the conception of meaning, and understanding; whereas, the latter, as a faculty of cognition, aims at the apprehension through perceptions that are given by senses, objectifying a verifiable knowledge. Thus, Arendt argues that the faculty of thinking is related to the search for meaning pertaining to reason. The faculty of thinking concerns meaning, and the necessity of understanding, rather than, the search for truth, whose evidence is given by the senses, and thereby pertains to the intellect.

One of Arendt’s main concerns about the faculty of thinking was the fact that a whole society can succumb to a total changing of its moral standards without its citizens emitting any judgment about what has happened.

Arendt chooses Socrates as her model of thinker, “a citizen among citizens,” insofar Socrates thought “…simply for the right to go about examining the opinions of other people, thinking about them and asking his interlocutors to do the same.” (33) Socratic thought follows an aporetic movement, whose argumentation does not intend to achieve any concept or definition about the inquired subject. Arendt had claimed that “If there is anything in thinking that can prevent men from doing evil, it must be some property inherent in the activity itself, regardless of its objects.” (34) Such a form of preventing evil is located in the process of thinking itself. This Socratic movement of thinking provokes essentially the perplexity, putting the established standards in movement, as if the perplexity has the power to dislodge the individuals from their own dogmas and rules of behavior. As if the faculty of thinking had the potentiality of putting man in front of a blank painting, without good or evil, without right or wrong, but simply activating in him the condition to establish dialogue with himself, reflecting by himself, and deliberating by the faculty of judging his own judgment about such events.

Taking the Socratic propositions, Arendt points out the only criterion that Socrates attributes to the faculty of thinking: “agreement, to be consistent with oneself, its opposite, to be in contradiction with oneself, actually means becoming one’s own adversary.” (35) Even though the condition to the thinking process is the two-in-one dialogue, the harmony of such dialogue is essential to make one’s own dialogue possible, that means, these two must be friends. Because if the modus operandi of the thinking process takes place in the form of a dialogue, to be in contradiction with yourselves, in disagreement with yourselves, implies the acquisition of an adversary, taking account that the self is also a kind of friend. The criterion of dialogue, by its own nature, is the harmony that makes possible the dialectical process throughout, so that, when one has disagreement with any partner, the dialogue naturally interrupts. In regarding the faculty of thinking, in which we are our own partner, the adversary becomes ourselves, in which the only form of interruption is, consequently, to stop thinking, to stop provoking the two-in-one dialogue.

What Arendt has pointed out in claiming such criterion of noncontradiction, as a sine qua non condition for the thinking process, is to stress how dangerous the deeds can be when the actor does not exercise the inner dialogue with himself in order to examine the events in front of his eyes. Arendt is trying to avoid adherence by men to any moral, social, or legal established standards without exciting their capacity of reflect, of thinking, based on an internal dialogue with themselves about the meaning of such happenings. The thinking process, by its inner form of working, wants to reach the roots, which compels meaning through remembrance. The banality of evil which appeared through Eichmann made evident how superficial the phenomenon of evil could show its face. The evil could spread out as fungus under the surface, by a mass of citizens that did not reflect on events, did not ask for significance, nor made a dialogue with themselves about their own deeds. Arendt says: The greatest evildoers are those who don’t remember because they never given the matter a thought; nothing can keep them back because without remembrance they are without roots. (36)

In other words, the manifestation of the winds of thought able to provoke perplexity, dislodging the prejudices, at least in border situations, impels men to exercise the faculty of thinking, of reflection, making them emit their own judgment. Arendt argues that the man that exercises his faculty of thinking is always his own witness of his deed: “I am may own witness when I am acting. I know the agent and am condemned to live together with him.” (37)

At first glance, in taking Socrates as her model of thinker, it can be infered that such a model will be even helpful in destroying all rules of social behavior. Nevertheless, in Arendt’s view the result of the process of thinking is not nihilism, on the contrary, nihilism springs by the wish to find results independently from the necessity of the activity of thinking. Although, Arendt has adverted that as the Socratic model of thinking does not originate any standard, in the same sense, it represents a kind of danger. However, at least in times when the chips are down, the absence of the faculty of thinking can be far more dangerous. If the absence of thinking protects individuals against the “danger” of the winds of thought, the non-exercise of such a faculty can bring the “banality of evil.” The lesson was how easily individuals can adhere to new standards, no matter whether such set of rules comports “thou shalt kill,” instead of “thou shalt not kill,” insofar as such a new set of code has its proper working logic. In Arendt’s proposition, such a lesson was the perplexity of how little the habit of reflecting with oneself, thinking and judging, modern society had shown us. This lesson was the banality of evil, making possible The Concentration Camps, a devastating article wrote by Arendt in 1948.

I conclude this paper pointed out two fundamental implications of the faculty of thinking. Firstly, the faculty of thinking in such emergent times “is political by implication.” Secondly, the faculty of thinking has a deliberating effect upon the faculty of judging.This later proposition works as an intentional open door, keeping in mind that the faculty of thinking and the faculty judging are intrinsically connected, even though Arendt has left our world without showing exactly how. Arendt writes: “If thinking — the two-in-one of the soundless dialogue — actualizes the difference within our identity as given in consciousness and thereby results in conscience as its by-product, then judging, the by-product of the liberating effect of thinking, realizes thinking, makes it manifest in the world of appearances, where I am never alone and always too busy to be able to think. The manifestation of the wind of thought is not knowledge; it is the ability to tell right from wrong, beautiful form ugly. And this, at the rare moments when the stakes are on the table, may indeed prevent catastrophes, at least for the self. (38)

Notes

* This paper was presented at the Seminar “Hannah Arendt’s The Life of the Mind,” taught by Prof. Richard Bernstein in the Department of Philosophy at New School For Social Research in the spring/97. This paper was also a part of my Master Thesis entitled “MIGHT THE PROBLEM OF EVIL BE CONNECTED WITH THE ABSENCE OF THE FACULTY OF THINKING? The relationship between the Banality of Evil and the Faculty of Thinking in Hannah Arendt,” defended in the summer of 1996 in Brazil.

(1) (emphasis added) Hannah Arendt, “On Hannah Arendt.” In Hannah Arendt: The Recovery of the Public World, edited by Melvy A. Hill (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1979), p. 308, (hereafter cited as On Hannah Arendt).

(2) Hannah Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report of the Banality of evil, revised and enlarged edition (New York: Penguin Books, 1977), (hereafter cited as EJ).

(3) Eichmann was a Gestapo’s officer under the Himmler’s command. He was not an high rank officer, even though he was responsible by “the Jewish question,” including “the Final Solution.” This means that he had the responsibility in organizing the deportations and evacuations of Jews, including to bring them directly to the camps of extermination.

(4) Correspondence between Hannah Arendt and Heinrich Blücher, April 15, 1961, (Hannah Arendt’s Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress, unpublished). Quoted from Elizabeth Young-Bruehl, Hannah Arendt – For Love of the World (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1982), p. 329. (hereafter cited as LW).

(5) Hannah Arendt, The Life of Mind – Thinking – Willing (New York-London: Ed. Harvest/HJB Book, 1978), p. 04 (hereafter cited as LM).

(6) Hannah Arendt, “Thinking and Moral Considerations: A Lecture,” Social Research, no. 38/3 (Fall 1970), p. 417, (hereafter cited as TMC).

(7) LM., p. 04.

(8) Richard Bernstein, “Evil, Thinking, and Judging,” in Hannah Arendt and the Jewish Question (Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1996), p. 170.

(9) EJ., p. 288.

(10) In the postscript Arendt clarifies that the banality of evil does not concern the theorization about the ontological nature of the evil. She says: “… it was a lesson, neither an explanation of the phenomenon nor a theory about it [banal].” Arendt, Ibib., p. 288.

(11) With regard to this logical process see: Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism-Anti-semitism, Imperialism, Totalitarianism. (New York/London: Ed.Harvest-HJB Book, 1979.) p. 473; Hannah Arendt, “On the Nature of Totalitarianism.” In Essays in Understanding 1930-1954. (New York, San Diego and London: Harcourt Brace & Company, edited by Jerome Kohn, 1994.) p. 356; Hannah Arendt, “Understanding and Politics” In Essays in Understanding 1930-1954. (New York, San Diego and London: Harcourt Brace & Company, edited by Jerome Kohn, 1994.) p. 318; Margareth Canovan, Hannah Arendt – A Reinterpretation of Her Political Thought. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992) p. 26.

(12) EJ., p. 288.

(13) Ibid., p. 252.

(14) TMC, p. 417.

(15) TMC, p. 418.

(16) LM., p. 03.

(17) The article called Personal Responsibility under Dictatorship was published in The Listener, London, BBC (August 6 1964). By the reason that the published material has omitted the fifteenth first pages of the original manuscript, we will adopt the following systematic: the published paper will be quoted as Personal Responsibility under Dictatorship II; whereas the unpublished material will be cited as Personal Responsibility under Dictatorship I ( Hannah Arendt’s Papers, The Manuscript Division, Library of Congress, 023315, container 76). This quotation is in ‘Personal Responsibility under Dictatorship I’ 023317.

(18) Hannah Arendt, Correspondence between Grafton and Arendt, (September 19, 1963) draft, Hannah Arendt’s Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress, p. 06. (hereafter cited as ‘Arendt to Grafton’).

(19) “On Hannah Arendt,” p. 308.

(20) EJ, p. 288.

(21) Hannah Arendt, “Eichmann – Discussion with Enumeration of Topics” Hofstra College, 1964, Hannah Arendt’s Papers, The Manuscript Division, Library of Congress, 24842, container 60.

(22) Hannah , “Reflections after Eichmann Trial”, undated, Hannah Arendt’s Papers, The Manuscript Division, Library of Congress, 24820, container 60.

(23) LM., 04.

(24) For the relationship between radical evil and the banality of evil concerning the meaning of “evil motives” see Richard Bernstein, “From Radical Evil to the Banality of Evil:From Superflousness toThoughtlessness,” in Hannah Arendt and the Jewish Question (Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1996) pp. 137-53.

(25) ‘Arendt to Grafton’ 07.

(26) Hannah, Arendt, The Jew as Pariah – Jewish Identity and Politics in the Modern Age. (New York: Grove Press, 1978), p. 251.

(27) LM, p. 162.

(28) ‘Personal Responsibility under Dictatorship II,’ p. 205.

(29) Ibid.

(30) ‘Ibid.

(31) See, in this regard, TMC, p. 425.

(32) TMC, p. 423.

(33) LM p. 168.

(34) LM., p. 180.

(35) (Protagoras, 339c.) LM p.186.

(36) The first part of the Morality Lectures 1995, given by Arendt at New School, was published as “Some Questions of Moral Philosophy.” In Social Research, Vol. 61, No. 4 (Winter 1994), pp. 739-64. The other three parts remain unpublished as “Some Questions of Moral Philosophy”. Morality Lectures 1965, New School for Social Research, Hannah Arendt’s Papers, The Manuscript Division, Library of Congress, container 45. We will take the following systematic: ‘Some Questions of Moral Philosophy I’ for the part published and ‘Some Questions of Moral Philosophy II’ for the unpublished one. This quotation is in ‘Some Questions of Moral Philosophy II’ 024633.

(37) Ibid., 024636.

(38) LM., p. 193.

FONTE: http://www.bu.edu/wcp/Papers/Cont/ContAssy.htm

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