Hannah Arendt

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Hannah Arendt (October 14, 1906 – December 4, 1975) was an influential German Jewish political theorist. She has often been described as a philosopher, although she refused that label on the grounds that philosophy is concerned with "man in the singular." She described herself instead as a political theorist because her work centers on the fact that "men, not Man, live on the earth and inhabit the world".[1] Arendt's work deals with the nature of power, and the subjects of politics, authority, and totalitarianism.



Hannah Arendt was born into a family of secular German Jews in the city of Linden (now part of Hannover), and grew up in Königsberg (the birthplace of Prussian philosopher Immanuel Kant, in 1946 renamed as Kaliningrad and annexed to the Soviet Union), and Berlin.

At the University of Marburg, she studied philosophy with Martin Heidegger, with whom, as related by her only German Jewish classmate Hans Jonas, she embarked on a long, stormy and romantic relationship for which she was later criticized because of Heidegger's support for the Nazi party while he was rector of Freiburg University.[2]

In the wake of one of their breakups, Arendt moved to Heidelberg, where she wrote her dissertation on the concept of love in the thought of Saint Augustine, under the existentialist philosopher-psychologist Karl Jaspers, then married to a German Jewish woman. She married Günther Stern, later known as Günther Anders, in 1929 in Berlin (they divorced in 1937).

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