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The Human Condition by Hannah Arendt

Published in 1958, “The Human Condition” is Hannah Arendt’s take on how “human activities” should be and have been understood throughout Western history.

Arendt is interested in the vita activa (active life) as contrasted with the vita contemplativa (contemplative life) and concerned that the debate over the relative status of the two has blinded us to important insights about the vita activa and the way in which it has changed since ancient times.

She distinguishes three sorts of activity (labor, work, and action) and discusses how they have been affected by changes in Western history.

Men in plural can experience meaningfulness only because they can talk with and make sense to each other and themselves.

Hannah Arendt


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