Talk:Hannah Arendt

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My english is not so good, but if you study with a person (Heidegger), doesn't this mean that both of you are students? In this case this part is false, for Heidegger was a teacher in philosophy when he met Arendt. Sorry if this is a stupid remark because of my english.

He was her teacher and lover.--Ot 13:07, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Not at all stupid, you just stubbed your toe on one of the vagrancies of the English language. If you run with someone, you are both runners. However, usually if a student studies with X, that X is a teacher, even if they share beds. I say, usually, since you might well overhear somebody saying, Last night I studied with John (a fellow student) to prepare for the exam. Sigh... Joel Mc 07:35, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

I removed "important but hard-to-classify", because it seemed a bit vague and unhelpful, but now I'm debating whether or not I should have done. Feel free to do something with it if you want. -- Oliver P. 06:32 6 Jul 2003 (UTC)

I think it reads better now. "Hard-to-classify" is kind of clumsy. Adam Bishop 15:41 6 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Konigsburg again?[edit]

"the hometown of her admired precursor Immanuel Kant, now called Kaliningrad"

"now" means when Hannah Arendt was growing up there? Or does 'now' mean the early 21st century? Didn't they change the name back after the fall of Communism?

No. Have a look at its entry. Since Kaliningrad is now surrounded by European Union states but part of Russia, it is matter of ongoing controversy for customs and immigration. Buffyg 23:02, 5 Jun 2005 (UTC)

It is Königsberg. ---Dagme (talk) 04:27, 27 November 2013 (UTC)

Why is she listed as "German"?[edit]

She wasn't German she was Jewish, you can't be both - (unsigned)

Yes you can. Millions are, have been and will be. She was. ---Dagme (talk) 04:29, 27 November 2013 (UTC)

!!!!this is not a trick question at all!!!. trick is: why is this question here and unsigned? if this person do not have the coraged to sign it or formulate more precise the intention of the question, this question should not be published, in my opnion. because that is the way fachists and other criminals do their business and i think we should not allowed wikipedia to be a place for bigotry. behid this question could be a statement of no acceptance of the fact that hanna arentd is german and jewish, not to mation a great thinker. she was borned in germany and raised in germany and only have to live her country because the nazis. i do suggest that this question be erased unless the questioner do sign it and make this question more clear in its intentions. 01:27, 3 March 2007 (UTC)dontneed

That's just silly. Who taught you that lie? - Nunh-huh 05:42, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Have you heard about judaism being a nationality?! - I haven't. To me it is a religion and does by no means contradict being of German or any other nationality! (F.B.)—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 19 March 2006

  • is typical Nazi speak. The Jews in Europe were always a distinct nation even prior to the existence of the so-called european "nations." At the time of the Enlightenment, the Jews of Europe were offerred citizenship in the newly created european "nation states." It was explicit at the time of the aftermath of the French Revolution that in exchange for citizenship the Jews would have to renounce their Jewish nationality, the oldest continuous national identity on earth. Those "german" Jews that renounced their citizenship as sons and daughters of Israel were never fully accepted in germany or europe; and were brutally murdered by the euro-gentile scum during the Holocaust. What is being said in this repugnant unsigned statement is that now that Jewish political sovereignty has been re-established in the Land of Israel, the Jewish National Homeland, the euro-nazi-muslim-arab scum, and their fellow travellers, deny the fact of the Jewish Nation; that is, again, an attempt to annihilate the Jewish people. Which is similar in every respect to Holocaust denial, since such denial attempts to white-wash an inconvenient fact that exposes the morally reprehensible objectives of Israel's muslim enemies. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 17 December 2006.

Why do you complain about when you basically agree with him ? You don`t like Yekkes, do you ? As regards Hannah, she always retained a thick German accent (as did Leo Strauss). So much for her being an American. P.S.: You`re the kind of person who vilified Arendt for her book on the Eichmann trial. Stop watching FAUX NEWS. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:22, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

    • This is actually a very tricky question. One can (in the time Hannah Arendt grew up, or today, but of course not during Nazizeit) readily be both a Jew and a German citizen. But Jewishness is not "just a religion". Being myself an ethnic Jew who is not at all religious, I assure you that the Jewish people, by tradition, consider ourselves a nationality; this long precedes Zionism, a doctrine which I do not support. The European distinction between nationality and statehood, very clear in the 19th century, has been much blurred by the fact that Europe now consists largely of nation states. Certainly Arendt was a German citizen, and raised in German culture; certainly she was not a religious person; equally certainly, she considered herself a Jew. Indeed, she famously wrote (and is cited in our article Who is a Jew? as writing) "If one is attacked as a Jew, one must defend oneself as a Jew. Not as a German, not as a world-citizen, not as an upholder of the Rights of Man, or whatever"; "A man attacked as a Jew cannot defend himself as an Englishman or a Frenchman. The world can only conclude from this that he is simply not defending himself at all." - Jmabel | Talk 20:16, 19 March 2006 (UTC)

who are you people?! this question is somewhat ignorant. one should know that Klaningrad is still a Russian city.

That was not its name when Arendt grew up in a city of East Prussia known as Königsberg and dominated by German citizens. Let's not forget that being German is among other things a matter of citizenship tied to blood, which is one of the reasons that Nazi rhetoric denying the massive fact of Jewish assimilation led to the humiliation of the Nuremberg Laws. Buffyg 22:58, 5 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I'd suggest to list her as an American Jew since she was stripped off from German citizenship and became later a citizen of the US. An alternative might be German born American Jew. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:10, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

Hannah Arendt really was very German. Take my word on this.--djenner (talk) 04:22, 5 May 2008 (UTC)

Just going back to the ridiculous first statement. That's like saying 'he's not Spanish, he's Catholic'!! or 'she's not Indian, she's Hindu'!! What utter nonsense. Hannah Arendt was German by nationality and Jewish by faith. It's quite simple. Judaism is not a nationality. So to the person who wrote the original statement. Don't be a twit!! Detmold64 3rd January 2013. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:55, 3 January 2013 (UTC)

Judaism is an ancient religion. Like most ancient religions, the race/ethnicity and the followers of the religion are the same thing. For example, Greeks believed in Greek mythology. Romans believed in Roman mythology. Egyptians believed in Egyptian mythology. Likewise, Jews (who are called Jews not because of our religion but because we are from Judea) believe in Judaism. Unlike Judaism, modern religions like Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism are universalist religions that are not centered upon a single ethnicity. Many people like you who argue that Jews are a religion and not an ethnicity are speaking from a Western, Christian-centric mindset. Just because Christians are not an ethnicity doesn't mean that the same rule applies to Jews. Unfortunately, there are also many assimilated Jews who agree with the Christian-centric view because they are ignorant about their own history and identity. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Pecosklein (talkcontribs) 04:25, 2 November 2013 (UTC)

Gave her nationality as German-born following standard procedure as for example with another German-born assimilated Jew, Albert Einstein, but added the important special features of her nationality---escaping Holocaust and becoming an American citizen---later in intro.CharlesHBennett (talk) 15:24, 14 October 2014 (UTC)

Arendt herself made the distinction that is mentioned here between Staatsangehörigkeit (citizenship) and Volkszugehörigkeit ("nationality" in the sense of belonging to an ethnic group): "Ich, zum Beispiel, glaube nicht, daß ich mich je als Deutsche – im Sinne der Volkszugehörigkeit, nicht der Staatsangehörigkeit, wenn ich mal den Unterschied machen darf – betrachtet habe." (I, for example, do not believe that I have ever regarded myself as a German – in terms of my Volkszugehörigkeit, not my citizenship if I may stress the difference.) Source: Nordmann, Ingeborg. Hannah Arendt. Campus-Verlag, 1994. Page 16.
And I have to mention that the information about her nationality in the infobox is not correct, for Hitler replaced the citizenships of the individual German states with a German nationality in 1934. Thus, she was citizen of Prussia until 1934 and of the German Reich between 1934 and 1937. -- Orthographicus (talk) 19:26, 23 November 2014 (UTC)
It is right, she had finally, as seen formally juridically, the nationality of the German empire. Because she was already persecuted, however, at that time by the Nazis and was abroad on the run from them, the Prussian citizenship was noted in her passport up to the deprivation through them in 1937. Her family came even originally from East Prussia and she has spent a large part of her childhood there in Königsberg. Arendt was born in Prussia, and she was the longest time of her life a Prussian citizen. Therefore, the attribution in the info box is not wrong. Arendt has never owned a passport of National Socialist Germany with the swastika on it. She would have probably also refused to receive such a document. --Tri-l (talk) 07:11, 24 November 2014 (UTC)

With regard to the citizenship, which is probably the least controversial issue in this discussion, I would like to refer to the article on Hannah Arendt in the german version of Wikipedia. It claims that "[...] Nachdem sie vom nationalsozialistischen Regime 1937 ausgebürgert worden war, war sie staatenlos, bis sie 1951 die US-amerikanische Staatsbürgerschaft erhielt."

This could be interpreted as "She was deprived of her citizenship by the Nazi regime in 1937. From then on she was stateless until 1951. Then she was granted the US-American citizenship"

To the best of my knowledge, the Freistaat Preußen ceased to exist as a state sometime in between 1933 and 1934, when the Nazis enforced the so called Gleichschaltung. This Gleichschaltung was certainly violating the constitution, but was yet effective. By decree, from the February 7th 1934 on there was no such thing as a Prussian citizenship any longer. Factually, from then on Hannah Arendt hat the citizenship of the Deutsche Reich.

The article further reports, that during her immigration, she suffered from the circumstance of being a refugee. She later cherished the naturalization and regarded herself an an American. 2A02:908:2216:6BA0:D811:737:F13C:F9EA (talk) 19:11, 18 November 2018 (UTC)

Yes, I have read the German version, and to some extent have used it as a guide to structure. Hannah Arendt was grateful for her American citizenship and the stability it afforded her, but her roots were very much in Europe and the German language and culture. Even in the US her circle of friends were largely German speaking. --Michael Goodyear   23:13, 19 November 2018 (UTC)

Yes, that is a convincing notion. I must admit, that it is much more difficult to figure out her personal attitude about her ethnic or national identity than it is to figure out her formal citizenship by strict terms of law. Even though the latter seems to be complicated enough. It would not be a great surprise, when her respective attitude would have changed over her lifetime. By the time that she was stateless, in 1943, she addressed this question in her article "Wir Flüchtlinge". Here, she advocates a rather cosmopolitan self-conception. To put it more precisely, she encouraged her fellow refugees to claim more self-esteem. To her, being a refugee would be an identity in its own right. She first published this article in a newspaper addressing a jewish audience. It is undisputed, that she was closely related to the zionist movement. Jewish organizations supported her most during the very period in her life, when she needed it most. For a long time, she was not welcome anywhere, including the united states. She also spoke up for a binational state of israel, including both jews and arabs with equal rights. Later in her biography, she seems to have regard herself as an US-American citizen.

I stop here. We could continue considering her personal opinion for a long time. Or the view of her contemporaries. The result will be, that matters are not as simple as that. Since she is an outstanding person, many would like to claim her as a compatriot. Just like Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Now that he has become a celebrity, the Germans call him a German and the Austrians call him an Austrian. During his lifetime, he was ill-treated by both. What does that remind you of?

However, the beginning of this discussion was the question as to "Why is she listed as "German?". It is safe to say that she was more than that.

2A02:908:2216:6BA0:4452:682B:3339:9699 (talk) 09:51, 25 November 2018 (UTC)

Note: Wir Flüchtlinge was originally published in English in 1943 as "We refugees". it is included in the article. --Michael Goodyear   16:34, 25 November 2018 (UTC)

Work on the article?[edit]

Any one interesting in collaborating on editing the article to include her philosophical work, particularly, Life of the Mind? i.e. the importance of Thinking etc.. I don't know what this would involve and it would be my first piece of work on Wiki but I'd like to try, with help, if anyone is interested. Leave a note on my talk/discussion page, please. Jeffrey Newman 08:43, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)

external link[edit]

Can someone comment on the removal of the external link on this page? It is a valuable link, adding value to this page. I'd appreciate opinions. Kind regards Amit

Can somebody remove the link to The hannah Arendt Circle (under organisations); it is a gambling site! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:35, 2 April 2010 (UTC)

Done, thanks for pointing that out.--emptytalk (talk) 17:11, 21 June 2010 (UTC)


I've heard Arendt referred to as a partial-zionist many times. I'm wondering if someone is willing to write a section on it. H.R.

She altered her position several times throughout her life. I will try to include more information as I have time. JKillah 20:00, 1 April 2006 (UTC)


Don’t you think we should work on a criticism section? I know one thing she was heavily criticised for was her destination between the private and political spheres, or rather where she divided the two.--Monty Cantsin 01:49, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

I would like to do some reading with someone towards writing critically about public and private in her work. I remember Seyla Benhabib raises the issue. Where would I begin looking in Arendt? Mark Joseph 09:56, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

Controversial publications were Eichmann in Jerusalem and Reflections on Little Rock. Her articles on the Eichmann trial were controversial because Arendt discussed the alleged lack of resistance and the colaboration of Jewish authorities like the Judenrate during the Holocaust, and because of the tone in which she discussed the conduct of such Jewish authorties during the Holocaust.

Her article on the Civil Rights struggle at Little Rock was controversial because she argued that enforcing school integration through the power of the U.S federal government was a mistake. The article was also controversial because the argued that state laws in the US banning interracial marriage were more a fundamental violation of human rights than legal racial segregation in education.

I hate how ridiculously convoluted her writings were, and how she mixed moral arguments with social science arguments... but I admit she made some good arguments. william n —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 18 Feb 2006

Preemptive correction[edit]

Scott McLemee, Arendt Biographer Corrects Mistake Linking Her to Jewish Terrorist Group, Chronicle of Higher Education, November 12, 2004. Corrects an inaccuracy in the First Edition of For Love of the World. Arendt did not give money to the Jewish Defense League. This was biographer Elisabeth Young-Bruehl's error (she says, in the Second Edition, the only significant one she's had to correct). Apparently Edward Said ran across that detail in the book and (in 1985) ran with it. So it's probably out there, much cited, but incorrect. -- Jmabel | Talk 10:37, 4 January 2006 (UTC)


A rather unflattering photo that I've never seen before. Doesn't anybody have a better pic? —This unsigned comment was added by DStrumpf (talkcontribs) 21 March 2006.

That is rather unflattering, but if the information on the image page is accurate, it's public domain. It would be hard to justify fair use of a copyrighted photo given the availability of a public domain photo. - Jmabel | Talk 03:57, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
We could imaginably get permission from the Hannah Arendt Trust to use something, if you want to pursue that. Another possibility would be to use a book cover: Two with good photos of her as a young woman are Hannah Arendt and the Politics of Tragedy by Robert C. Pirro and The Viking Portable Hannah Arendt. Also, there is an excellent sketch of her toward the end of her life on the cover of Elisabeth Young-Bruehl's Hannah Arendt: For Love of the World. - Jmabel | Talk 04:09, 27 March 2006 (UTC)

Banality of Evil[edit]

If I'm not mistaken, the phrase "banality of evil" was coined by Arendt. There is a Wikipedia entry on "Banality of Evil" (, but there is no reference to that page in this article. PJ 18:22, 3 May 2006 (UTC)

Yes, it is hers, and should be mentioned here. - Jmabel | Talk 05:21, 24 May 2006 (UTC)
I've now linked the word "banality", which the article already used in this context, to Banality of Evil. If anyone feels this needs more of a mention, take a shot at how to do it. - Jmabel | Talk 05:24, 24 May 2006 (UTC)

In fact, the concept emerges in the Letters with Jaspers. Help me get my identity back, and I'll look up the quotes! Jeffrey Newman 06:08, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

Please expand[edit]

HA is divorced in 1937, but afterwards is said to be married? Where, when, who? What's up?

HA is supposed to travel to Germany in 1941 onward. How is this possible?

What is HA's take on Hume vs. Kant? Wonder what she would have thought about modern research on the power of instinct and emotion to bend rationalization to the needs of instinct and emotion.

Thanks. heqs 15:09, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

EMIguy (talk) 21:08, 17 August 2013 (UTC)

Dead link[edit]

This link: was given as a citation for her academic career. It's dead. It appears to have been a Google cache (bad idea, in general). I tried following up both directly and on the Internet Archive: no luck. So I've removed it. - Jmabel | Talk 06:58, 23 September 2006 (UTC)

Hannah Arendt and Heidegger[edit]

Ettinger, Elzbieta: Hannah Arendt. Martin Heidegger. Eine Geschichte. 1994, Serie Piper 1904, Piper, München. I have to look for the original in English language. Austerlitz 17:27, 15 October 2006 (UTC)

The author of this book, Elzbieta Ettinger, has died last year.

quotation from that article: Ettinger's controversial 1994 book, "Hannah Arendt-Martin Heidegger," interpreted the lengthy romantic relationship between the Jewish philosopher and her Nazi-affiliated mentor. In this work, described in the New York Times as "absorbing and cruelly fascinating," Ettinger was "unsparing in her exposure of both Heidegger's mendacity and Arendt's propensity for self-deception" about Heidegger, wrote the reviewer. Shortly afterward, the Heidegger estate published the full text of the Heidegger-Arendt correspondence.
Ettinger was at work on a full-length biography of Hannah Arendt at the time of her death. She is survived by her daughter, Maia Ettinger, of San Francisco. Austerlitz 17:31, 15 October 2006 (UTC)
Austerlitz 17:55, 15 October 2006 (UTC)
Ettinger didn't "reveal" that Arendt and Heidegger were lovers, nor that their friendship resumed after the war. This is entirely clear in Young-Bruehl's 1982 biography of Arendt, which, in a lightly revised edition, remains the standard biography of Arendt. What is new and controversial in Ettinger is the claim that their post-war relationship remained passionate. Young-Bruehl views Heidegger's wife's suspicions of that as largely unfounded. I haven't read the actual Arendt-Heidegger correspondence, so I have no independent opinion. - Jmabel | Talk 21:17, 18 October 2006 (UTC)

Correspondence with her husband Heinrich Blücher[edit]

ISBN: 3492228356


This was put on the Hannah Arendt page by Jvscott:

"Edits: 1) References to the way Arendt escaped from France are incorrect: Hannah Arendt escaped from France with the assistance of Varian Fry, working out of Marseilles for the State Department, who resuced many artists and writers. She traveled from Lisbon, having escaped over the Pyrnees, under the name "Frau Blucher" with her second husband, Heinrich Blucher. She #128 on Fry's list, his second list of lesser known European intellectuals. Fry's assistant Beamish wrote that Arendt was "a woman who will someday be famous." Sources: Marino, Andy. 1999. A Quiet American: The Secret War of Varian Fry.New York: St. Martin's Press. p. 143; Steinberg, Sheila. 2001. A hero Of Our OwnNew York: Random House. p.93"

I'm sure it's good information, but it should be put on the page so it still reads smoothly as an article. I took it off and put it here so that it is saved and can be added in a more appopriate manner. Acornwithwings 06:38, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

Another book[edit]

Responsibility and Judgment should it be added to the list of her literature? Here is the Table of Contents, [1]

Austerlitz -- 10:25, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
Austerlitz -- 10:29, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

A good source on what HA may have been thinking about judgment[edit]

Hannah Arendt's death was sudden (the story is, she was found, possibly by Jerry Kohn, slumped over her typewriter, where she'd been for some time...); she was replaced the following (Spring 1976?...) semester by Ernst Vollrath. Apparently they were buddies and had nattered on about the Third Critique. Dr. Vollrath (a first class Aristotle scholar, among other things) had developed a very distinctive interpretation of Kant's doctrine of judgment, which he published in Rekonstruction der politischen Urteilskraft. There is some reason to think that HA might have been both influential in, and influence by, Vollrath's thinking. Hard book to find, but it can be had from used-booksellers in Germany for a reasonable amount. --djenner (talk) 04:34, 5 May 2008 (UTC)

putting in a reference[edit]

I'm not sure how to put in the reference. I must be doing something wrong, as it appears on the page. Could someone fix it? Thanks. --Gilabrand 13:35, 13 May 2007 (UTC)

Now fixed as requested --NSH001 19:09, 13 May 2007 (UTC)


I think Kierkegaard and Nietzsche should be removed from the list of persons Arendt was influenced by. I really don't see any Kierkegaard's influence in her work (as far as I know she only quotes him once, in an essay on the "end of western tradition": and she is not exactely condescending with him.) Nietzsche is another story: it's clear she knows his work quite well (although she quotes him very rarely, almost exlusively from "The Will to Power" and almost exlusively on matters related to the philosophy of science), but influenced by him? I don't see it. Where is she influenced by him?

Of course Hegel has to go from the list, too. She basically hates him (and since she never quotes him and often atributes him theories he never sustained, it's doubtful she ever truly read him - when she writes "Hegel" she actually means "the way Hegel's thought was understood by 19-Century German historicists").

On the other hand, I think Machiavelli and Montesquieu should be added. Viator slovenicus 01:14, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

Hi Viator. Arendt was introduced to Kierkegaard when she was 14! And she does make a good study of Kierkegaard's Johannes Climacus or De Omnibus Dubitandum Est in her Human Condition. But I would agree with their removal as her knowledge of them, especially of Nietzsche, is heavily based from Karl Jaspers' reading. Cheers, Poor Yorick 09:04, 26 May 2007 (UTC)

what is the support for Bertrand Russell as an influence? i thought he was more-or-less a "Hegelian"? Hjijch 03:46, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

Paul under Influences directs to a page about the name Paul. Which Paul is it meant to be? VaughnJess 10:51, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

I wonder if any of the Arendt scholars know if she had any particular influence on the German-American political theorist and historian Eric Voegelin. As I recall, Voegelin does mention in some of his non-academic writing either lecturing in a few of Arendt's courses or bringing her into his as a guest lecturer (perhaps while she was at the New School or while he was at LSU, though I can’t seem to find the references). As some of their main topics of study have close overlap, as did some of their circle of contemporary influences, did either ever specifically attribute significant lines of their own thought to the other. If so, he may be worth adding in the influence box. Aurelius89 (talk) 04:14, 20 February 2009 (UTC)

She was born a German, but ..[edit]

yes this is true, but she always said, that her point of view is the Jewish perspective, because she was attackes as a jewish from the germans. The same sentencs is in the german articel.--Ot 13:36, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

I don't know what is in the "german articel" but to say that she is of german origin instead that she was German is not the same thing in English. There are many Americans, for example, who are of German origin, but who have never been to Germany, who do not speak a word of German, and who consider themselves to be American. I am pretty sure that Hannah Arendt never said or wrote any place "that her point of view is the Jewish perspective" (whatever that is), but you need to give a reference for such a statement. Her philosophy is heavily influenced by both Heidegger and Jaspers. Her writing is of course influenced by her Feriencamps as a German Jew during the Second World War. Perhaps this is what you mean that she "attackes as a jewish from the germans." But what ever you might think of her writings, she descended from Germans and was born a German. In English we would describe that as being German. As you know, this discussion has already taken place on the discussion page, and in light of that it is hard not to see your change and revert as uncalled for.--Joel Mc 15:06, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
well, I would agree with this sentence from the discussion above:
I'd suggest to list her as an American Jew since she was stripped off from German citizenship and became later a citizen of the US. An alternative might be German born American Jew.
my other sources are only in german laguage - sorry about that.
--Ot 16:37, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
It is true that she was "stripped" of her German citizenship by the Eleventh Ordinance to the Reich Citizenship Law in November 1941, however, the Nazis could not strip her of her identity as a German Jewish political-theorist. Your suggestion is in fact less clear than the original wording. We could use the wording that she was a German Jew who was naturalized a US citizen, but that becomes a little unwieldly and the article below explains what happened. I suppose the best reference for not changing can be found in the wording of the plaque posted on the house in Hannover-Linden where she was born which reads:

Hier wurde am 14. 10 1906 die deutsch-jüdische Historikerin und politische Philosophin Hannah Arendt geboren. (Eng: The German-Jewish historian and political philosopher Hannah Arendt was born here on October 14, 1906.)[2]

Joel Mc 18:46, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

In a letter to Karl Jaspers wrote Hannah 17. december 1946: "... ob ich Deutsche oder Jüdin sei. Ehrlich gesagt, es ist mir persönlich egal. ... Ich möchte sagen: Politisch werde ich immer nur im Namen der Juden sprechen, sofern ich gezwungen bin meine Nationalität anzugeben. ..." Have I to translate it Joel?--Ot 18:00, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

co comment?--Ot 07:56, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
Haven't read enough yet from and about Arendt to give a well founded opinion. Let me try some translations. The article on de.wikipedia starts:

Hannah Arendt (Johanna Arendt, * 14. Oktober 1906 in Linden, heute Teil von Hannover; † 4. Dezember 1975 in New York) war eine jüdische Publizistin und Gelehrte deutscher Herkunft. (Eng: ... was a jewish writer and scholar of German origin.)

The letter to Jaspers reads: "Whether I'm a German or a Jew. Honestly said, for me personally, it is all alike ... I want to say: I will always speak in the name of the Jews, if I'm forced to give my nationality, ...."
And I think Ot's interpretation of this quote is, that her point of view is the Jewish perspective, because she was attacked as a Jew from the Germans.
--Schwalker (talk) 00:22, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
Her writings about this question certainly need interpretation. No one can claim the truth. We could discuss an number of quotes. This one here reflects her position in 1946. She may have changed her mind prior to that and after that as well. Well, let us consider that particular quote. To me, the most noteworthy part of the sentence seems to be "if I'm forced to give my nationality, ....". Consider also her notion that "Honestly said, for me personally, it is all alike ..."

2A02:908:2216:6BA0:4452:682B:3339:9699 (talk) 11:53, 25 November 2018 (UTC)


There's a Hannah Arendt Prize: [3], . —Ashley Y 04:18, 6 February 2008 (UTC)


In case you judge this essay not to be "neutral", please tell me what you want to say by this lable. Thank you.

Austerlitz -- (talk) 11:48, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
Which essay? --RossF18 (talk) 03:26, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
Sir Anon provides a link. I believe that he asks whether the essay provided in the link is usable for the article. ... said: Rursus (mbork³) 15:31, 12 January 2010 (UTC)

Legacy section[edit]

I will remove the "Legacy" section. This only contains one citation and one quote, and although there is a nice contrast between them, it's hard to see what we can get out of them. Neither can I see what exactly should go under such title. trespassers william (talk) 18:41, 31 October 2010 (UTC)

political theorist[edit]

added the category of 'American political theorist' at the bottom. as the opening paragraph of the article states, she considered herself a political theorist. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:17, 3 May 2011 (UTC)


Added sections within work to improve formatting.TheHappiestCritic (talk) 21:50, 8 December 2011 (UTC)

not German-American[edit]

I am not supporting any of the terrible discussion above about how Jews are a race and "German" is an exclusive category. However, to call her German, let alone German-American, is quite inaccurate, unless your sole justification is that she emigrated from Germany to the United States. This qualification needs to be made. In Germany and most of Europe by the time she emigrated, Jewish was an ethnic or national identity, even if this was not sanctioned officially. Even many circles in the USA made the distinction.

Besides, although it would be unfair to exaggerate her "Jewishness," her Jewish ethnic or cultural identity is important for the article to help explain her efforts to "understand" the totalitarianism she feared so much. Just saying she had Jewish parents but is non-observant is understated. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:57, 12 August 2012 (UTC)

Are you suggesting that she be removed from the WP List of German Americans as well? And Einstein? And Paul Tillich? Hans Bethe? etc. Clearly it is customary to refer to such people, Jewish or not, as German-Americans, or if there is another mix such as Edward Teller as a Hungarian-American etc.--Joel Mc (talk) 19:57, 12 August 2012 (UTC)

Language clarity[edit]

As someone who is new to this subject matter, I am having trouble trying to understand one sentence in the first paragraph under Works: "This natality signs the contingent, indeterminate and so political future that we don't know anything about." I would greatly appreciate it if someone would paraphrase it. Both "signs" and "so" have multiple possible meanings here. Salliesatt (talk) 12:15, 25 August 2012 (UTC)

I suspect that you are not the only one who has trouble with this sentence, "signs" in this case seems to mean "indicates" (or maybe even better: "leads to".) None of the meanings of "so" fits here. A suggested paraphrasing would be:

"The new and unique beginning represented by each birth indicates the unknown political future dependent on unknown conditions. (Arndt uses the word "natality" to mean "the fact that each birth represents a new beginning and the introduction of novelty in the world." See the Hannah Arendt entry in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy Arendt)"

But I am sure there are better possibilities.--Joel Mc (talk) 10:14, 28 August 2012 (UTC)

Original research and sock-puppetry?[edit]

It seems the whole "works" section is completely Wikipedia:unreferenced. At least the part "on revolution" seems to be Wikipedia:Original_Research. I have left it there because I learned a lot through that and i think this is quite useful, but a summary should be done with pointers on similar research as sources soon, or the text should just be removed if no one steps up to clean that up.

I also note that through the history of this article, similar content was added, twice, (as User:Tfisher112 and User:Jcash33) then removed (but not completely) and then added back again (as User:Jirving553). I suspect those three accounts are linked to the same person which seems to want to persist in getting this text in Wikipedia. Those three accounts have only contributed to this page, so I suspect Wikipedia:Sock puppetry­, see Wikipedia:Sockpuppet_investigations/Tfisher112 for further investigation, and report other occurences there.

Please, do respect the consensus on how to contribute to wikipedia and cite your sources! Thanks! -- TheAnarcat (talk) 01:58, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

animal laborans[edit]

Whereas Marx uses the concept first, Arendt uses humanity as animal laborans together with with humanity as homo faber and humanity as zoon potikon (man as a political animal) to criticise Marx's "elevation of animal laborans to a position of primacy.."; in her view this leads to totalitarianism. Thus its use is part of her notable ideas. I agree with the comment above, that the section on works needs reference, but that there is a need to add some more of her central ideas. I would love to do this, but don't have the time now, maybe later.Joel Mc (talk) 16:49, 10 July 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for clarifying that. This sounds quite well explained to me and could almost go into the article as it is if it had a reference or two. Djapa Owen (talk) 23:04, 10 July 2013 (UTC)

The Social Question[edit]

This entire section is an unsourced analysis of one aspect of Arendt's On Revolution. It is presented as if it were the title of one of her works. This whole section should be deleted as it is nothing more that someone's book report on On Revolution Ross Fraser (talk) 02:46, 27 August 2013 (UTC)

In the absence of further discussion, I'll remove this section on the grounds that it is 1) unsourced, and 2) not biographical. If someone wants to create a WP page on "On Revolution", please proceed. Ross Fraser (talk) 22:55, 2 September 2013 (UTC)

As there has been no discussion, I've removed this section. None of the material is sourced and it isn't biographical. In case someone wants to create a page on Arendt's analysis of revolutions, I've moved the material here. Reliable citations will be needed.

Arendt turned her attention to a key difference between the American and French Revolutions: poverty. Specifically, she defines poverty as “more than deprivation, it is a state of constant want and acute misery whose ignominy consists in its dehumanizing force.” The French Revolution is defined by a social question, how to solve the problem of poverty, which it never finds the answer to. Ultimately, Robespierre abandons the goal of freedom for the needs of the people. The American Revolution and its Founding Fathers remain focused on the political question of freedom, never having to face the “predicament of poverty … present everywhere else in the world.”Arendt finds an inherent link between necessity and violence, as the revolutionaries in France are motivated by compassion. There existed a great divide between the people and their new representatives, requiring what Robespierre referred to as “virtue”. Arendt makes two key connections regarding compassion, and the violence found in the Reign of Terror. The first is that compassion is inherently opposed to political matters, with the former relying on nonverbal communication and the latter relying on the exchange of ideas. Compassion in this realm originates with Rousseau, as Arendt states that “if Rousseau had introduced compassion into political theory, it was Robespierre who brought it onto the market-place.” While compassion can be a noble form of human passion, in this instance it is deformed into pity, which instead of promoting unity leads to a selfish glorification of others suffering. The second connection regards the human heart, which Arendt describes as “a place of darkness” that protects “inner-most motives which are not meant for public display.”[citation needed]
Foundation For Arendt, freedom is found in the constitution, as she rejects the idea of a “permanent revolution.” She rejected the definition of constitutional government as limited by law. The clear difference between the rights given by the American Revolution, which proclaims “no more than the necessity of civilized government for all mankind,” and the French, which proclaims “the existence of rights independent of and outside the body politic” lies in the ultimate role of each constitution. Any shortcomings in the theory of constitutional government are matched, Arendt suggests, by the seventeenth-century theories of social contract. These failed to distinguish between the “mutual contract” or promise making, and the consent to be governed. Comparing the revolutions, Arendt notes how the American revolutionaries were wary of the abuse of power, viewing human nature with much greater suspicion than did the men of the French Enlightenment. But this also meant that the Americans were equally conscious of the dangers posed to the polity by the unchecked rights and liberties of the citizen.
Hence “the true objective of the American Constitution was not to limit power but to create more power” in separate sources – executive, legislative, judicial, as well as federal and state.ix The second problem faced by the Americans was the establishment of the authority of the constitutional foundation. Without authority, a new legal constitution is at permanent risk of being undone, as was the French constitution, which was replaced fourteen times between 1789 and 1875. In Arendt's theory of the unifying role of “principles,” what was most important for the avoidance of violence and the survival of the US Constitution was the fact that more than any other principle the one which seemed to inspire the Founding Fathers was the principle of mutual promise. According to Arendt, this meant that the authority, the “constituent power,” of those who formulated both the state and federal constitutions was never seriously questioned by the people.[citation needed]
The Revolutionary Tradition Regardless of all her praise for the successes of the American Revolution, Arendt feels that America has misunderstood the important aspects of what the Founders accomplished, and has offered no resistance to the people's removal from the political process. The people still retain a respect for the Constitution, but have forgotten the meaning behind its origins, with the government presenting itself as perfection achieved. America has failed to face the danger of the public sphere transforming itself into a realm where private interests are held above public interests. The disappearance of a space to form opinions through public discussion has taken away conviction that is able to sustain political dialogue, leaving in place subjective moods. The result is a government that is “democratic in that popular welfare and private happiness are its chief goals; but it can be called oligarchic in the sense that public happiness and public freedom have again become the privilege of the few.” What then, is Arendt's answer to the lost spirit of the American Revolution, and to the dwindling space for action she saw in both capitalist democracies and socialist regimes? Arendt's admiration for popular councils and their equivalents seems to offer the clearest indication of how she believed political action could establish a permanent home in the modern world. Arendt insists that councils appeared and spread throughout history without any prompting or planning by trained revolutionaries or party cadres, and would permit the people to become participators in government.[citation needed]
Criticism The main criticism against Arendt's work is the seeming paradox between the belief in the success of the American revolution and the rejection of its system of representation. Others question her idea of a “council system,” saying that it is “at most a metaphor suited for turning the theoretical imagination in a new direction” and not a practical goal. A final criticism can be found in the narrative Arendt puts forward surrounding modern politics, and the replacement of happiness with freedom. The idea of “a broad hermeneutic structure that privileges freedom to the exclusion of happiness, placing emphasis on the forms of politics without regard for its ends and purposes,” plagues much of Arendt's writing.[citation needed]

Ross Fraser (talk) 23:08, 10 September 2013 (UTC)

The article is NOT too long in my opinion.[edit]

It says above the article that it might be too long, I think this is wrong. Clearly Hannah Arendt was a very important intellectual & journalist, and the article does in my opinion hardly contain anything not important in its present form. If we look at the article about another dead intellectual & journalist, Christopher Hitchens, it is alot longer than the article about Hannah Arendt. Now of course Hitchens was an important figure, but I think many people would agree with me that there are hardly many more important things to write about Hitchens than there are about Arendt, and if we should do anything it is to make the article about Arendt longer, not shorter. Mattias Berggren (talk) 20:31, 17 September 2013 (UTC)

Agreed. The article in its current form is not too long. I have removed the tag.

Ross Fraser (talk) 06:24, 18 September 2013 (UTC)

Request for Comments[edit]

There is an RfC on the question of using "Religion: None" vs. "Religion: None (atheist)" in the infobox on this and other similar pages.

The RfC is at Template talk:Infobox person#RfC: Religion infobox entries for individuals that have no religion.

Please help us determine consensus on this issue. --Guy Macon (talk) 17:15, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

Idea of process[edit]

Don't you think it is one of Arendt major ideas? It seems to me like one recurring concept in her work. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Appleisthebest (talkcontribs) 20:54, 10 May 2015 (UTC)


The caption relates to a picture not shown. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:44, 20 December 2015 (UTC)

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The Human Condition[edit]

"Arendt argues that, while human life always evolves within societies, the social-being part of human nature, political life, has been intentionally constructed by only a few of these societies as a space for individuals to achieve freedom through the construction of a common world. These conceptual categories, which attempt to bridge the gap between ontological and sociological structures, are sharply delineated." This is incoherent. Rearranging some commas might help a bit, but not much. StN (talk) 02:39, 29 June 2017 (UTC)

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People's names in italic[edit]

What's with various people and city names in italic (e.g. Heidegger, Königsberg, Varnhagen)? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:48, 19 January 2018 (UTC)

A Commons file used on this page has been nominated for deletion[edit]

The file BM-Hannah-Arendt2006.jpg on Wikimedia Commons has been nominated for deletion. View and participate in the deletion discussion at the nomination page. Community Tech bot (talk) 22:09, 22 May 2018 (UTC)

Alternative image substituted -Michael Goodyear   02:42, 2 August 2018 (UTC)


Pre-promotion version: 17 July 2018.

Currently rated B, but could be raised to GA. See German article which is GA as a reference page - language tag added at head of this page --Michael Goodyear   16:18, 22 July 2018 (UTC)

Citations upgraded and converted to sfn to reduce wikitext clutter and facilitate editing. Reflist reformatted -Michael Goodyear   02:41, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
Publications cleaned up and referenced in text --Michael Goodyear   15:24, 11 August 2018 (UTC)
Bibliography sorted and formatted --Michael Goodyear   16:10, 14 August 2018 (UTC)
Bibliography and external links cleaned up, and links internalised --Michael Goodyear   15:27, 15 August 2018 (UTC)

"Gymnasiums" / „Gymnasien“[edit]

The §Commemorations section notes that "Various gymnasiums (German high schools) have been dedicated to Arendt", but I'm wondering if it may serve to use the German plural Gymnasien to aid in clarifying the different usage. While they share a common etymology, it is essentially the German word that is being invoked, so pluralising and capitalising as such may help to show this. — Sasuke Sarutobi (push to talk) 17:48, 26 July 2018 (UTC)

Since it is irrelevant whether the schools mentioned are primary or secondary, I have removed references to Gymnasien.--Michael Goodyear   20:08, 31 July 2018 (UTC)

The New Yorker list of articles, in reverse chronological order[edit]

  • "Hannah Arendt - contributions". The New Yorker.
  • (talk) 17:53, 11 August 2018 (UTC)

added --Michael Goodyear   15:27, 15 August 2018 (UTC)


I just became aware that the bibliography (before I began to work on it) was basically lifted from that in :

contributors, Wikipedia. Focus On: 100 Most Popular American Agnostics. e-artnow sro. GGKEY:3052YAJL7YC.

which in turn is presumably copied from somewhere in Wikipedia - or vice-versa --Michael Goodyear   23:38, 13 August 2018 (UTC)

Cause of death (Infobox)[edit]

There appears to be an opinion that cause of death (heart attack) should not be mentioned in the Infobox, based on the Infobox template documentation - "Cause of death. Should be clearly defined and sourced, and should only be included when the cause of death has significance for the subject's notability, e.g. James Dean, John Lennon. It should not be filled in for unremarkable deaths such as those from old age or routine illness".

The arguments for inclusion are (1) Her heavy smoking (and her husband's) was iconic, she was always photographed smoking (2) the dramatic nature of her death, entertaining friends in her apartment (3) she had her first heart attack the previous year while delivering the Gifford lectures in Scotland and remained in poor health over the year between that and her death (4) her death interrupted the final part of her last work, The Life of the Mind, which she was working on that evening. --Michael Goodyear   16:04, 16 August 2018 (UTC)

Starting with the last: point 4 in no way makes the cause of her death significant, simply the fact or timing of it. Point 3 also doesn't make the cause of death significant, simply expected. Point 2, again, lends significance to timing rather than cause. And point 1: while there is an association between smoking and risk of heart attack, it's the former and not the latter that would be considered "iconic" with regards to this subject. The fact of the matter is, an older person had a heart attack - this is pretty much the definition of "routine", unfortunately. The fact that she died of a heart attack is in no way significant to her notability. Nikkimaria (talk) 22:10, 16 August 2018 (UTC)
I must admit, I am surprised that this point, which is a small one in the overall project, has become so contentious. In fact in all the biographies I have written, I have never come across this issue before. Obviously I disagree with the above. One's death is after all a notable part of one's life, and I found numerous examples in other biographies, including FA and GA biographies so I do not think there is much concensus here and I would like to promote this to GA. I suspect it comes down to differing understanding of significance and notability. It would be interesting to discuss this on the biography project page. The mode of her death was dramatic, and she was not particularly old. That's a far cry from routine. --Michael Goodyear   18:30, 21 August 2018 (UTC)
One's death is of course significant to one's life, but that doesn't make it significant to one's notability. Nikkimaria (talk) 21:47, 21 August 2018 (UTC)
As usual, much hinges on one's understanding of words like significant, notable and routine --Michael Goodyear   15:52, 23 August 2018 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Hannah Arendt/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: J Milburn (talk · contribs) 16:49, 23 August 2018 (UTC)

I'm going to claim this review right now, with the caveat that it may be a little while before I am able to sit down and give this the attention that it really deserves (and it may be a slightly bitty review). I'm far from an expert on Arendt, but I am familiar with her work and some of the secondary literature. Josh Milburn (talk) 16:49, 23 August 2018 (UTC)

Let me start with a few general comments from the first look:


  • The image situation in this article is a bit all over the place. The lead image is non-free, but there are a range of (putatively) free images of the subject further down the article; if we have free images, we should not be using non-free images. However, many of the "free" images are claimed as public domain because of details about their first publication, but no clear information about their first publication is provided.
Images are often one of the more difficult aspects of producing WP articles. To put this in perspective, when I took on this project recently, there was only one image and it was nominated for deletion, because it came from a German postage stamp. The use of non-free images for biography infoboxes is fairly common on WP, provided the guidelines are properly followed as they are here, including single use, reduced size and cropping.
There actually are only a few images of the subject available. Establishing whether an image is free can be challenging. Others writing on this subject, have used these images without attribution. I have traced them to the Arendt papers on American Memory which is stated to be a PD collection. No copyright information is provided for these images there. As far as prior publication goes, this is a situation I have frequently encountered in historical biography. I cannot find any information to suggest they were ever published. They appear to come from her personal papers which were donated to the Library of Congress. That is, they are personal family photographs. Establishing that an image is free obviously gets easier the older they are. They were placed here to illustrate the different phases of her life.
If in doubt I placed links to External images, such as the postage stamp mentioned above--Michael Goodyear   02:14, 24 August 2018 (UTC)
I'm sorry to contradict you, but there is no way that "the guidelines are properly followed" if you are using a non-free image in an infobox when free images exist. Please review the non-free content guidelines if you do not believe me. As for the free images: I accept that proper sourcing information can be difficult, but that's just one of the challenges that we face in producing a Wikipedia article. At the moment, the images are tagged as public domain because of certain facts about their first publication, but no information about this publication is provided. Now, however, you're telling me that these images were not published (prior to appearing on that website, I assume), so I'm left unclear on why the images are public domain. Any claim that an image is public domain has to be carefully supported; this sometimes means that we have to err on the side of caution and not use images that may be public domain because we just aren't sure. That's the price that, collectively, we've decided to pay to push for a "free" encyclopedia. The good article criteria do mention the importance of valid non-free use rationales and correct copyright tagging, so these issues need to be resolved before this can be promoted to GA status. Josh Milburn (talk) 08:39, 24 August 2018 (UTC)
It is not a question of contradiction, but of interpretation. I agree this is nearly always messy, because frequently the relevant information simply is not available, and requires some judgement and assumption.
Infobox: The guideline I was was referring to was exactly that - acceptable fair use, where it is an historical image of a deceased person used to illustrate the article about that person. In addition I was citing the rationale for fair use as laid out on the image file, which appears to be the text normally used in such contexts, including single use, not commons, low resolution, only part of the original image and not replacing marketing role.
Other images of the subject are all from American Memories, which the WP page states is an "archive for public domain image resources". However, it is possible that this is open to interpretation. The Library of Congress says it provides copyright information where available, but does not guaranty its accuracy "despite extensive research" (which I take to be a legal cover). All I can say is that I have also carried out an exhaustive search for such information, and have not found it to date. They also state that the materials "are made available under an assertion of fair use" and that unpublished work "has been dedicated to the public". This provides some assurance. Other criteria for fair use on WP include the use of historical images of deceased persons where the author is unknown, and is likely to have died (some countries say 50 others 70 years ago). For images earlier than 1923 this is a bit more straightforward, than for the remaining ones, although even they are covered by the prior to 1977 rule.
Therefore, if you feel strongly that the image used in the infobox is not acceptable and accept the probable PD status of the images from the Hannah Arendt Papers, we could swap one in. I will continue to research this.--Michael Goodyear   18:22, 24 August 2018 (UTC)
With respect, you're making this more complicated than it needs to be. You can't use a non-free image in the infobox if we have a free image. This isn't a question of "interpretation": it's a cornerstone of our non-free use policy. As for the other images: If they're public domain, provide a clear explanation and evidence on the image page - again, there's the possibility of differences of interpretation, but, for the most part, we can stick to some hard and fast rules. Dates/countries of first publication are potentially important, as are years of the author's death. Josh Milburn (talk) 19:00, 24 August 2018 (UTC)
Its complicated because it is. 1. The lead image was used originally as fair use since no alternative was available. The recent finding and uploading of other images clearly changed that, provided they are actually free. Therefore the former argument was predicated on the latter. 2. The issue being that none of the information that you list is available. In an abundance of caution I removed the lead image and swapped it for one of the other images, for the time being, as I suggested above. All I can do for the other images is to try and add some rationale to the image file in addition to the licensing tags. Let me think about how best to do that. Clearly the reductio is never to use images because one can rarely be 100% certain about status - which would be a a pity. --Michael Goodyear   20:46, 24 August 2018 (UTC)
Rationales for free use have been provided for all images of the subject, as requested, based primarily on Wikipedia:Public domain#Unpublished --Michael Goodyear   01:41, 26 August 2018 (UTC)


  • The inclusion of the selected publications before discussion of her thought looks a little odd; I'd rather expect the list of publications to appear at the end of the article, directly above the bibliography/cited works.
In the absence of hard and fast rules on this one can at least be consistent, provided it makes sense. See for instance my most recent FA biography (William T. Stearn), This has been my consistent practice, including a list of publications as part of a discussion of publications. That makes sense to me. I have tweaked this a bit today, because I was trying to give the Eichmann discussion the prominence it needs given the impact it made. The "Views" section is frequently listed later, than a specific discussion of publications.--Michael Goodyear   02:42, 24 August 2018 (UTC)

In popular culture[edit]

  • I wonder if the popular culture section is really necessary? With just one quick reference, it doesn't seem to deserve its own section. I'd recommend expanding, removing, merging with the recognition section, or some combination of these.
You have a point, unless more appears. IPC are often very brief. This item was originally listed under Commemoration, but that is incorrect. Yes, it could be expanded, at least as far as the one item I am aware of. --Michael Goodyear   02:42, 24 August 2018 (UTC)
Expanded as recommended. After all, it is basically a philosophical work


  • I'm surprised by the way you split up the bibliography, and wonder whether it could perhaps be split into a "works cited" and a "further reading" section, given that a lot of it is not actually cited in the article proper. Some of it could perhaps also be moved to the external links section, which currently looks a little empty.
Again I am being very consistent across a multitude of GA and FAs. As it says in comments, it is a curated bibliography which facilitates both maintenance and usage. Whether a work is cited or not is often fluid, they were all consulted, which is the reason why I consistently merge works cited and further reading. For instance today I used references to several works there that had not been used up to date. They are tools for further edits.
I have a lot of problems with External links, which is all too commonly a dumping ground for a pot pouri of raw URLs. Saying something is external does not make much since since virtually all links are external. Therefore my practice has been to internalise, place in cite format and organise so they can be cited, which External links cannot.--Michael Goodyear   02:42, 24 August 2018 (UTC)

I will find time to take a proper look through in due course; I want to be able to sit down with this properly! Josh Milburn (talk) 17:00, 23 August 2018 (UTC)

Thanks. I placed this in Women in Red, so as someone who works in Feminist bioethics, I am happy to have at least a link to Women in Philosophy drive Of course Arendt is featured in Women in philosophy, but the lead image in List of women philosophers is of Arendt, but is the image I refer to above that is nominated for deletion - so should be replaced if possible. --Michael Goodyear   02:50, 24 August 2018 (UTC)--Michael Goodyear   20:15, 24 August 2018 (UTC)

Recent edits[edit]

1. Bluelinks. It is always interesting how in reviews one reviewer insists one not do something, the next reviewer insists you do. Case in point, underlinking and overlinking. On my last review, the reviewer removed most of the links, stating that the current philosophy, is to be very sparing. In particular pointing to What not to link. This was my reason for not linking sovereign states, which I see you have restored.

I didn't create a link to any current sovereign states! (I added a link to Palestine, but removed it.) I don't mind you trimming back n the links if you'd prefer. Josh Milburn (talk) 15:22, 27 August 2018 (UTC)
Actually I had created a link to the correct legal entity at that time which was Mandate of Palestine in the text. Links make sense where there is potential ambiguity. --Michael Goodyear   21:36, 30 August 2018 (UTC)

2. Redlinks. Some are more enthusiastic about this than others. I tend to think if one is going to redlink, one should provide the missing page. So I didn't link The Life of the Mind. Now I feel I need to start a page on that book. --Michael Goodyear   15:06, 27 August 2018 (UTC)

A lot of people have an aversion to redlinks, and that's very sad. Part of the point of them, of course, is to encourage content creation. If you feel compelled to write an article on The Life of the Mind, then, in a sense, they've done their job! Josh Milburn (talk) 15:22, 27 August 2018 (UTC)
In progress as user page --Michael Goodyear   17:35, 28 August 2018 (UTC)
Done. See The Life of the Mind --Michael Goodyear   13:17, 16 December 2018 (UTC)

3. Denken. I used "thinking" over "thought", which you seem to prefer, because like Heidegger, she repeatedly returns to Denken as a core concept. --Michael Goodyear   15:19, 27 August 2018 (UTC)

Ok- that may be my mistake. If you'd prefer to use thinking, I've no aversion to it, but (of course) aim to avoid ambiguity. Josh Milburn (talk) 15:22, 27 August 2018 (UTC)

4. Revisions to article of October 20 reviewed --Michael Goodyear   13:01, 22 October 2018 (UTC)

GA review tools[edit]

Copyright violations[edit]

Earwig's Copyvio Detector reported a 78% match with Eichmann in Jerusalem. I have gone through this very carefully, and appears to be a false positive entirely due to the use of attributed quotations. Other matches are due to inclusion of similar items in bibliography. --Michael Goodyear   17:35, 28 August 2018 (UTC)


Checked for internal and external links --Michael Goodyear   18:03, 28 August 2018 (UTC)

Michael Goodyear and J Milburn, there has been no activity on this review page for over a month. If this does not change then the review will have to be closed down because it can't stay open forever. Display name 99 (talk) 14:41, 5 October 2018 (UTC)
Thanks. Yes, I was concerned about this and contacted the reviewer on October 1, who assured me he was working on it.--Michael Goodyear   22:05, 5 October 2018 (UTC)
I see that's been four days ago. It's getting a little bit absurd now. If you don't hear anything you can go ahead and contact me and I'll see if I can finish things up. Display name 99 (talk) 22:13, 5 October 2018 (UTC)
"It's getting a little bit absurd"? I think we have a slightly different idea of what that word means. If you think my reviewing is "absurd", you go ahead and take over... Josh Milburn (talk) 07:07, 6 October 2018 (UTC)
I don't object to your reviewing but the lack thereof. The fact that you chose to completely ignore this for over a month is ridiculous. Display name 99 (talk) 09:40, 6 October 2018 (UTC)
Thanks for your comments. If you want to help with the review, then I'm sure both Michael and I would welcome it. If you don't, perhaps you could take your concerns elsewhere? Josh Milburn (talk) 11:51, 6 October 2018 (UTC)

First proper read-through[edit]

Ok: I'm going to take a proper look end-to-end:


1 I think we need to be very selective in our use of links to other Wikipedias. I see we link to the German Wikipedia article on Max Arendt; why not create a redlink? Same for the link to her dissertation, Erwin Loewenson, Benno von Wiese, Hugo Friedrich, and perhaps others. If they're notable, create a redlink!

This article relies heavily on German texts. I made a deliberate choice to link to the German WP where there was no English equivalent rather than redlink. The rationale is that to do so is a good deal more informative than redlinking, and provides an easy tool for later writing specific English pages. You will recall our earlier discussion on redlinks. --Michael Goodyear   16:39, 6 October 2018 (UTC)
I agree that a link to a German Wikipedia article provides useful information, but note that it only provides that for people who can read German (which the majority of readers of the English Wikipedia, I think it is safe to assume, cannot. I do recall our earlier conversation, and I repeat what I said there: redlinks are good things, and are actively encouraged by Wikipedia's guidelines and policies. In-line interlanguage links, on the other hand, unless you're aware of something I'm not, have very little support within Wikipedia guidelines, even if they are technically possible. Josh Milburn (talk) 07:46, 7 October 2018 (UTC)

2 Is this in British English, American English, or something else? I see American dates, but note favourable

Point taken. Since there is no British English tag, the default on WP is American, which was her English, but not always easy for British writers like myself. I carried out an automated search using redlining. Hopefully any residual Britishisms have been removed.  Done --Michael Goodyear   17:10, 6 October 2018 (UTC)
The default on Wikipedia is not American. The default, if there is one, is relative to the subject. In this case, she was an American citizen, so I think American English would be preferable. However, it ultimately doesn't matter as long as 1) it's not changed without consensus and 2) it's consistent. Josh Milburn (talk) 07:46, 7 October 2018 (UTC)
I think it is implicit in that it provides for the use of a British English tag but not American! --Michael Goodyear   14:42, 7 October 2018 (UTC)
There are templates for both! You can read the guideline at WP:ENGVAR. Josh Milburn (talk) 16:46, 7 October 2018 (UTC)
I don't want to over labour the point (reviews should be mutually educational). I'm aware of the page, but it does not address templates. However as you say there is a Template:Use American English but in all my years I have never seen it used (possibly a selection bias) and it does not seem to be used much.--Michael Goodyear   17:16, 7 October 2018 (UTC)

3 You sometimes provide dates for the people mentioned, sometimes not. I confess I can't really work out your system.

What I tried to do was, on first introducing a character, ask (1) are their dates relevant, eg relative age, date of death, placing them in historical perspective, and (2) were reliable dates available. --Michael Goodyear   18:08, 6 October 2018 (UTC)
Ok; happy to leave that as a matter of your judgement. Josh Milburn (talk) 07:46, 7 October 2018 (UTC)

4 I wonder whether it would be better to start referring to her as "Arendt" once you start the "career" section?

I am not sure what you are driving at here. The usage is either "Arendt" or "Hannah Arendt", and my guide to usage was that of her definitive biography. --Michael Goodyear   18:24, 6 October 2018 (UTC)
I mean that we don't need to use her full name as frequently as we do. Once we get to the career section, I think it is generally safe to assume we know which Arendt we're referring to! Josh Milburn (talk) 07:46, 7 October 2018 (UTC)

5 Italics. "for a grant to the Notgemeinschaft der Deutschen Wissenschaft" A grant to NDW? And why italics?

OK, clarified as applying to a body for a grant. Italicisation of German and other foreign institutions (but not place names) not in common English usage is as per WP:MOS.  Done --Michael Goodyear   18:29, 6 October 2018 (UTC)
I think you've misread the MOS there. Quoting from MOS:FOREIGNITALIC: "A proper name is usually not italicized when it is used, but it may be italicized when the name itself is being referred to, for example, in the lead when the foreign name is included in parenthesis after the English name; e.g.: Nuremberg (German: Nürnberg). See § Words as words, above." Josh Milburn (talk) 07:46, 7 October 2018 (UTC)
I don't believe I have misread it, I have read it it many times. It refers to foreign words not commonly used in English, with the exception of proper names and places. It does not refer to institutions and organiations. On the other hand I have further extensively reviewed style manuals, including university ones, specifically on this point. I believe you are right, since I have now found three that exempt these categories. I will therefore amend the MOS to be more explicit  Done and get around to making the changes throughout  Done --Michael Goodyear  !
I'm glad to hear we're on the same page, but I think the MOS does already say this. The names of particular institutions/organisations (e.g., National Health Service, University of Cambridge, the Royal Society) are proper names. Josh Milburn (talk) 16:46, 7 October 2018 (UTC)
That might appear to be a matter of opinion, hence my use of "explicit". Other style manuals distinguish between proper names and names of institutions. Anyway now it is explicit! --Michael Goodyear   17:04, 7 October 2018 (UTC)
  • "Deutsche Hochschule für Politik" Why italics?
See above. I believe I have been consistent throughout in italicisation of foreign institutions and organizations not in common English usage, but admit that style guides vary considerably in the use of italics, and WP is not totally explicit on this particular point. Most style guides favour italics for foreign words, but few specifically address the question of titles of foreign institutions and organizations. National Geographic does not italicise in this instance. Can I leave it to you to decide on policy on this particular point, since it would need to be consistent throughout.(of course other editors may come along with different ideas) --Michael Goodyear   18:40, 6 October 2018 (UTC)
See above- I do think Wikipedia is fairly clear on this point, though, admittedly, the point is hidden away a few paragraphs later than you might hope! Josh Milburn (talk) 07:46, 7 October 2018 (UTC)
  • "Kommunistische Partei Deutschlands" Why italics?
  • "Zionistische Vereinigung für Deutschland" Ditto
Again see general comments on use of italics above --Michael Goodyear   18:46, 6 October 2018 (UTC)
Ditto! Josh Milburn (talk) 07:46, 7 October 2018 (UTC)
  • You're inconsistent on whether you italicise émigré; I'd recommend against it, as it's fairly common in English.
Thanks. I agree usage is the general rule, and obviously should be consistent, but there is not much consensus on this one. Since the page the word links to is italicised, it makes sense to do the same here. Fixed  Done --Michael Goodyear   15:21, 22 October 2018 (UTC)

1 "whose politics were social democracy" Why not something like "who were social democrats"? The current option is a little wordy.

Agree, I had clarified that in the main text, the Lead had lagged behind  Done --Michael Goodyear   16:28, 6 October 2018 (UTC)

2 The second paragraph of the lead is very long. Do you think there is a natural way to split it? I wonder whether "Divorcing Stern" or "She settled in" would be good places to start a new paragraph.

Agree, I was trying to avoid the limit some reviewers place on the number of paragraphs allowed in a lead. I split it at the end of her formal education  Done --Michael Goodyear   16:35, 6 October 2018 (UTC)
For future reference, the limit to the number of paragraphs in the lead is relative to the size of the article- see WP:LEADLENGTH. Josh Milburn (talk) 07:46, 7 October 2018 (UTC)
It still says four! -- Michael Goodyear   14:29, 7 October 2018 (UTC)
Sorry, point taken! Josh Milburn (talk) 16:46, 7 October 2018 (UTC)
Early life and education (1906–1929)[edit]

1 "and women who shared the loss of husbands and children" This is a little prosaic

Still it is a statement in her definitive biography. I included it because I believe it was formative --Michael Goodyear   16:40, 6 October 2018 (UTC)
I don't object to the inclusion of the information; I wonder if it could be presented in a slightly less poetic way. Josh Milburn (talk) 07:46, 7 October 2018 (UTC)
I took another look at it and it still seemed to be prose rather than poetry. But I'm open to suggestion --Michael Goodyear  

2 "Margarethe Fuerst (Fürst 1884–1942)" Fuerst or Fürst? This is a little confusing.

Cut and paste error from umlaut adverse source  Done --Michael Goodyear   17:15, 6 October 2018 (UTC)

3 "When Königsberg appeared to be no longer threatened, they returned after ten weeks, spending the remaining war years there at her grandfather's house." This sentence is a little all over the place. Could you perhaps try to smoothen it out?

Agree. Rephrased  Done --Michael Goodyear   17:19, 6 October 2018 (UTC)

4 Kurt Blumenfeld or Karl Blumenfeld?

Thanks. It is Kurt.  Done --Michael Goodyear   18:12, 6 October 2018 (UTC)

1 "After Heidelberg, where Günther completed the first draft of his Habilitation thesis, the Sterns then moved to Frankfurt where Günther hoped to complete it" This isn't clear. What does it refer to? The first draft? An earlier clause says that the first draft was complete.

Pronouns refer back to last noun. Maybe the repetition of "complete" is potentially confusing. Gunther hoped to have the final MS of his thesis completed in Frankfurt. Clarified.  Done --Michael Goodyear   18:42, 6 October 2018 (UTC)
My point is that the noun phrase is "the first draft of the thesis", and not "the thesis" (and that's not the last noun anyway). "complete a final draft" may be a little less ambiguous? Josh Milburn (talk) 07:46, 7 October 2018 (UTC)
  • "The shadow of Heidegger hung over their relationship, but Hannah assisted him with his work." A little over-prosaic, and it's not clear what the two parts of the sentence have to do with each other.
Well it is as phrased in the source. They were having marital difficulties, but Hannah was a dutiful wife. Rephrased.  Done --Michael Goodyear   18:48, 6 October 2018 (UTC)

2 and turned instead to Rahel Varnhagen and the question of assimilation as the subject" What does this mean?

That in 1930 she abandoned German Romanticism as the subject of her thesis and took up Rahel Varnhagen and the question of assimilation as her new project. Rephrased.  Done --Michael Goodyear   18:54, 6 October 2018 (UTC)
  • You refer to Rahel Varnhagen by full name repeatedly. Why not simply Varnhagen?
Because unlike say, Kant or Heidegger, Varnhagen is a word unlikely to mean anything to anyone not familiar with Arendt or who has not read the entire page up to that point --Michael Goodyear   18:54, 6 October 2018 (UTC)
Point taken, though I'm not sure how much that matches with the MOS. From MOS:SURNAME: "After the initial mention of any name, the person should generally be referred to by surname only, without an honorific prefix such as "Mr", "Mrs", "Ms", "Miss", or "Mx", or by a pronoun." I'm not going to push it, though. Josh Milburn (talk) 07:46, 7 October 2018 (UTC)
I'm actually following the approach used in the standard Arendt biographies --Michael Goodyear   13:10, 22 October 2018 (UTC)

3 "Das Frauenproblem in der Gegenwart. Eine psychologische Bilanz" You normally provide translations?

Because it was rather long and I placed it in the citation. However to be consistent with Weber immediately above, I added it here too.  Done --Michael Goodyear   19:02, 6 October 2018 (UTC)

4 *Who is Anne Mendelssohn? She is mentioned without any introduction.

It looks like her original introduction got moved to Relationships - now placed in Early education  Done --Michael Goodyear   19:28, 6 October 2018 (UTC)

Ok, stopping there for now. I've made it to the end of the "Germany" subsection of the "career" section. Please double-check my edits. Josh Milburn (talk) 08:24, 6 October 2018 (UTC)

Thanks for your fixes so far; I've left some replies in-line. Josh Milburn (talk) 07:46, 7 October 2018 (UTC)
Your recent edits reviewed. It is of interest how much reviewers vary in interpretation of linkage policy. You have added links. Recently I have had reviewers strip most of my links citing recent WP policy to minimise, and the inevitable "sea of blue" comment! --Michael Goodyear  

5 *"She described the process of making refugees as "the new type of human being created by contemporary history...put into concentration camps by their foes and into internment camps by their friends"." Arendt did, or her mother did?

Hannah - clarified --Michael Goodyear   13:17, 22 October 2018 (UTC)

6 *Is it really right to title the section "Internment and escape" when she acquired release papers?

Yes. That is how she escaped by acquiring the papers during the general confusion, not as some people have mistakenly assumed, by being released. Clarified using her own words --Michael Goodyear   13:28, 22 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Is there really a need for all of the non-English in the friendships section?
Here I am also guided by Elisabeth Young-Bruehl, who justifies her usage by pointing out that Arendt's writing style used quotations extensively and was Germanic in nature, although Arendt, unlike Young-Bruehl, did not provide translations. Arendt repeatedly stressed the centrality of Muttersprache in her thinking and writing. --Michael Goodyear   13:34, 22 October 2018 (UTC)
  • "Her political legacy is her powerful defense of freedom in the face of an increasingly less than free world." This feels non-neutral; it's a very strong statement to present in Wikipedia's neutral voice.
That is a paraphrase of the cited source - "the vital power of her defense ...". I suppose one could argue that Roger Berkowitz is not neutral but few would disagree with his assessment. I toned it down a bit. --Michael Goodyear   15:48, 22 October 2018 (UTC)
  • "she always imbued this with a spark of hope and confidence in the nature of mankind" As above.
Similarly that is a paraphrase of the following quotation from her work - I rephrased it slightly (the alternative to paraphrase is always to say - "according to X, she ...") --Michael Goodyear   15:48, 22 October 2018 (UTC)
  • I wonder why you have chosen to have a section on her political theory and system in the works section? Would this (important!) discussion not fit better in the thought section?
Because this was written as a general introduction to her work. The "Views" section deals with some specific views - which, since she covered so many topics, is by necessity selective.--Michael Goodyear   15:51, 22 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Point taken that the introduction of natality in her thesis is important, but I'm not sure we need four sentences on it when we don't even have one sentence giving an outline of the thesis itself.
Point equally taken. Originally I had considered having a separate page, as in the German version. However, for current purposes I have added a brief outline of the structure of the work --Michael Goodyear   16:32, 22 October 2018 (UTC)
  • "is one of the miracle of beginning" Again, I'm a little nervous about this being presented in Wikipedia's neutral voice.
Another example of the challenge of paraphrasing while preserving the nature of the source, in this case, Margaret Canovan. In this specific case I have preserved her phrasing by placing in quotation marks. --Michael Goodyear   16:44, 22 October 2018 (UTC)
  • "and also its most optimistic one" Ditto.
Ditto. Not my words but Professor Karin Fry. I decided to directly attribute it to her in this case --Michael Goodyear   16:51, 22 October 2018 (UTC)
  • "freedom, education, authority, tradition, history and politics" Are these concepts not linked earlier? Also, is it definitely freedom of the will that is explored, rather than political freedom? (I've not read this.)
In the end I thought that maybe it was better to simply add the titles of the six essays although the constructs, such as freedom are woven throughout the work. To answer your specific question - it is a much broader treatment, from Aristotle through Kant. --Michael Goodyear   17:15, 22 October 2018 (UTC)
  • "view of both Marxist and leftist views" Repetition of "view". I'm also a little surprised by the separation of "Marxist" and "leftist".
My fault for borrowing parts of the lead from the separate page to which the section links. Yes "view" is repetitive (fixed). I added links to emphasise the difference, between those related but certainly different political schools. There is enough problems with Republicans labelling socialists as communists this week, without lumping all left wing politics into Marxism! --Michael Goodyear   17:28, 22 October 2018 (UTC)
  • You link "anthology" at a rather late mention
Agree, I think sections got shuffled - now at first mention --Michael Goodyear   17:28, 22 October 2018 (UTC)
  • I'm puzzled by the section on Crises of the Republic. How many essays are there? And does "On Violence" need its own section?
I explained in the introduction to the section it "consists of four interconnected essays on contemporary American politics", also included in the subtitle. "On Violence", the third, is treated separately because it is referred to the most. I suppose one could summarize the other three at some stage --Michael Goodyear   17:35, 22 October 2018 (UTC)

Stopping there for now. Josh Milburn (talk) 07:43, 20 October 2018 (UTC)

Thank you --Michael Goodyear   17:35, 22 October 2018 (UTC)

Reviewer is asking for someone else to comment on the status[edit]

@Michael Goodyear and Josh Milburn: Both of you have put a lot into this review and it looks like it might be close to being done. The main comment that I will mention is that separation of the Career section and the Works section seems a little unexpected. That is to say, her career was largely the writing of her works, and her written works do represent her career. If the two sections can be brought together and merged into one section it looks like the article is nearly done. CodexJustin (talk) 16:14, 26 November 2018 (UTC)

Thanks. As I explained above, the separation is quite deliberate and consistent with all the biography articles I have written, including GA and FA. The main distinction is between her life on the one hand and a discussion of her work on the other. Specifically Career places her work in the context of her life, Works addresses specific work in more detail. In fact her career was not largely about her written work. Her first major work was not written till she was 46, but her earlier life profoundly shaped her thinking and eventually resulted in the major works for which she is known. The interest is in examining the evolution of her thinking in response to the world events that were unfolding around her. Also her career, once she became an established academic, was as much about teaching and lecturing as writing. --Michael Goodyear   01:48, 27 November 2018 (UTC)
  • This has been open a long time and if a general second opinion on whether it meets the criteria is required I would be happy to give it mine. In my opinion it easily meets all the criteria, except for the focus one. Readable prose size is approaching 90Kb, which is at the wrong end of WP:TOOBIG. I would suggest some splitting may be in order if trimming can't be agreed upon. The list of selected publications (which is not included in readable prose) is also oddly placed in the middle of the article and is without context, especially as there is already selected publications talked about. If it was me I would at least cut out all the works into their own article, but in reality most sections could do with a WP:split and WP:Summary style overviews. AIRcorn (talk) 01:23, 23 January 2019 (UTC)
Noted. I would think the only feasible splitting would be the discussion of individual works, which could be thinned and the material moved to separate pages. Most, but not all, have their own page. --Michael Goodyear   18:59, 24 January 2019 (UTC)
Consequently I have created daughter pages, and have started trimming the discussion of her work. This shifts the focus of the page more towards her life, rather than her work, though the two are inseparable.--Michael Goodyear   23:32, 2 February 2019 (UTC)