Human Conditions: ‘The Human Condition’ by Hannah Arendt

Judith Butler and Adam Shatz

In the fourth episode of Human Conditions, the last of the series with Judith Butler, we fittingly turn to The Human Condition (1956). Hannah Arendt defines action as the highest form of human activity: distinct from work and labour, action includes collaborative expression, collective decision-making and, crucially, initiating change. Focusing on the chapter on action, Judith joins Adam to explain why they consider this approach so innovative and incisive. Together, they discuss Arendt’s continued relevance and shortcomings, book’s many surprising and baffling turns, and the transformative power of forgiveness. 

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