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PHL217H1 (47)

Hannah Arendt

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Sol Goldberg

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Lecture 18: November 16 , 2011 (PHL217H1) 1. Ordinary testimony and extraordinary events 2. The banality of lies? Hannah Arendt in Public - She is a Jew. She was from early on a public intellectual and was both widely read and widely attacked. The attack characterised of her being a self hating Jew. Arendt responded to these controversies using two texts. - Arendt says in “truth and politics” modern political lies deals with things that are not secret but open to all. 3. Impotent truth vs. deceitful power: a thought experiment - The complete substitution of lie for modern reality becomes plausible. - The decisive condition does not exist; this would be a power monopoly. - Factual truth becomes more malleable to distortion through lying and other means. - Organized lying was never suspected as being an adequate threat to actual truth. - Superstition was more feared. - Traditional lies concerned particulars and were never meant to deceive everyone; only intended for specific circumstances and to people who knew they were lying. 4. The vulnerability of factual truth - The two kinds of factual truth; historical truth and rational truth - Arendt lists four reasons which are Truth discovered by the mind (rational truth), second reason is there is not reason a particular human event hap
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