Thinking and Moral Considerations – Hannah Arendt.docx

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Department
Philosophy
Course
PHIL 1101
Professor
Serena Parekh
Semester
Spring

Description
Thinking and Moral Considerations – Hannah Arendt (1906­1984) ­ Born in Hanover, Germany  ▯then went to France The Banality of evil thesis • Adolf Eichmann (german) o Got job in german government in transportation department o Made sure trains were full of Jews/Gypsies to ensure the most deaths  resulted o 1963: Kidnapped by secret service of Israel • Arendt goes to Israel to cover Eichmann’s trial o Arendt surprised at Eichmann’s inability to think o Eichmann didn’t have the ability to reflect  ▯just thoughtless o Thinking: “the habit of examining and reflecting upon whatever happens  to come to pass” o That many people would do what Eichmann did What is thinking? • We are thinking beings • We want to do more with our brains than just use them as instruments for  knowing and doing • Thinking leaves nothing tangible behind (more to life than to just use) • Need to think can only be satistfied through thinking  • Ability to tell right from wrong has to do with thinking, not knowing • Morality doesn’t depend on education or intelligence • Thinking o Interrupts all doing, ordinary activity
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