Title: Against violence, but not at any price. Hannah Arendt's concept of power
Authors: Peeters, Remi # ×
Issue Date: Jun-2008
Publisher: Catholic University of Leuven
Series Title: Ethical Perspectives vol:15 issue:2 pages:169-192
Abstract: Arendt reproaches our tradition of political philosophy for reducing politics to domination, and for so concealing the central political phenomenon, i.e. power (section 1). Since Arendt’s own concept of power is an extension of her concept of action, she understands power in a both non-hierarchical and non-instrumental way, as much distinct from domination as from violence. Furthermore, by stressing the essential relational and potential character of power, she shows the impossibility of human omnipotence (section 2). Section 3 sketches Arendt’s analysis of violent action as an instrumental, mute and solitary activity, which can destroy, but never generate power and which, therefore, can never be more than a poor substitute for acting-together. However, the priority of power over violence is not absolute: sometimes power needs violence to maintain itself. Arendt seems to recognize this, but nowhere elaborates it (see Concluding Remarks).
ISSN: 1370-0049
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Formerly "HUB-EHSAL" Miscellaneous
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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