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They are in this sense gratuitous, arising from naturally given and inexplicable propensities of the mind.They do, however, share “their Following this definition, Arendt posited that the imagination “re-presents” in the mind the images of objects once perceived by the senses but no longer present to them.She defined it as “a novel form of government”—an unprecedented political regime, a historically new system of politics. It was their most critical crisis, their most exceptional exception.
These “image[s] [are] then stored in memory, ready to become …
‘vision[s] in thought’ the moment the mind gets hold of [them].” Thinking consists of this “getting hold of” images stored in the memory and their subsequent manipulation.
As a philosophical problem, however, that concept is not a novelty.
Agamben himself demonstrated that it has a long genealogy, stretching back to Roman Antiquity.
In Arendt’s thinking, the state of exception assumed a specific form. As such, it became a defining problematic of her oeuvre.
Arendt analyzed it most systematically in , was inspired by Eichmann’s trial.” This question was what gave rise to ’s first volume focused on thinking.But while thus focused, that volume also sketched the nature of all three of the mind’s activities.More specifically, I focus on a key aspect of that understanding: Arendt’s thinking on the fate of the individual’s morality in this exceptional time of crisis.Confronted with “the crisis of [her] century,” Arendt considered the possibility of morality in it. I argue, however, that a crucial tension in her work—between her philosophical thought and her historiography—dissipated that hope.But, paradoxically, the model of judgment that she sketched in her philosophy of mind denied the survival of judgment under the historical conditions of Nazism, transforming its existence into a mysterious puzzle.This essay thus argues that Arendt’s philosophical thinking—her conceptions of thinking and of judgment—clashed with her understanding of the history of Nazism, and this conflict disorganized her views on morality in the time of this, the greatest political and historical crisis of the modern West. Attacks in Paris, Brussels, Berlin, Manchester, London, have made it an everyday reality.He claimed that they have turned the state of emergency—or “state of exception” as he called it—into a habit.Instead of introducing emergency policies, which curb the rights and freedoms of their citizens, only in exceptional cases, to deal with exceptional crises, they have come to use them routinely.Arendt’s observation of Eichmann’s warped way of thinking during his trial led her to explore how the human mind works.Like Agamben, Arendt conceived totalitarianism as an exceptional condition of politics.