Hannah Arendt: Practice, Thought and Judgement (2010)

Jussi M. Backman
University of Jyväskylä
The article re-examines the Aristotelian backdrop of Arendt’s notion of action. On the one hand, Backman takes up Arendt’s critique of the hierarchy of human activities in Aristotle, according to which Aristotle subordinates action (praxis) to production (poiesis) and contemplation (theoria). Backman argues that this is not the case since Aristotle conceives theoria as the most perfect form of praxis. On the other hand, Backman stresses that Arendt’s notion of action is in fact very different from Aristotle’s praxis, to the extent that Arendt thinks of action as an external to the means-ends scheme, whereas Aristotle ultimately remains caught in this scheme proper to poiesis in thinking of praxis as its own end. According to Backman, Arendt’s concept of action can therefore be understood as a critique, rather than as a rehabilitation, of Aristotelian praxis.
Keywords praxis  action  poiesis
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Phaedo. Plato - 1951 - Bobbs-Merrill Company.
Charmides. Plato - 1986 - Hackett Publishing Company.
Beyond Good and Evil.Dana R. Villa - 1992 - Political Theory 20 (2):274-308.

View all 15 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Praxis Und Poiesis. Zu Einer Handlungstheoretischen Unterscheidung des Aristoteles.Theodor Ebert - 1976 - Zeitschrift für Philosophische Forschung 30 (1):12 - 30.
Arendt and Heidegger: Being and Politics.Dana Richard Villa - 1987 - Dissertation, Princeton University
Práxis e poiesis: uma leitura arendtiana do agir político.Edson Luis & Almeida Teles - 2005 - Cadernos de Ética E Filosofia Política 6:123-140.
The concept of political action in the thought of Hannah Arendt.Julio Bejarano - 2009 - Eidos: Revista de Filosofía de la Universidad Del Norte 11:82-107.
Praxis and Poesis in Aristotle's Practical Philosophy.Oded Balaban - 1990 - Journal of Value Inquiry 24 (3):185-198.
Organization Ethics From a Perspective of Praxis.Richard P. Nielsen - 1993 - Business Ethics Quarterly 3 (2):131-151.
Bios Politikos and Bios Theoretikos in the Phenomenology of Hannah Arendt.Jacques Taminiaux - 1996 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 4 (2):215 – 232.
Arendt and Hegel on the Tragic Nature of Action.Allen Speight - 2002 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 28 (5):523-536.


Added to PP index

Total views
2,666 ( #1,465 of 2,506,156 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
241 ( #2,117 of 2,506,156 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes