Martin Shuster
Goucher College
Abstract Many have been struck by Hannah Arendt?s remarks on loneliness in the concluding pages of The Origins of Totalitarianism, but very few have attempted to deal with the remarks in any systematic way. What is especially striking about this state of affairs is that the remarks are crucial to the account contained therein, as they betray a view of agency that undergirds the rest of the account. This article develops Arendt?s thinking on loneliness throughout her corpus, showing how loneliness is connected to thoughtlessness. In so doing, the article also suggests a connection between Arendt?s notion of loneliness and Stanley Cavell?s notion of skepticism. This connection, it is argued, allows us not only fully to answer a question Arendt leaves unaddressed (the cause loneliness), but also allows us to see how we, as agents and users of language, are perpetually prone to loneliness
Keywords Hannah Arendt  Stanley Cavell  totalitarianism  thinking  modernity
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DOI 10.1080/09672559.2012.713379
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References found in this work BETA

Mind and World.John McDowell - 1994 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
The Life of the Mind.Hannah Arendt - 1977 - Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.
The Structure and Content of Truth.Donald Davidson - 1990 - Journal of Philosophy 87 (6):279-328.

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Citations of this work BETA

Skepticism and Critique in Arendt and Cavell.Andrew Norris - 2018 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 44 (1):81-99.
Loneliness and Appearance: Toward a Concept of Ontological Agency.Sarah Drews Lucas - 2019 - European Journal of Philosophy 27 (3):709-722.
Hannah Arendt on the Evil of Not Being a Person.Martin Shuster - 2018 - Philosophy Compass 13 (7):e12504.
Another Origin of Totalitarianism: Arendt on the Loneliness of Liberal Citizens.Jennifer Gaffney - 2016 - Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology 47 (1):1-17.

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