A Rebel against the Volk: arendt’s pariah and heidegger’s mitsein

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This paper discusses Hannah Arendt’s model of the Jewish pariah, developed in her study of Jewish assimilation. The argument is that Arendt’s model represents her early efforts to move beyond Martin Heidegger’s philosophy. The paper focuses on Arendt’s concept of a conscious pariah as a model for political resistance, independence, and agency. It shows how Arendt infused elements of Heidegger’s philosophy into her early vision of Jewish politics, while also transcending the limits of Heidegger’s ontological project with her political vision. The paper suggests that Arendt’s book on Rahel Varnhagen shares similarities with Heidegger’s work on Mitsein in Being and Time, while her 1944 model of the conscious pariah, especially the focus on the pariah as a rebel, illustrates her concerns with Heidegger’s work on the Volk.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-113
Number of pages17
JournalAngelaki - Journal of the Theoretical Humanities
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Hannah Arendt
  • Martin Heidegger
  • Mitsein
  • pariah
  • political theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Philosophy
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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