Philosophy, politics and participatory democracy in Hannah Arendt’s political thought

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


While Hannah Arendt’s analysis of the tensions between philosophy and politics has received a great deal of scholarly attention, her suggestions regarding the conditions for possibly overcoming the rift between these human activities have received much less attention. As I will show, Arendt believed the rift between philosophy and politics had a devastating affect on Western forms of government and political organization. In her reading of figures such as Socrates, Kant and Jaspers, she offers an alternative conception of philosophy and its relation to politics, as well as an institutional form in which such an alternative could find its realization: the council system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)480-508
Number of pages29
JournalHistory of Political Thought
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Imprint Academic. All rights reserved.


  • Acting
  • Council system
  • Hannah Arendt
  • Isonomy
  • Kant
  • Karl Jaspers
  • Participatory democracy
  • Philosophy
  • Polis
  • Politics
  • Relations of rule
  • Socrates
  • Thinking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Philosophy


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