O que estamos fazendo? Da atualidade de A Condição Humana, de Hannah Arendt

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Universidade Federal de Goiás


This dissertation aims to reflect upon the present times in the light of the concepts presented by Hannah Arendt in her work The Human Condition, which, by defining man as a conditioned being, examines the categories of active life labor, work and action and their location on the world. Half a century after the book has been published, Arendt s reflection continues up to date and inspiring. Within this period, consume, technology and ecology have changed the world and increased society s complexity. Society, described by Arendt as a subjective sphere of existence, which invades the public realm as well as the private one, has absorbed all social groups and nowadays suffocates the spontaneity of human action, allowing the liberty of choosing what to consume as the only possible liberty. Ecology, which only entered international debate in the last forty years, may change the parameters of the waste economy denounced by Arendt. However, it tends to restrict its concerns to the realm of necessity and increase the network of social demands. Man, which is increasingly away from common sense, has deepened his flight into the self, helped by the technical-scientific progress of humanity. This process represents not only the withdrawal from the world, but also the oblivion of the body, considering that, in order to flight from the world, man needed to depreciate the direct perception of objects by the senses, perception that provides the body interaction with the environment. Paradoxically, by withdrawing into the self, man started a metabolic interaction with the world. Culture, as part of the world, started to be consumed as entertainment, what only has become possible due to the technological development that enhanced mass media after the advent of cinema. The highlight of this process is the virtual reality, which expresses well the dream of escaping to a world created by man. The individual, pushed by the ubiquitous society, seems to have only two choices: either fitting himself for the code of social values and becoming visible only as a consumer, or escaping from other men s eyes, aiming the invisibility of private life. In both cases, his proper human singularity ceases to appear to the world. The replacement of world objectivity by subjectivity inhibits understanding, hiding the meaning of whatever is done. Science and technology are fading out the ancient boundaries of nature, world and mind, which provided the human existence with permanent parameters. More than building the world, man rebuilds himself. Arendt s work, especially the conceptual framework of The Human Condition, invites us to think about the meaning of human activities, something of outermost importance in this beginning of century.



LOYOLA, Paulo Ricardo Gontijo. What are we doing? The actuality of The Human Condition, Hannah Arendt. 2009. 153 f. Dissertação (Mestrado em Ciências Humanas) - Universidade Federal de Goiás, Goiânia, 2009.