He’s not angry…

That’s just the way he is. Harman writes about the Slate article on Arendt:
All males eventually figure out from experience not to shave while angry, but it’s also probably a good idea never to write an article while angry. The latest proof of that comes from RON ROSENBAUM’S DYSPEPTICALLY WRITTEN SLATE ARTICLE on Arendt and Heidegger.
i’ll post links later when I have time, but Rosenbaum’s written stuff like this before. The hyperbole of this—that Arendt is a self-hating Jew—while chastising Heidegger as a Nazi (who knew?!) is horrendous, but I’m afraid we’ll see follow-up like-minded pieces in other places to this effect. And I’ll say it: banality of evil, though I thought it was overused by her readers, is quite defendable if you actually read the text. The last chapter of Eichmann is quite a nice bit of thinking of what evil and ethical judgment means in the nihilistic state of exception that was Germany. Her point, in case Rosenbaum cares, was less about paper shuffling than about trying to think evil beyond the stain on the soul, theological concepts derivative from Augustine. in other words: banal as not other-worldly. We can begin the conversation from there about how far her work takes us, but at the least let’s not try to say “banal” as simply meaning “wow, that Eichmann was just a paper pusher and so not all that bad.” But I’m not saying things none of us know, but I just see that coming down the pike are these weird “revisionary” articles on Arendt in the kind we’re now seeing on Heidegger (again). God, who wants to defend Heidegger on this count? But these people will drive you to defend him since someone has to speak up when they say he’s obviously the worst philosopher and an occultist. Heck, it even drove Brian Leiter to defend Heidegger on his website a few days ago.

Ok, now off to chair a session on Rancière here at SPEP. Great conversations, fyi, with peeps like Hägglund, Johnston, and others the last couple of days…

One comment

Comments are closed.