Political Theory

Amor Mundi as Capability to Transcend: Hannah Arendt’s Conception of the Human



The paper aims at offering a phenomenological interpretation of the idea of ‘transcendence’ (as human capability) by reconceptualizing Hannah Arendt’s rather vague notion of amor mundi. Firstly, I show the paradoxical tension of amor mundi within her own writings. Then, I trace the origin of the problematic of love of the world from her doctoral dissertation (Arendt’s critic of Augustine’s ‘neighbor love’) by using Heidegger’s phenomenological method. Finally, I explicate a phenomenological approach toward amor mundi as human capability to transcend (regarding how ‘love’ and ‘world’ are presentable as ‘experience’ and ‘capability’) by further analyzing the distinction between ‘ontological’ claim and ‘political’ claim (regarding the human): the world which humans build and sustain together is to be shared, but that first-hand experience of the world is not particularly demonstrable or sharable.


Thumbnail image of Tang, Zhangmei-draft for Amor mundi as capability to transcend.pdf


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