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Hannah Arendt

Hannah Arendt Quotes

Quotes by and about Hannah Arendt

(Continued from her main entry on the site.)

Arendt: "Man has an inclination and ... even a need ... to think beyond the limitations of knowledge."

Arendt: "While our thirst for knowledge may be unquenchable because of the immensity of the unknown, so that every region of knowledge opens up further horizons of knowables, the activity [of thinking] itself leaves behind a growing treasure of knowledge that is retained and kept in store by every civilization."

Arendt: "Thinking's chief characteristic is that it interrupts all doing, all ordinary activities no matter what they happen to be. ... The moment we start thinking on no matter what issue we stop everything else, and this everything else ... interrupts the thinking process; it is as though we moved into a different world."

Arendt: "Clich├ęs, stock phrases, adherence to conventional, standardized codes of expression and conduct have the ... function of protecting us against reality, that is, against the claim on our thinking attention which all events and facts arouse by virtue of their existence."

Arendt: "All events and facts arouse [our thinking] by virtue of their existence."

Arendt: "If the ability to tell right from wrong should have anything to do with the ability to think, then we must be able to 'demand' its exercise in every sane person no matter how erudite or ignorant, how intelligent or stupid he may prove to be. Kant ... was much bothered by the common opinion that philosophy is only for the few precisely because of this opinion's moral implications."

Arendt: "The business of thinking is like the veil of Penelope: it undoes every morning what it had finished the night before."