Thursday, March 12, 2015

Two women Philosophers (not their description) and getting valued for volunteering.

This week it was suggested for our Philosophy session that we look prior to the class at two women Philosophers of the 20th century:-

People on our minds -Andrew  Carter 
Hannah Arendt and Simone de Beauvoir

So here's what I found, first on Hannah Arendt and Action, Politics and Revolution

Hannah lived from  1906-to 75 she  was a Philosopher of Jewish birth. who  worked with Martin Heidegger at The University of Marburg and some have linked the two 'romantically'.

Hannah's 1st marriage was  to GüntherStern (Anders) -who was a Philosopher, Journalist and anti- nuclear activist.

After the end of this marriage her 2nd marriage was to Heinrich Blucher – Philosopher & Poet – who encouraged her to become involved with Marxism

Hannah though rejected the description of her as a Philosopher and instead described herself as a 'Political Theorist' but she drew extensively on the work of Ancient Greek philosophers  in her own writings.

Arendt wrote  about Totalitarianism (The Origins of Totalitarianism 1951) which was broadly about Nazism as well as Stalin-ism and also another  significant  work was the two volume  'The Human Condition' (1958).

In the Human condition she looks at three major elements:

Labour – this is required for mankind to survive
Work - this is how we create and this work gives us meaning
and
Action – Man is Action based . Action is about creating the 'New' it's what's needed for remembrance of us.
Arendt talked about 'Have I become myself?'

Considered the US revolution a better one than the French (because of the importance it place on Freedom rather than the French which valued Compassion higher)

Her views on The Life of the Mind (unfinished) references Socrates and prioritise one's own values to be able to 'be friends with oneself'.


Now  Simone De Beauvoir  who lived from 1908- 86

Simone was something of a controversial figure partly as a result of her long-term relationship with Jean-Paul Sartre

Her independence is in part a result of the loss of status of her bourgeois family after the first world war.

Interested in being as nun but became an atheist as a teenager.

A contemporary of Hannah Arendt she is known as a French writer, intellectual existentialist philosopher, political activist, feminist and social theorist also like Arendt she says that she's not a Philosopher
War brought into focus morality and she was  influenced by Hegel (Hegel was History Geist/Spiritual and alienation)

Her book The Second Sex (1949) a critique of patriarchy is viewed as a pioneering work in feminist literature and has been likened in its influence for feminism to Marx's 'Das Kapital' on Socialists. De Beauvoir sees much of the discrimination of women to be as a result of societal norms and not latent.

De Beauvoir came late (the second Sex was published when she was more than 40) to her feminist point of view in part she say that as being involved in academia she had been treated equally.

She looked at Objectification 1and said that “like the world itself .. -Representation of the world is the work of men”



Here's Simone talking very concisely about her journey to arrival at a  feminist perspective





Community rewards community effort

Great that there's a trial of rewards for community efforts  - In Ealing with more than 100 hours a year of recognised community service you can be recognised in a  system called Value You which gives up to 10% discount in some shops with a loyalty card  and a bottle of wine too.

Let's reflect


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