During this unit, I was introduced to the political philosopher Hannah Arendt. I find her theory on the banality of evil intriguing. After watching the Margarethe von Trotta film, Hannah Arendt, my mind was spinning for hours! Below is my Slack response to the film:
! This film was so fascinating. I’m very intrigued by Ms. Arendt’s philosophy, and I’m especially curious about the intersection of the “Eichmann phenomenon” and the psychology of obedience. They seem to be opposite in the sense that Arendt says by not thinking, Eichmann was refusing to do the very thing that made him human, so he lost the ability to make moral judgements; on the other hand, the psychological phenomenon of obeying authority figures and the surrounding social conditions associating with that are a very human thing, a product of the mind. Can they both be factored into the banality of evil? Additionally, there is the role of honor and honor cultures to consider, which is that if people didn’t feel the need to prove themselves as honorable to Germany, would they still have obeyed unquestioningly? Essentially, there are many psychological phenomena that complicate Arendt’s theory.
? Similarly to Ian, I’m curious about the reception of Arendt’s theories now in academia and also by the public. Are people less opposed to them now that the war is over 75 years passed? How have her theories adapted over time, and how are they applied to current events today?