The Relevance of Political Philosophy to Educational Theory

Hannah Arendt and ‘Active Citizenship’
  • Siebren Miedema


The central question this chapter focuses on is whether Hannah Arendt’s political theorizing has relevance for educational thought. Her analysis of totalitarianism serves as the background for dealing with the concepts of intersubjectivity, plurality, space, and unique individuality. It is (contrary to Arendt’s own conviction) here maintained that there is, indeed, a relation between politics and pedagogy, a kind of ‘natural’ alliance with respect to keeping the space of ‘appearance in being’, and practicing differentiation. With respect to this relation, we distinguish between the political potential of the pedagogical relation and the contribution of education in directing human beings toward politics (that is, toward active citizenship).


Public Space Human Condition Educational Theory Active Citizenship Total Domination 
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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1996

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  • Siebren Miedema

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