Hannah Arendt pp 141-166 | Cite as

Arendt Along with the Existentialists

  • Rebecca DewEmail author
Part of the International Political Theory book series (IPoT)


I posit a contrast in this chapter of Arendt’s work against existentialism of the French and German varieties. Arendt is to be considered along with and against other existentialists in recent European history, including Karl Jaspers, Martin Heidegger, and Jean-Paul Sartre. However, this connection is not to be applied without awareness as to the significant points at which they differ. Like Jaspers, Arendt retains a respect for the German language which Sartre does not share. And, like Jaspers, Arendt’s approach to the political embodies a courageous and resilient optimism and emphasis upon togetherness, communication, and trust that Sartre’s does not. Moreover, the Sartrean variant of existentialism is at odds with Arendt’s understanding of intersubjectivity as integral to human dignity, political judgment, and authentic action.


Existentialism Hannah Arendt Jean-Paul Sartre Karl Jaspers Martin Heidegger 


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© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Florida LegislatureUSA

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