L’action ou la contemplation. Note sur la relation de la fille de Thrace au Docteur angélique


Action or Contemplation. Note on the Relationship between the Thracian Maid to the Angelic Doctor

If the opposition between “action and contemplation” seems characteristic of the history of philosophy, it also sums up Hannah Arendt’s personal history and philosophy – the diagnosis of the theoretician of the political practice on her contemporaries being eloquent.  But the author of the Human condition invites us to reverse the conjunction. Arendt breaks up deliberately with philosophical tradition and particularly with Thomas Aquinas by making these terms exclusive and choosing to think either action (without contemplation) or contemplation (without action). We would like thus to reflect on the relationship between these two thinkers by examining potential echoes of Summa Theologiae within Arendt’s 1958 essay.

Keywords: Arendt, Thomas, action, contemplation, thought

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