The political being of Man

Riis Kasper, Martin Poul, Gangelhoff Hansen, Arndal Martin & Houmann Jakob

Studenteropgave: Semesterprojekt


When asked the question: what is man, Aristotle’s answer: “man is a political animal” has been brought up from time to time throughout the history of western political philosophy. In this project we will try to make a further enquiry into what this question and the following reply really proposes. To answer this overriding question, we turn our sight towards one of the greatest political thinkers in modern time; the German-American thinker Hannah Arendt (1906 - 1975). And specifically her work from 1958 titled The Human Condition. From this work we will attempt to collect and recollect her thoughts about if- and how the human being essentially can be labeled as the political animal Aristotle claims it is. With this in mind, that is, an answer to this question cannot be produced only through anthropological insights but also has to incorporate elements of what this being essentially is contained within. In order to fully grasp the distinct thoughts and insights of Arendt we will furthermore bring about a discussion with the German philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724 - 1804). form whose ideas we will likewise outline and explain through his late political writings. Due to the importance in the field of philosophical anthropology Kant will serve as mentor into the wide and open field of political philosophy which will help us to broaden the perspective in relation to what a political existence means. And exactly this, what this kind of political existence means, will stand as a method for how this investigation will undergo. For with insight that the political itself proposes that men and not man exist, an element of multiplicity enters this inquiry. Therefore will the examination of man as a “political animal” not only be related to anthropology itself but also to other ideas like teleology, publicity and political freedom, which ultimately is bound up with the notions of hope, world and progress. Our job as aspiring anthropological philosophers is therefore to examine human existence in relation to these different kind of ideas below one overarching topic; the political way of life.

UddannelserFilosofi og Videnskabsteori, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Bachelor el. kandidat
Udgivelsesdato26 jan. 2016
VejlederePedersen Esther Oluffa


  • Phenomenology
  • Hannah Arendt
  • Teleology
  • Kant