Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Hannah Arendt, Totalitarianism, and the Social Sciences$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Peter Baehr

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780804756501

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804756501.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM STANFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.stanford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Stanford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in SSO for personal use.date: 15 April 2021

Hannah Arendt's Indictment of Social Science

Hannah Arendt's Indictment of Social Science

(p.10) § 1 Hannah Arendt's Indictment of Social Science
Hannah Arendt, Totalitarianism, and the Social Sciences
Stanford University Press

This chapter examines Hannah Arendt's critique of sociology. It starts by providing a summary of Arendt's theory of totalitarianism, before delineating the most common general objections that she leveled at social scientists trying to understand totalitarian phenomena. Totalitarianism is a concept rooted in the horror of modern war, revolution, terror, genocide, and, since 1945, the threat of nuclear annihilation. Arendt's theory of totalitarianism advanced three central claims. First, totalitarianism is radically new, an original development that attended Europe's economic, political, and moral ruination during and after the First World War, and which became manifest in National Socialism after 1938, and Bolshevism from 1930 to the late 1950s. A second defining feature of totalitarian formations is their conjoined shapelessness and radicalization. Third, totalitarianism comprises a peculiar combination of terror and ideology.

Keywords:   totalitarianism, Hannah Arendt, terror and ideology, Bolshevism, Nazism

Stanford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.