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Presentation notes, March 2009, Carleton University
"The Human Condition" by Hannah Arendt, ch.2 "The Public and the Private Realm"

Cyclical time
i) Animal existence of birth, labour, death, ad infinitum; maintainance and perpetuation of species
ii) Human existence as a member of the species, which is immortal or eternal

Linear existence
i) ...but individuals experience themselves to be unique events in history.
ii) ...know themselves to be unique events which threaten to pass away forever.
iii) Hence, a concern with finding immortality.
iv) Greeks and Romans develop the public realm as a forum for speech and deeds; immortality.
v) ...but must escape necessity and labour to do so. Transcend species-fate/cycle.

Private realm
-- Hierarchy, labour, necessity, unending household management, rulership, shame, survival.
Public realm -- isonomia, freedom from both rulership and being ruled, un-necessary, action, honour, braving death for the sake of eudaimonia (the good life).

i) To maintain the dignity of the public and protect the necessity of the private, the one should not cross the boundary into the other's realm.
ii) Private property was thus respected, for citizens needed to take care of necessity/labour for the sake of entering the public realm and questing for immortality.
iii) Private matters also too shameful for political consideration, too animalistic.

Social realm/Society
i) Mixes characteristics of both the public and the private within itself.
ii) Characteristics which are unique to itself; hybrid.
iii) Conformity, family unit writ large, no-man rule (rulership without personality), bureaucracy, concern with social status, dissolution of individual into their status/class/job, restrictive, equalizing, knows neither shame nor honour, over-riding concern is with the...
iv) Engorgement of the life process, metabolism with nature.

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