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Arendt after Marx: rethinking the dualism of nature and world

Bowring, Finn ORCID: 2014. Arendt after Marx: rethinking the dualism of nature and world. Rethinking Marxism 26 (2) , pp. 278-290. 10.1080/08935696.2014.888856

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Hannah Arendt is rarely regarded as sympathetic to the ecological movement, an observation seemingly borne out by her critique of Marx's “naturalism” and by her apparently rigid and elitist distinction between nature and world. Here I challenge this reading, showing that Marx and Arendt had more in common than the latter presumed and that this commonality extends to a nonproductivist appreciation of nature, including the practices of labor and consumption that reproduce human life. Focusing on Arendt's theory of “worldliness” and her writings on the concept of culture, I note the importance Arendt attached to “taste,” which both judges and cares for the world, and how this cultured attitude originated in the careful tending of nature by the Romans. I argue for a more “conservationist” reading of Arendt, who theorized political action as a moderating dialogue between actors which brings to light the world of nature and artifice as a common concern.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Additional Information: PDF uploaded in accordance with publisher's policies at (accessed 7.4.16).
Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
ISSN: 0893-5696
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 1 April 2016
Date of Acceptance: 14 July 2013
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2023 05:41

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