Summary of the Book[ edit ] I - The Human Condition[ edit ] Arendt introduces the term vita activa active life by distinguishing it from vita contemplativa contemplative life. Ancient philosophers insisted upon the superiority of the vita contemplativa, for which the vita activa merely provided necessities. Marx flipped the hierarchy, claiming that the vita contemplativa is merely a superstructure on the fundamental basic life-processes of a society. Arendt's thesis is that the concerns of the vita activa are neither superior nor inferior to those of the vita contemplativa, nor are they the same.
Why do we have status anxiety or feel envy towards others? These notes have grounded me in times of uncertainty, misunderstandings, and sheer ignorance. Le Guin hit the nail on the head: The story—from Rumplestiltskin to War and Peace—is one of the basic tools invented by the human mind for the purpose of understanding.
There have been great societies that did not use the wheel, but there have been no societies that did not tell stories. The story you told yourself about your boss giving you harsh feedback is just that—a story that you invented.
Maybe this was the first time she spoke to you in this tone, and because it was an unfamiliar sensation, you told a story to self-protect. But what details did you miss out on? What did you accentuate or ignore?
By sticking to the original story, it impacts the way you think and behave. It is, as I learned a bit late, the fabric of our being. We are driven by deep motivations to stay connected with friends and family. We are naturally curious about what is going on in the minds of other people.
And our identities are formed by the values lent to us from the groups we call our own. These connections lead to strange behaviors that violate our expectation of rational self-interest and make sense only if our social nature is taken as a starting point for who we are.
Our brains differ and that makes all the difference, but what deeper insights are there? Prospection can provide pleasure and prevent pain, and this is one of the reasons why our brains stubbornly insist on churning out thoughts of the future.
It made me wonder if I did the same thing around different people, if it was that blatantly obvious that my voice or facial expressions changed the moment a new person was added into the equation.
The idea is this: You put on a mask and a uniform before leaving for work. You put on another set for school. You have a custom for friends of different persuasions and one just for family.
Who you are alone is not who you are with a lover or a friend. You quick-change like Superman in a phone booth when you bump into old friends from high school at the grocery store, or the ex in line for a movie.
When you part from that person, you quick-change back.Aon plc is the leading global provider of risk management, insurance and reinsurance brokerage, and human resources solutions and outsourcing services.
May 31, · It is often said that Literature gives its readers insight into the human condition. Do you agree? Essay Prompt – The Human Condition.
but because of how much Literature can provide insight to the very important matter of human life: the human condition.
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The Human Condition, first published in , Hannah Arendt's account of how "human activities" should be and have been understood throughout Western history. Arendt is interested in the vita activa (active life) as contrasted with the vita contemplativa (contemplative life) and concerned that the debate over the relative status of the two has blinded us to important insights about the vita.