Introduction to Philosophy, S04 PHI 100 @ Cortland College, FA 11


Notes: Lying in Politics

Three Kinds of Human Behavior

Arendt on the Destruction of Reality

Labor, Work, and Action

Arendt’s View of Human Life:

Labor              Work              Action

There are two spheres of activity:

1 – Social                              2 – Political

Labor & Work                       Action


Work , and labor – Simple physical realities in the world

Contingent Facts:

Action – Things that exist only because of human interaction

-      Relies on people

Breakdown of Arendt’s view of human life:


-      Within the social realm

-      Part of the physical world

-      Has to produce something that has to be produced and maintained

-      Can be done alone

-      Part of nature

-      Not stable

Goal: reproduction of human life, nothing of permanence

Examples of labor:

Reproduction – cyclical

Hunting / gathering – product of an activity is destroyed

- Provides food which is a basic need

Farming – Needs to be maintained

-      Feeding ›››› Eating ›››› aimed at reproduction of life.

-      Continued renewal

-      Exercising – Keep you healthy so you can survive longer.

Eating: - Needs to be maintained

-      Feeding ›››› Eating ›››› aimed at reproduction of life.

-      Continued renewal

Building a home: - Transforming nature into physical matter

-    Creates a new physical object


- Part of the social realm

- Part of the social world

- Work creates stability

- Can be done alone

- Isn’t permanent, it decays

- When we stop work, there is evidence of it

Goal: to create a new physical reality

Examples of work:

 - Art, Architecture, consumer goods

- Building a supermarket, home, or office building.

-      Stabilizing feature

-      Organizing effect to building a structure

-      Organize us as a result of one labor

-      Prolongs stability

-      Extended the existence of a structure

- Building a car:

-      Creating a new object

- Book:

-   Physical object

- Building a tool:


- Creating something new.

- Part of the mental world

- Part of the political realm

- Requires others

- Is only happening when activity is happening

Goal: To create something

Examples of action:

- Voting

-Spread of education

- Sit-ins / protests

- Occupy Wall Street Movement

- Individuals taking their ideas and taking a stand about what  they believe in.

- Acting against the norm

- Trying to create a new idea

- To get physical change

- Maintained by us doing things / living it

Radical Destruction:

In order to make something new, you have to destroy the past.

Posted by

Filed under: Notes Leave a comment
Comments (0) Trackbacks (0)

No comments yet.

Leave a comment

No trackbacks yet.