Philosophy Workshop-Ramin Jahanbegloo-Beyond Violence:A Comparative Analysis of Hannah Arendt and Mahatma Gandhi

6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

When considering the subject of nonviolence, the name of Hannah Arendt may not quickly spring to mind. Despite her vigorous advocacy of participatory politics and her famous critique of the totalitarian system, Arendt rarely addressed directly the philosophy of nonviolence, except occasionally to discuss the issues of power and violence. However, though she dismisses nonviolence as a way of moralizing politics, she perceives it as a tool in the process of constituting or perpetuating freedom in the public sphere. As for Gandhi, the major shift in focus that appears in his political theory is from the everlasting idea of deriving political decision from the primacy of the political to an idea of the primacy of the ethical. Gandhi’s critique of modern politics leads him to a concept of the political which finds its expression in an “ethics of togetherness” which is framed in terms of a dialogue between ethics and politics. For Gandhi, nonviolence is premised on the existence of an overarching, universal ethical imperative which transcends religious and cultural particularities and is channeled through local, horizontal grassroots movements. As in the case of Arendt, nonviolent social covenant and participatory deliberation are the two foundations of  discursive space and democratic power.

6 E 16 St Room D 1103

Free; no tickets or reservations required; seating is first-come first-served

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