Heidegger, arendt, and eichmann in jerusalem

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3 Scopus citations


In Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil, Hannah Arendt aims to secure a more adequate understanding of the new crime of genocide so that it can be prosecuted in a manner that better serves justice. She criticizes the Nuremberg Trials (1945) and, to a lesser extent, the Jerusalem trial of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann (1961) for miscasting this unprecedented crime in terms of familiar concepts and thereby obscuring it. Arendt claims that this atrocity, instead, demanded original thinking that emanated from a closer grappling with these new experiences. I argue that her criticism reflects Heideggerian phenomenology. This approach questions absolute concepts from a position more consciously planted in the world, which Heidegger considers the source of original thinking. However, Arendt extends this approach to the domain of ethics and law and confronts genocide instead of aligning with those who perpetrated it.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-48
Number of pages13
JournalComparative and Continental Philosophy
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 2013


  • Arendt
  • Genocide
  • Heidegger
  • Law
  • Phenomenology
  • War crimes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy


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