Die Banalität des Bösen bei Hannah Arendt


The trial of Adolf Eichmann 1961 in Jerusalem indicated for Hannah Arendt a new definition of evil. Before and in the context of her analyses about Totalitarianism (The Origins of Totalitarianism, 1951) she had described the Radical Evil. In Eichmann in Jerusalem. A Report on the Banality of Evil (1963) her descriptions concentrate on the Thoughtlessness of the accused without questioning his liability. The question how to describe evil became more a question about what disposes somebody to act conscientiously and accountably. The Banality of Evil has often been misunderstood but this keyword refers to a notion that rewrites the phenomenon of so called evil by refusing traditional or religious concepts.

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