For Arendt, the ability to act, to introduce something new and unexpected into the world, can only arise in a condition of pluralism. In a famous passage at the beginning of The Human Condition, Arendt describes the human condition as one of plurality owing “to the fact that men, not Man, live on earth and inhabit the world…this plurality is specifically the condition—not only the conditio sine qua non, but the conditio per quam—of all political life.” By linking action to freedom and freedom to plurality Arendt means to emphasize that the capacity to introduce novelty into the world depends upon a quality of openness antithetical to a monoculture. On a practical level, as we adopt increasingly flexible and, as Amartya Sen calls them, “robustly plural” senses of our own identity based on multiple, overlapping, and shifting modes of belonging, the purely hypothetical nature of a religious monoculture becomes increasingly apparent.
“It seems right that Hegel needs to be rethought and made more fully applicable to our historical moment, but this rethinking need not masquerade as a claim that Hegel really meant to speak (or indeed did speak) other than he did. Students of Marx have done very well to admit that Marx's thought faced certain failures and needs to be rethought and reformulated. Students of Heidegger should do the same. We need not cover up or deny inconsistencies or deny that we are continuing, rather than simply explaining, the work of the thinkers we engage with.”
Thill - February 13th, 2012 on 2:37 am - I think that Aurobindo who proffered a complex and sophisticated developmental theory would reject the notion that the “pre” and the “trans” levels of development are strikingly similar.
In Aurobindo’s somewhat Hegelian logic of development, although the achievements of previous stages are assimilated and integrated, in varying degrees, into the subsequent higher stages, any aberrations or deformations at the “pre” or lower stages will have to be overcome before the transition to the “trans” or higher stages can be securely made. Thus, in Aurobindo’s theory of development, The latter “trans” stages or levels have specific qualitatively higher features which clearly distinguish them from the lower, “pre” stages.
Isn’t it like saying that the work of a composer who has mastered the basic principles of harmony in the art of musical composition and gone beyond them will be strongly similar to the work of a beginner in composition who is yet to master those principles of harmony?
Although I would acknowledge that the musical freedom exhibited by a master who has assimilated and transcended the confines of basic principles of harmony may occasionally resemble that of a person who is yet to master those principles, it is extremely unlikely that there will be any great and consistent similarities between the two.