Hannah Arendt Concept Of History Analysis

1134 Words5 Pages
History is defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as “a chronological record of significant events; events of the past” (Merriam-Webster). That’s generally what people think of when they hear the word “history”, but not everyone was/is satisfied with that term for the definition. Hannah Arendt, the writer of “The Concept of History”, stated that “These single instances, deeds or events, interrupt the circular movement of daily life…The subject matter of history is these interruptions – the extraordinary” (Arendt). By defining history as such, Arendt gives off the impression that history is for the greats or for those who were lucky enough to go on a life adventure. Another writer who wasn’t satisfied with the simplistic definition of…show more content…
That’s not history. History involves everyone; every person, thing, thought, idea, and concept that has been in the works since the beginning of time. We cannot define such an important aspect of past cultures and life by saying only a few events and people have brought us to where we are today. By taking the most general, and obvious, concept of history Arendt is dishonoring those who weren’t the right race, gender, class, and so much more. We cannot just accept the concept that history was made because some lucky hobbit was told by Gandalf that an adventure is waiting. There’s a million things a day that “disrupt the circular movement of daily life” but aren’t considered monumental enough for the world to be considered history. It’s the little victories that people receive like being able to get out of bed in the morning when their depression is crushing, being able to smile after a day of adversity, or being able to tell a loved one what they mean to you. Those events are all monumental things that should be honored because they’re part of the disruption of life. Even things that aren’t as meaningful as previously mentioned can be a disruption of everyday life; things like bumping into someone on the street, being…show more content…
By saying history is made by the “process of emancipation and enlightenment” Hegel is essentially saying that history is defined by how humans have evolved spiritually and consciously. This definition gives more of a sense that people as a whole make history together instead of that one person or event that disrupted the movement of daily life. He also said that there are three methods when we’re evaluating history: original history, reflective history, and philosophic history. Original history and reflective history mean exactly as they sound; original history is when a historian was present at the event, action, or situation and wrote it down for later evaluation. Reflective history is when people look back on an event, action, or situation and analyze it in order to understand why it happened and how it influenced the world today. On the other hand, philosophic history needs a little more defining before people are able to connect it to history. When one thinks of philosophy and history they define it as a deep thought or consideration of the events in the past, but what it really does is add to the definition of history the concept of reason. As Hegel said “The only thought which philosophy brings with it, in regard to history, is the simple thought of Reason – the thought that Reason rules the world, and that world history has therefor been rational in its
Open Document