Doctoral Program, the Division of Basic Theories of Education
Graduate School of Education
The University of Tokyo
Key Words temporality of “thinking”, Hannah Arendt, Walter Benjamin
In the contemporary philosophy of education, a growing number of studies have dealt with the importance of Hannah Arendt’s political thought. In most of these studies, the tension between her political and educational theory is overlooked. Arendt argued that education should take responsibility for renewing the world by leading “newcomers” into the public or political world. So, the educational realm must be distinguished from the public or political realm. Because of this tension, a central question arises about her theory of education: How can something new come into the world? How can we take responsibility for “the new” and young? Arendt suggests that “thinking” can produce something new.
The methodology employed in this research was to analyze Arendt’s interpretation of Walter Benjamin's Men in Dark Times (1968). This helps answer the question 'how can “thinking” lead to the beginning of “the new”?' It also clarifies the temporality of “thinking” in her thought. This research points out that the temporality which we experience when we are thinking is peculiar: it is in neither linear time nor cyclical time. By exploring the implications of this peculiarity, this study will suggest a new way to bridge the gap between the past and the future.