Political Philosophy: Exploring the ideas of Hannah Arendt

Ref: C3529472

Hannah Arendt has been described as ‘a Thinker for Dark Times’, this is because however difficult things may appear her message is essentially one of hope. We will examine, * the role of politics and value of political action * the origins of totalitarianism * the nature of evil * revolutions, power and violence * what it means to be human * and the practise of thinking and judgement. Our investigation will make use of our own diverse range of experiences as well as Hannah Arendt’s key ideas. Expect informed presentations with lots of background material, lively discussion and friendly debate. This course is an opportunity to think about and discuss the future of our common world.

Course aim

• To investigate the key ideas of Hannah Arendt. • To discuss these in the context of today’s world. • To examine our own experiences and views in the light of the above.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • No previous knowledge of Hannah Arendt is assumed. Her ideas reach out to those who are profoundly distrustful of formal politics, parties and governments generally.

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • understand some of the key ideas of Hannah Arendt
  • critically examine her ideas and our own thinking on these issues
  • take part in discussions about these ideas.
  • have appreciated and experienced what Hannah Arendt called action.
  • have enjoyed thinking about and discussing the future of our common world

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • There will be no set work to do at home but lots of opportunities for further learning including suggested reading, web-sources and video materials.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • Also opportunities for discussion with other students and to share ideas and experiences.

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed
  • All materials will be provided
  • Just bring an open mind.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful
  • Before the course starts some background materials will be made available by email but these are not essential to participation in the first session.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Become involved as a volunteer for a WEA partner or another organisation
  • Useful for any course that requires thinking critically. Particularly Social Sciences, Psychology, Sociology, Politics and Philosophy.

Download full course information sheet

Political Philosophy: Exploring the ideas of Hannah Arendt


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2018
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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