sexta-feira, 4 de outubro de 2013

Trabalho interdisciplinar: Filosofia e Inglês


Disponibilizo abaixo o texto de Hannah Arendt (em inglês) aos alunos dos segundos anos da E.E. Professor Alfredo Burkart. Cada aluno deve traduzi-lo como exigência da parte de Inglês e em seguida, com a tradução do texto em mãos, fazer uma análise filosófica dos conceitos apresentados pela autora.
Os trabalhos deverão ser entregues até o dia 24/10, impreterivelmente!

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·       Vita Activa and the human condition

With the term vita active, I propose to designate three fundamental human activities: labor, work, and action. They are fundamental because each corresponds to one of the basic conditions under which life on earth has been given to man.
Labor is the activity which corresponds to the biological process of the human body, whose spontaneous growth, metabolism, and eventual decay are bound to the vital necessities produced and fed into the life process by labor. The human condition of labor is life itself.
Work is the activity which corresponds to the unnaturalness of human existence, which is not imbedded in, and whose mortality is not compensated by, the species’ ever-recurring life cycle. Work provides and “artificial” world of thing, distinctly different from all natural surroundings. Within its borders each individual life is housed, while this world itself is meant to outlast and transcend then all. The human condition of work is worldliness.
Action, the only activity that goes on directly between men without the intermediary of thing or matter, corresponds to the human condition of plurality, to the fact that men, not Man, live on the earth and inhabit the world. While all aspects of the human condition are somehow related to politics, this plurality is specifically the condition – not only the conditio sine qua non, but the conditio per quam – of all political life. Thus the language of the Romans, perhaps the most political people we have known, used the words “to live” and “to be among men” (inter homines esse) or “to die” and “to cease to be among men” (inter homines esse desinere) as synonyms. But in its most elementary form, the human condition of action is implicit even in Genesis (“Male and female created He them”), if we understand that this story of man’s creation is distinguished in principle from the one according to which God originally created Man (adam), “him” and not “them”, so that the multitude of human being becomes the result of multiplication.[1] Action would be an unnecessary luxury, a capricious interference repetitions of the some model, whose nature or essence was the same for all and as predictable as the nature or essence of any other thing. Plurality is the condition of human action because we are all the same, that is, human, in such a way that nobody is ever the same as anyone else who ever lived, lives, or will live.
All three activities and their corresponding conditions are intimately connected with the most general condition of human existence: birth and death, natality and mortality. Labor assures not only individual survival, but the life of the species. Work and its product, the human artifact, bestow a measure of permanence and durability upon the futility of mortal life and the fleeting character of human time. Action, in so far as it engages in founding and preserving political bodies, creates the condition for remembrance, that is, for history. Labor and work, as well as action, are also rooted in natality in so far as they have the task to provide and preserve the world for, to foresee and reckon with, the constant influx of newcomers who are born into the world as strangers. How-ever, of the three, action has the closest connection with the human condition of natality; the new beginning inherent in birth can make itself felt in the world only because the newcomer possesses the capacity of beginning something anew, that is, of acting. In this sense of initiative, an element of action, and therefore of natality, is inherent in all human activities. Moreover, since action is the political activity par excellence, natality, and not mortality, may be the central category of political, as distinguished from metaphysical, thought.

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[1] In the analysis of postclassical political thought, it is often quite illuminating to find out which of the two biblical versions of the creation story is cited. Thus it is highly characteristic of the difference between the teaching of Jesus of Nazareth and of Paul that Jesus, discussing the relationship between man and wife, refers to Genesis 1:27: “Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female” (Matt. 19:4), whereas Paul on a similar occasion insists that the woman was created “of the man” and hence “for the man”, even though he then somewhat attenuates the dependence: “neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man” (I Cor. 11:8-12). The difference indicates much more than a different attitude to the role of woman. For Jesus, faith was closely related to action (cf. § 33 below); for Paul, Faith was primarily related to salvation. Especially interesting in this respect is Augustine (De civitade Dei xii. 21), who not only ignores Genesis 1:27 altogether but sees the difference between man and animal in that man was created unum ac singulum, whereas all animas were ordered “to come into being several at once” (plura simul iussit exsistere). To Augustine, the creation story offers a welcome opportunity to stress the species character of animal life as distinguished from the singularity of human existence.

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