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Abstract

This paper argues for a reconceptualization of Arendt's concept of action based on her account of and experience with totalitarianism. Using Origins of Totalitarianism as a guide to what Arendt sees as the breakdown of a functioning society, it reconstructs her conception of politics found inThe Human Condition and On Revolution to show that what Arendt aims for is a form of government that can prevent the spread of totalitarianism and its characteristics. From this perspective, it argues that Arendt's concepts of politics and action are designed to create a public aware of its plurality and primarily concerned with protecting that plurality.

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