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Topic: Arendt and Staub Comparison


English 101: Thinking, Reading, And Writing About Evil

Writing Assignment: Arendt and Staub in Conversation

Length: One double-spaced page; Times New Roman 12

Discussion and Assignment

Hannah Arendt and Ervin Staub offer two very different approaches to thinking about the causes or sources of human evil. In a short (three-to-four pages) essay, compare and contrast their approaches. Let me be more specific.

This assignment asks you to generally characterize how Arendt and Staub think about evil and give examples that clarify and illustrate your claims. Then, offer your own detailed thoughts about the merits and weaknesses of each approach. Include an extended section on your thoughts about the possible strengths of pairing Arendt’s and Staub’s methods as a way of entering the scholarly conversation about evil, which Staub defines as the destruction of human beings.

In this essay, I am looking for you to, a.) clearly identify and characterize Arendt’s and Staub’s thoughts – capturing them in their essence, not in their specificity; and, b.) generate your own thoughtful comments about the possible strengths of using Arendt’s and Staub’s modes of analysis together. This thinking will be your own and based entirely on your ability to take what you know about Arendt and Staub and apply that knowledge in a way that considers how these two theorists’ approaches may or may not be more powerful when used in tandem. This gives you practice thinking critically and generatively (i.e., creating your own original ideas) and articulating your thoughts with precision.

Give this part of your essay special effort and attention as it represents your capacities as an independent, critical thinker and writer. Be as specific as possible; do not offer superficial generalizations. You will have to re-read parts of Staub and return to your lecture notes about Arendt (as well as the appendix about Arendt’s categories of radical and banal evil in the previous writing assignment). This work also builds on the previous writing assignment’s mapping of relationships between Arendt and Bronowski.

Your goal is to grow into an independent, critical thinker and writer who can evolve your own ideas in response to texts rather than simply repeat what you have learned. It is a matter of developing your own intellectual agency (i.e., your capacity to cultivate and express your own thinking – a big difference from simply reproducing what you read or your teachers said).

~ Above is the description from the teacher of the assignment please read over it carefully and be sure to include all parts to the assignment. I have attached all documents needed to write this paper under additional materials. Please read and review all those materials carefully before writing the paper you will need info from those documents to quote and develop logical opinions and arguments concerning the writers beliefs specifically concerning evil. The last document attached labeled mapping relationships is another writing assignment however I put it here because inside of the document their is important information regarding Arendt. If you open the doc and scroll about half way down you’ll see a section labeled Appendix that is the only part that applies to this assignment read that whole appendix through carefully and get as much info from there as possible. Do not get confused about that last document that is not the assignment description you are just using it for part of the information on the second half of the document if you are confused about this or anything else please contact me at anytime with questions. I have checked night calls allowed or you can message me. Thank you!


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