Exploring the possibilities for the social and the political in the public-private disctinction in Arendt
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This dissertation basically asks the question of whether the public- private dichotomy in Arendt‟s theory is an absolute one. This question is a result of the fact that the intricate layers in the distinction between the public and the private in Arendt‟s works has not critically examined within the literature. In answering that question, this dissertation argues that the multi-layered terrain of Arendt‟s political theory makes it possible to point out some conceptual spheres that transcend a particular understanding of the mentioned dichotomy. This kind of inquiring reading enables one to escape the chains of dichotomous thinking and to come up with an alternative theoretical space for thinking Arendt‟s conception of politics. Correspondingly, this dissertation points out the concepts of work and social as possible loopholes that transcend the dichotomous thinking in Arendt‟s theory. Possible implication of pointing out these loopholes is to challenge to the fixed nature of the public-private distinction. This challenge directly effects how one positions the political within the dichotomy. If the political is not observed within the confines of the public-private distinction in every context, it means that it sometimes exists within an in-between space of sociability. The idea of civil society as an associational life in contemporary political experience corresponds to that in-between space. This particular reading points out a contemporary political experience, in which the political and the social co-exist. It also offers an Arendtian perspective to critically reflect on how we experience politics within the space of contemporary civil society.