HomeΦιλοσοφια: International Journal of Philosophyvol. 22 no. 1 (2021)


Bernardo N. Caslib, Jr.



It may be commonplace hearing people accuse the discipline of philosophy of irrelevance, especially when it comes to societal issues. Hannah Arendt, a contemporary political thinker, remarked that philosophy and political action are irreconcilable spheres of thought that the space for contemplation is nowhere near the space for action. Granting Arendt’s observation, how can philosophy courses cross the chasm brought about by disciplinal borders? How can philosophy classes help produce active and more engaged citizens? In this paper, I dispute the former claim by way of undertaking two tasks. First, to lay down the groundwork, I provide a philosophical analysis that underlines Hannah Arendt’s political position and most important ideas, particularly those that surface in one of her greatest works, “The Human Condition.” Second, I point out how Arendt’s notions inspire some practices in education and pedagogy, thus paving the way for a genuine application of a philosophical theory to society. By drawing on experiences in teaching philosophy by employing social reconstructionist education and its corollary pedagogical tool, service-learning, this paper hopes to bring back some space to a reconsideration of philosophy as a relevant discipline in society, particularly in education. In the end, I conclude that philosophy and action, contrary to the claim of Arendt herself, are fully compatible. In doing philosophy, the germ of genuine action may be found.