Hannah Arendt distinguishes between two different practices of freedom whose origins are rooted into two historical human experiences: political freedom/action and philosophical freedom/free will. She argues that the two experiences were different as concerns the origin, the location and the conditions of each. Freedom of the will, or philosophical freedom, is relevant only in solitude while political freedom is relevant to people living together in political communities. Arendt also claims that the freedom of the will is the origin of the ideal of sovereignty which constitutes its meaning in commanding and demanding obedience. Hence, the free will realizes its freedom at the expense of oppressing one’s self and oppressing others. In addition to presenting the Arendtian accounts on the two types of freedom, I shall argue that Arendt’s notion of new beginnings is an attempt to transform the faculty of will from a faculty which realizes itself in commanding, either itself or others, to a faculty that realizes itself in initiating new beginnings with others in the public realm.


Philosophy Department

Degree Name

MA in Philosophy

Graduation Date


Submission Date

January 2016

First Advisor

Harman, Graham

Committee Member 1

Topa, Alessandro

Committee Member 2

Pandya, Rashmika


75 p.

Document Type

Master's Thesis


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Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

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I would like to sincerely thank my advisor Prof. Graham Harman, who has been very supportive and inspiring from the very beginning until the very end of completing the thesis. I am also grateful to Dr. Alessandro Topa and Dr. Rashmika Pandaya, whose comments and critiques on the first draft of the thesis have been significant in getting it into its final shape. Moreover, appreciation is due to Prof. Steffen Stelzer and Dr. Richard Fincham whose direction in the process of the proposal writing was very important and influential at that stage. Furthermore, I cannot go without mentioning Mrs. Aya Morsi whose effort and cooperation in smoothing the administrative process is much appreciated. I also wish to express my thankfulness to my mother, my brother, and my sisters whose encouragement was vital for my morale during writing. Finally, my heartfelt gratitude goes to my husband, Ismail, whose love and care is always indispensable for my spirit, particularly since he has put himself at risk for the sake of standing by me in such a precious moment.