Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Eric Wilson

Second Advisor

Sandra Dwyer


In her book The Human Condition, philosopher Hannah Arendt analyzes how political theory and activity in Western, industrialized societies have changed significantly since the time of the ancient Greeks and Romans. One interesting claim that Arendt makes is that humans in the modern age have lost an “authentic concern for immortality.” The purpose of this essay is to articulate what an authentic, Arendtian concern for immortality is, and to defend her claim that humans in the modern age lack such a concern. By utilizing Jean Baudrillard’s analysis of modern consumerism and social psychology, I defend Arendt’s claim that modern humans do in fact lack such an authentic concern. Finally, I conclude the essay by responding to what I take to be three possible objections to my argument and show that they ultimately fail.

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