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Communication Ethics in Dark Times

Communication Ethics in Dark Times

Hannah Arendt's Rhetoric of Warning and Hope

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Ronald C. Arnett


Paperback (Other formats: E-book)
320 pages, 6 x 9


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About the Book

Renowned in the disciplines of political theory and philosophy, Hannah Arendt’s searing critiques of modernity continue to resonate in other fields of thought decades after she wrote them. In Communication Ethics in Dark Times: Hannah Arendt’s Rhetoric of Warning and Hope, author Ronald C. Arnett offers a groundbreaking examination of fifteen of Arendt’s major scholarly works, considering the German writer’s contributions to the areas of rhetoric and communication ethics for the first time.  

Arnett focuses on Arendt’s use of the phrase “dark times” to describe the mistakes of modernity, defined by Arendt as the post-Enlightenment social conditions, discourses, and processes ruled by principles of efficiency, progress, and individual autonomy. These principles, Arendt argues, have led humanity down a path of folly, banality, and hubris. Throughout his interpretive evaluation, Arnett illuminates the implications of Arendt’s persistent metaphor of “dark times” and engages the question, How might communication ethics counter the tenets of dark times and their consequences? A compelling study of Hannah Arendt’s most noteworthy works and their connections to the fields of rhetoric and communication ethics, Communication Ethics in Dark Times provides an illuminating introduction for students and scholars of communication ethics and rhetoric, and a tool with which experts may discover new insights, connections, and applications to these fields.

Top Book Award for Philosophy of Communication Ethics by Communication Ethics Division of the National Communication Association, 2013


Ronald C. Arnett is the chair of and a professor in the department of communication & rhetorical studies at Duquesne University. He is the author of nine books, including Communication Ethics Literacy: Dialogue and Difference (with Janie Harden Fritz and Leeanne M. Bell); Dialogic Confession: Bonhoeffer’s Rhetoric of Responsibility, for which he received the 2006 Everett Lee Hunt Award for Outstanding Scholarship; and Communication and Community: Implications of Martin Buber’s Dialogue, for which he won the 1988 Book of the Year Award from the Religious Speech Communication Association.


“Arnett splendidly unveils the essence of Hannah Arendt’s insistence on a rhetoric of civility, hope, liberation, and historical remembering. This extraordinary book is a must-have for any Arendt scholar or anyone interested in better understanding the challenges, limitations, and vulnerabilities of modernism.”—Ronald L. Jackson II, dean of McMicken College of Arts and Sciences, University of Cincinnati

“This book is a certain ‘must read’ for students in disciplines including communication, political science, philosophy, and history. Arnett carefully examines Arendt’s critical philosophy while foregrounding the significance of her work to our current historical moment.”—Annette M. Holba, Plymouth State University