Walla Walla, Wash. – Gary Wang, a senior political philosophy major, has had his paper titled “The Possibilities of Imagination in Hannah Arendt’s Thought” published in Prometheus, an international undergraduate philosophy journal.
Prometheus, published by students at Johns Hopkins University, serves to promote philosophic dialogue by “offering students an opportunity to engage in open discussion, participate in the production and publication of an academic journal and establish a community of aspiring philosophers,” according to its Web site.
In the fall of 2009, Wang enrolled in the class titled “Hannah Arendt as Political Thinker” taught by Julia Ireland, assistant professor of philosophy, and eventually adapted the term paper from that class into a paper for publication.
“It was simply an excellent piece of work,” said Ireland. “What impressed me about the first version was its conceptual originality; he had made a connection in Arendt’s “Origins of Totalitarianism” about the logicality of totalitarian that was not obvious, but that anticipated the direction of Arendt’s later work. In the final seminar paper, which is what he sent to Prometheus, he was able to take his insights and really argue them in a manner that was sophisticated, persuasive, and original.”
“For me, the seminar Professor Ireland taught on Hannah Arendt opened my imagination to the possibility of rethinking how politics ought to be conducted. Taking that course and being exposed to Arendt’s life and work really inspired me to pay closer attention to the way in which words affect judgment and thinking. On that basis, I wrote a term paper for the class on how the faculty of imagination thematically runs through Arendt’s work and how it ultimately could extend her unfinished account of the power of judgment,” said Wang.
A full copy of the paper can be seen on the Prometheus Web site.
Wang is an active member of Beta Theta Pi, a senator in Whitman student government and a writer for the campus newspaper, The Pioneer.
— Ashley Coetzee