For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

"Activities, common world, and forms of life: contributions of Hannah Arendt's thought to occupational therapy"

by Lima, Elizabeth Maria Freire de Araújo (2020)


In Occupational Therapy, activities - which take shape in actions and doings - are approached from multiple perspectives: as a resource, instrument, tool, or object of study. This text will try to think about activities in occupational therapy from an ontological perspective, as a constitutive element of human life. From the ontological point of view, actions and doings constitute human beings: through them, people create and recreate the relationships they establish among themselves, the world in which they live together, a multiplicity of forms of life, and, at the same time, they persevere in existence, perpetuating the life that goes through their bodies. Considering activities from an ontological perspective, we will present Hannah Arendt's thinking and her concept of action, proposing a dialogue with occupational therapy. Arendt placed vita activa at the center of her reflection, focusing on politics and coexistence among human beings in their plurality. For her, freedom, exercised and experienced in the common world and the public sphere, guarantees the existence of singular beings who, through living thought, word and action, exercise an ethic in the form of caring for the world.


Arendt, Occupational Therapy, Ontology, Human Relationships, Vita Activa, Activity


On Arendt

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