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Kritik som transformation: ett utvecklande av Walter Benjamins konception av kritik i relation till språk, verk och historia
Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education.
2015 (Swedish)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The present essay concerns Walter Benjamin´s engagement with the concept of critique in four of his early writings from 1916-1928. It revolves around three main themes, or objects of interest: the critique of language [Sprache], the critique of the work [das Werk] and the critique of history [Geschichte]. The main objective of this study is to show how we can understand Benjamin’s conception of critique and how he develops it in regard to language, the work and history. The essay argues that this is a vital part to understand his philosophy in general as well as his later philosophy of history in particular. This study attempts to examine each of its objects, above mentioned, in itself but also show how these cannot be thought of as separate from each other. Benjamin’s concept of critique should not be thought of as systematic (as in erecting a philosophical system), but should instead be regarded as extremely consistent in its approach regardless of his objects of study. Because everything, for Benjamin, is seen as closely tied together. This study therefore attempts to configure a notion that Benjamin’s philosophical oeuvre should be understood as, in many ways, rooted in respect to his concept of critique. I argue that a thorough investigation of Benjamins concept of critique is the key to grasp his specific and uncompromising approach to philosophy. In this respect the study also tries to break with a certain, already established, notion that regards Benjamin as either a marxist or a messianic thinker. This essay instead tries to develop an approach in which everything, every single fragment, possibly can come together as a whole, even though it may only be as pieces of a fractured whole. At last, I therefore argue that, the possibility of the piecing together of this whole, to make whole of what has been scattered, should be considered in relation to Benjamin’s concept of critique, here explicated and developed, in regard to the above mentioned objects: language, the work and history.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 69 p.
Keyword [en]
Walter Benjamin, history, the work, language, critique, marxism, messianism, critique
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-27891OAI: diva2:838523
Subject / course
Humanities, Theology
Available from: 2015-07-01 Created: 2015-06-30 Last updated: 2015-07-01Bibliographically approved

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