History or Counter-Tradition? The System of Freedom After Walter Benjamin

Critical Horizons 11 (1):99-118 (2010)
I seek to interpret the work of Walter Benjamin in light of the "system programme" of German Idealism, in order to confront an antinomy of contemporary radical thought. Benjamin has been regarded as an anti-Hegelian thinker of the exception. Reading him against the grain, I draw out a concept of counter-tradition that eschews the opposition of intra-historical progress and extra-historical exception. The philological inspiration is a book by Franz Joseph Molitor, student of Schelling and "teacher" of Benjamin: The Philosophy of History, or, On Tradition
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DOI 10.1558/crit.v11i1.99
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