Alexei Procyshyn
Monash University
Although he is usually understood to be an immanent critic who belongs to the first generation of the Frankfurt School, Walter Benjamin’s thought is much more heterodox than typically acknowledged. In this paper, I draw attention to one of Benjamin’s most heterodox tendencies. I show that Benjamin problematizes on the animating idea of immanent critique, i.e., that one can move from an object given in experience to the implicit concept of that object in order to assess the fit between concept and object. Benjamin develops his objection to this idea in his 1916 response paper “Eidos und Begriff.” In it he criticizes P. F. Linke’s account of givenness by showing that what is given in experience and what is essential to it are not identical. What is essential to first order experience, moreover, is quite distinct to what is essential for discursively structured reflection. And hence one cannot unproblematically move from what is given in experience to the concepts underwriting it. This leads Benjamin to develop a pragmatic and expressive alternative to semantic ascent, and hence to immanent critique.
Keywords Conference Proceedings  Contemporary Philosophy
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
ISBN(s) 978-1-63435-038-9
DOI 10.5840/wcp23201834779
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 55,968
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Walter Benjamin's Philosophy of Language.Alexei Procyshyn - 2014 - Philosophy Compass 9 (6):368-381.
Law and Violence in Hannah Arendt and Walter Benjamin.Karla Pinhel Ribeiro - 2018 - Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy 54:83-87.
Law and Violence in Hannah Arendt and Walter Benjamin.Karla Pinhel Ribeiro - 2018 - Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy 10:141-145.
A New Argument for Nonconceptual Content.Adina L. Roskies - 2008 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 76 (3):633-659.
Givenness and Cognition: Reply to Grüne and Chignell.Watkins Eric & Willaschek Marcus - 2017 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 55 (1):143-152.
Demonstrative Concepts and Experience.Sean Dorrance Kelly - 2001 - Philosophical Review 110 (3):397-420.
Walter Benjamin on the Concept of Criticism and the Critique of Capitalism.Nathan Ross - 2015 - Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy 20 (1):233-253.


Added to PP index

Total views
1 ( #1,451,209 of 2,403,329 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #551,892 of 2,403,329 )

How can I increase my downloads?


Sorry, there are not enough data points to plot this chart.

My notes