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Working with Walter BenjaminRecovering a Political Philosophy$
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Andrew Benjamin

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780748634347

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748634347.001.0001

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The Meaning of Time in the Moral World

The Meaning of Time in the Moral World

(p.46) Chapter 2 The Meaning of Time in the Moral World
Working with Walter Benjamin

Andrew Benjamin

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter presents a reading of Benjamin’s short text The Meaning of Time in the Moral World (1921). The reason for orientating the project of developing the connection between critique and destruction in relation to this text is that despite its brevity, it stages elements fundamental to Benjamin’s political philosophy and thus to the conception of critique that can be seen to emerge from his writings. There are three elements that are central to his overall project and which find varying forms of expression in this short text. The first is the suspension of the law in the name of a relation to come between justice and morality. The second is the recognition that such a relation to the law involves the creation of an opening whose content cannot be determined in advance. The third is that such an opening, and thus what it allows, has its conditions of possibility in an already present potentiality, within the already present complex of relations between the self and the world.

Keywords:   German philosopher, Walter Benjamin, destruction, morality, critique, law, justice

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