Tagged: Jewish Philosophy

Walter Benjamin: On the Concept of History

From Walter Benjamin: Illuminations. p. 253 This text was written in 1940 and is published in German in “Gesammelten Schriften I:2. Suhrkamp Verlag. Frankfurt am Main, 1974.” I It is well-known that an automaton once existed, which was so constructed that it could counter any move of a chess-player with a counter-move, and thereby assure itself of victory in the match. A puppet in Turkish attire, water-pipe in mouth, sat before the chessboard, which rested on a broad table. Through a system of mirrors, the illusion was created that this table was transparent from all sides. In truth, a hunchbacked dwarf who...

Walter Benjamin – Biography

Walter Benjamin, born on July 15, 1892, studied philosophy in Freiburg, Munich, Berlin, and Bern. Earning a degree with his Concept of Criticism in German Romanticism, he was not successful in his attempt to become a university professor. His Habilitationsschrift, On the Origins of the German Trauerspiel, was rejected by Frankfurt University only to become a canonized classic of 20th Century literary criticism. Benjamin made his living as a free-lance author and translator in Berlin, where he also took part in German psychopharmacological research. A prolific critic, he was forced into exile by the Nazis in 1933. Emigrating to France,...