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Hans Blumenberg

Prefiguration - Work on Political Myth

Edited and with an afterword by Angus Nicholls and Felix Heidenreich
(German title: Präfiguration)
ca. 150 pages
Clothbound
2014
Hans Blumenberg
Foto: Hans Blumenberg
© Peter Zollna

Hans Blumenberg (1920-1996) was professor for Philosophy at the University of Münster.

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About

In response to a review of his important monograph, Work on Myth, on 20 July 1980 Hans Blumenberg wrote a letter to his reviewer, Götz Müller: »I always find it very difficult to respond to reviews. It is always too late. But I feel that you have put your finger on something. There is indeed a chapter missing from the book, which was part of the manuscript, but which had completely spoiled my taste for the rest of the book. So I withheld it. People are free to do with it as they please, once I am gone.«

Müller had criticised Blumenberg for not giving sufficient attention to modern political myths. Discovered among Blumenberg’s papers, this »manuscript« now shows that his theory of myth did in fact emerge out of an intensive engagement with the political uses of mythical thought. Whereas in Work on Myth the totalitarianisms of the 20th century are mentioned only in passing, in this text Hitler’s and Goebbels’s use of myth takes centre stage.

In Prefiguration, Blumenberg demonstrates how they were by no means merely adept propagandists who knew how to instrumentalise historical myths, but were in fact actively engaged in a delusional bid to recreate and surpass the glory of figures like Alexander, Frederick the Great, and Napoleon. Blumenberg’s analysis takes on even greater significance in the context of the on-going debates regarding the relationship between violence, myth, and monotheism.

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Die nackte Wahrheit/The Naked Truth (2019)

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Rigorismus der Wahrheit/The Rigorism of Truth (2015)

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Quellen, Ströme, Eisberge/Sources, Streams, Icebergs (2012)

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Löwen/Lions (2010)

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Theorie der Lebenswelt/Theory of the Life-World (2010)

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Geistesgeschichte der Technik/Geistesgeschichte der Technik (2009)

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Briefwechsel 1971-1978/Correspondence and other materials (2007)

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Der Mann vom Mond/The Man from the Moon (2007)

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Theorie der Unbegrifflichkeit/Theorie der Unbegrifflichkeit (2007)

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Beschreibung des Menschen/Description of Man (2006)

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Die Legitimität der Neuzeit/The Legitimacy of the Modern Age (1996)

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Die Lesbarkeit der Welt/The Legibility of the World (1986)

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Arbeit am Mythos/Work on Myth (1979)

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Schiffbruch mit Zuschauer/Shipwreck with Spectator (1979)

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