Humanities Building, Room 119
Heidegger and Benjamin do not only share a fundamental criticism of main-stream philosophy, but their approaches to philosophy have also much in common. This becomes most evident in their respective thoughts on language. In Benjamin’s view, language is not a means, but rather “immediate” (unmittelbar); language, in other words,
is “magic”. In the same vein, Heidegger’s statement: “language speaks”, stipulates that language is something dynamic and self-reflexive. In both Heidegger and Benjamin,
references to theological, mythical and even occult paradigms are not scarce. This leaves the question whether a rational reconstruction of their philosophies of language would be possible.
Willem van Reijen taught social and political philosophy at the University of Utrecht, The Netherlands. In 2001, he was appointed honorary professor at the Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg, Germany. Among his numerous books and articles on philosophy, social sciences and German literature are: Adorno zur Einführung (1990), Benjamin zur Einführung (1991), Horkheimer zu Einführung (1992), Allegorie und Melancholie (ed. 1992), Bürgergesellschaft, Recht und Demokratie (ed. 1995), Heilsversprechen (ed. 1997), Der Schwarzwald und Paris.
Revolutionäre Philosophie bei Heidegger und Benjamin (1998), Aufenthalte und Passagen. Leben und Werk Walter Benjamins. Eine Chronik (2001). (philosojerk)