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The MomentTime and Rupture in Modern Thought$
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Heidrun Friese

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780853239567

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846314179

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‘NOW’: Walter Benjamin on Historical Time

‘NOW’: Walter Benjamin on Historical Time

(p.161) Chapter 8 ‘NOW’: Walter Benjamin on Historical Time
The Moment

Werner Hamacher

Liverpool University Press

This chapter presents a reflection by Werner Hamacher regarding the theoretical ideas of Walter Benjamin on his concept about historical time, which brings forth an inference to the idea of ‘Now’. The reflection points out that Benjamin believes that the cognition of history, or historical cognition, is the awareness of ‘which has not yet become history, that which yet can become history’, meaning that history is only feasible because of the possibilities that were missed. Possibilities creates an intentional structure and opens up a temporal space where the possibility of happiness, failure and other forms exists. Hamacher uses the concept of possibilities as a springboard to identify the identity of the ‘leap’ and ‘nucleus’ of the Now using Marxism, a Kantian theorem of innertimeliness, and several theses of Benjamin.

Keywords:   cognition, historical cognition, Now, possibilities, temporal space, intentional structure, Marxism, Kantian, innertimeliness

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