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The Fall of Language: Benjamin and Wittgenstein on Meaning

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2020.02.02 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Alexander Stern, The Fall of Language: Benjamin and Wittgenstein on Meaning, Harvard University Press, 2019, 386pp., $45.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780674980914. Reviewed by Alison Ross, Monash University Walter Benjamin's early 1916 essay 'On Language as Such, and on the Language of Man' articulates a theory of language that has a foundational place in his thinking. The essay was not originally intended for publication. It has its origins in a letter to his friend Gershom Scholem, written when Benjamin was 24 and Scholem just 19. Scholem transformed the study of the Kabbalah from a topic of sporadic commentary into a disciplinary field and became the acknowledged preeminent scholar of Jewish mystical traditions. Benjamin's thinking and impact is more difficult to classify. In his book, Alexander Stern treats the essay as the key to Benjamin's entire philosophy, and uses the essay's theses as a point of connection between Benjamin and other thinkers... Read More

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News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News

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