Menke’s reconstruction of Benjamin’s law, his tragic aporia and recognition

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Benjamin’s Critique of Violence (1921) has been a relevant source of legal and political philosophy about the nature of law, from Derrida to Menke. In this article, we rebuild the reading of Benjamin’s Critique proposed by Menke and consider the appropriateness of violence in the law not as a tragic tension, but as a condition for its reproduction. Finally, we will consider its paradoxical nature as a confirmation of the difference between the force of law and social-normative elements such as recognition [Anerkennung].

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)577-591
Number of pages15
JournalPhilosophy and Social Criticism
Issue number6
StatePublished - 19 Jul 2015


  • Christoph Menke
  • Law
  • Recognition
  • Violence
  • Walter Benjamin


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