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Alfredo Lucero-Montaño

Walter Benjamin's Political Philosophy of History

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Walter Benjamin's Political Philosophy of History
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Curriculum Vitae


This thesis aims to shed light on the ethico-political dimension of Walter Benjamin’s concept of history, which counts as a radically new antisystemic discourse signifying a disruptive philosophy of history. His notion of remembrance, which turns in the keystone of history, becomes the conducting thread of the analysis. The main theoretical concern of this study is the question how history is referred to politics, and concomitantly, how politics is related with ethics. In other words, this is an attempt to illustrate how Benjamin’s concept of history as interruption is addressed to politics, and how politics is constituted by ethics. The study focuses on the conceptualization of Benjamin’s ethico–political paradigm of history as is illustrated in his dialectical image par excellence, the “Angel of History,” and its implications on the following issues: the notion of the past as actualization and as a necessary instance to construct a new history; the constitution of the historical subject responsible for making history (political praxis); and the dialectics of solidarity, that is, the process of discovery of the ethical value (solidarity) through experiencing history as politics (actualization), and assuming the needs and powers of the subject’s historical reality. Finally this thesis examines the reception of Benjamin’s historico-political thought as illustrated by a Mexican liberation movement, the Zapatista National Liberation Army.

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