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A Study on Walter Benjamin’s Early Philosophy of Language ⑴: Focusing on the Treatise on Language and the Figure of Dialectical Thought

  • The Journal of Aesthetics and Science of Art
  • Abbr : JASA
  • 2023, 70(), pp.74-105
  • DOI : 10.17527/JASA.70.0.04
  • Publisher : 한국미학예술학회
  • Research Area : Arts and Kinesiology > Other Arts and Kinesiology
  • Received : August 14, 2023
  • Accepted : September 12, 2023
  • Published : October 31, 2023

Sun Kyu Ha 1

1홍익대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

In Benjamin’s thought and writing, language is the “open centre and inexhaustible source” of a productive mental life. In this article, I focus on Benjamin’s philosophical thought on language in his early treatise “On Language in General and Human Language.” Not only does this treatise contain the essence of Benjamin’s “original philosophy of language”, but its key concepts also form the basis of Benjamin’s philosophical thought and historical philosophy of art in the 1920s and 30s. In the first part of the article, I outline the overall composition and argumentative structure of the Treatise on Language, and in the second part, I elucidate the central arguments and concepts of the Treatise on Language. Based on these analyses, the third part reconstructs Benjamin’s unique “figure of dialectical thought” around the concept of “mutual translatability.” The conclusion offers a brief outlook on the originality and relevance of Benjamin’s philosophy of language from the perspective of contemporary philosophy of art.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.

This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.