Missing Links. Zum Denken der Erinnerung bei Wittgenstein und bei Benjamin und Adorno


The paper asks for a connection between Wittgenstein and Adorno/Benjamin in the point of memory. The analysis of memory as a productive power has to be connected with the interpretation of her philosophico-historical significance. This connection explains the link between Wittgenstein's concept of philosophy and the Critical Theory of Benjamin and Adorno. The paper starts in Part 1 with Wittgenstein's remarks on memory. Part 2 treats Adorno's and Benjamin's dialectical theory, which they began to discuss in their letters. The real sense of memory consists in the dialectic relation between remembering and forgetting. Part 3 explains the philosophico-historical consequences of this full concept of memory. The connection between the epistemological status of remembering and its explanation in the context of reflections on history can be found in the writings of Augustine. Part 4 goes back to this paradigm-change in the thinking of memory. Remembering is no copy of something given or present, but the cause and the act of critique. This type of 'open dialectics' connects Wittgenstein's analysis and hermeneutics of the 'ordinary' with Adorno's and Benjamin's concept of negative dialectics



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Johann Kreuzer
University of Oldenburg

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