Tagged: war



Koselleck 100

Geoffrey Winthrop-Young – Koselleck wrote that defeat in war is the greatest transformational experience because it maximizes the distance between a planned course of action and an unplanned outcome. Therefore, as unpleasant or traumatic as it may be, being defeated “contains an inexhaustible epistemological potential” and has stood behind many innovations in historical methodology, including his own following his experience as a soldier of the defeated German army.



Koselleck 100

Jonathon Catlin – Reinhart Koselleck once reflected, “I built up my entire studies through the experience of the war.” Indeed, in both his social and intellectual formation he is a child of what his onetime denazification instructor Eric Hobsbawm called the “age of catastrophes.” This post reflects on Koselleck’s use of the concept of “catastrophe” and argues for his place in a tradition of German critical-catastrophist and anti-catastrophist thought, alongside Walter Benjamin, Theodor W. Adorno, Günther Anders, Hannah Arendt, and W. G. Sebald.

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