TELOSscope: The Telos Press Blog

Blumenberg as a Political Thinker

Brad Tabas’s “Blumenberg, Politics, Anthropology” appears in Telos 158 (Spring 2012). Read the full version online at the Telos Online website, or purchase a print copy of the issue here.

This article is one of the first attempts to take Hans Blumenberg seriously as a political thinker. Although he wrote on many subjects, Blumenberg directly addressed the theme of the political only rarely. I show, however, that when Blumenberg’s writings on philosophical anthropology are examined from from a political point of view, it becomes clear that one of their central concerns is responding to the politically disturbing implications of the anthropological theses of his conservative contemporaries, most notably Carl Schmitt and Arnold Gehlen. Unlike these thinkers, Blumenberg’s anthropology is essentially democratic and parliamentary, if it is also—quite paradoxically—a kind of anti-anthropology, a practice dedicated to the unending description of human beings.

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