Walter Benjamin's The Work Of Art in the Age ..
study on Walter Benjamin’s ”the work of art in the age …
In his doctoral dissertation, Benjamin argues that the philosophicalrelationship between the Idea of art and particular artworks posited inRomantic aesthetics must be understood in relation to Fichte'stheory of reflection. This sought to ground the possibility of acertain and immediate type of cognition without recourse to theproblematic notion of an intellectual intuition. For Fichte, reflectionindicates the free activity of consciousness taking itself as its ownobject of thought: its capacity for thinking of thinking. In doing so,the initial form of thinking is transformed into its content. In suchreflection, thought seems capable of immediately grasping itself as athinking subject and therefore of possessing a certain kind ofimmediate and foundational knowledge. Although Benjamin introduces anumber of specific criticisms of Fichte's philosophical positionin his dissertation, he nonetheless values the Fichtean concept ofreflection for providing the epistemological foundation of FriedrichSchlegel's and Novalis' understandings of the metaphysicalfunction of art criticism. Some scholars have, however, questioned theaccuracy of Benjamin's interpretation of Fichte's conceptof reflection and the importance he accords to it in Romanticepistemology (Bullock 1987, 78–93; Menninghaus 2005, 29–44).
of Walter Benjamins The Work of Art in ..
Benjamin, "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction," 224-225, 235. 245, note 5. The allusion to the Kantian intuitions of space and time in this note which Benjamin makes in his note confuses the issue, because Benjamin's ambition to historicize perception is quite alien to Kant's transcendentalism.