On the Origin of Law. An Epistemological Elucidation of the Dispute between Carl Schmitt and Walter Benjamin over the State of Exception

Manuel Disegni


This paper reconstructs the dispute between Schmitt and Benjamin over the State of Exception. It aims, through a textual analysis of the essays Critique of Violence, Political Theology, On the Concept of History and Nomos – Nahme – Name, to theoretically decode it as a dispute over the fundamental question of the origin of law. By doing so the paper will pick out Schmitts reception and appropriation of the revolutionary critique of liberalism as its central theme, as well as both the proximity and the distance between his juridical approach and the historical-materialistic conception of historical knowledge.

Keywords Theory of knowledge, philosophy of history, dialectical materialism, nomos of the earth, origin of law, violence, state of exception.


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