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AfternessFigures of Following in Modern Thought and Aesthetics$
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Gerhard Richter

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780231157704

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231157704.001.0001

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Afterness and Critique

Afterness and Critique

A Paradigmatic Case

(p.39) 2 Afterness and Critique

Gerhard Richter

Columbia University Press

This chapter explores the problem of afterness in one of its most representative formulations: as it emerges in the moment of critique or criticism. Inasmuch as the gesture of critique presupposes a distancing of oneself from one’s object of scrutiny, critique can be regarded as a textbook example of afterness. Critique, which derives from the Greek krinein, names that which remains attached and indebted, in a subterranean way, to what it criticizes and to that from which it believes itself to have departed. This logic becomes understandable through a consideration of the moment of critique in three canonical thinkers—Immanuel Kant, Martin Heidegger, and Theodor Adorno—especially when enriched by a reflection on pertinent moments in Walter Benjamin and Michel Foucault.

Keywords:   afterness, critique, criticism, krinein, Immanuel Kant, Martin Heidegger, Theodor Adorno, Walter Benjamin, Michel Foucault

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