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History, Metaphors, FablesA Hans Blumenberg Reader$
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Hans Blumenberg

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501732829

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501732829.001.0001

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The Concept of Reality and the Theory of the State

The Concept of Reality and the Theory of the State


(p.83) 4 The Concept of Reality and the Theory of the State
History, Metaphors, Fables

Hans Blumenberg

Cornell University Press

This chapter focuses on Hans Blumenberg's text, “The Concept of Reality and the Theory of the State,” which applies the concept of reality to political theory. The relationship of the state to the norm of peace is conditioned by its reference to reality in a twofold sense: first, to that reality the state claims for itself and manifests in political actions, and second, to that reality it grants to that which it itself is not. The concept of reality is a contrastive concept; it evades definition, for “only that which has no history is definable.” How reality is understood is part of “what is involved in the notion of a form of life,” from which can be understood the complex of actions of an individual or a society — beyond the assumption that there are only responses to stimuli — as the unity of a behavior toward reality that gives itself rules or at least can be reduced to rules. It is the concept of reality toward which theoretical and practical attitudes converge.

Keywords:   Hans Blumenberg, reality, state, political theory, political actions, behavior, individual actions, societal actions

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