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Difference and OrientationAn Alexander Kluge Reader$
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Alexander Kluge and Richard Langston

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781501739200

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501739200.001.0001

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Critique, Up Close and Personal

Critique, Up Close and Personal

(p.434) 25 Critique, Up Close and Personal
Difference and Orientation

Alexander Kluge

, Richard Langston
Cornell University Press

This chapter examines the dialogue between Joseph Vogl and Alexander Kluge, which illustrates the origins and consequences of Kluge's theory of feeling for critique. Kluge explains that the critical capacity—the capacity to differentiate practically at the crucial moment—is an undercover characteristic that people know nothing about. He then mentions that Sigmund Freud speaks of the two-staged development in humans. First, an entire being, along with its sexuality and capacity for differentiation, is formed between infancy and the age of six or seven. This is followed by a latency period when the creature can learn—humans have a genuine period of learning—until puberty upends everything again and a second being, equally sexual, develops. This is the adult. Kluge then claims that classical writers use the word “critique” much differently. He says that critique is the positive capacity to differentiate between something new and an old falsehood.

Keywords:   Joseph Vogl, Alexander Kluge, feeling, critique, critical capacity, Sigmund Freud, human development, differentiation, learning, classical writers

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