Christoph Menke
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A reply to my critics

Law begins with the experience of violence. Law exists because there is violence, and because recognizing the existence of violence appears to be tantamount to saying that violence should not exist. Law translates the violence that one inflicts upon another into the violation of a law. Walter Benjamin calls the transformation of law in the face of the experience of its violence its Entsetzung. For taking the violence of law seriously, that is, taking the Nietzschean demand which all experience of violence raises seriously, namely the demand to go, "Away, you pain!", must mean to go beyond law. For the "impulse" or "force" at the ground of law is justice: the resistance to violence. "Law and Violence" tries to show this by reference to the experience of law in tragedy, especially the Oresteia, and its philosophical reflection in Benjamin's "Critique of Violence."

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Law and violence

Christoph Menke in dialogue



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