Retrojective Devaluation

In the face of death even a utopian spirit such as Ernst Bloch gives up all hope and formulates the notion of a retrojective devaluation of existence along with all its aspirations: “The jaws of death grind all and the maw of decomposition gulps down all teleology; death is the great dispatcher of the organic world – but to this latter’s catastrophe.” [>Catastrophe of Death] “The grave, darkness, decomposition and worms once had and still have, when the awareness of them is not suppressed, a kind of retrospectively devaluing force.” (Ernst Bloch, Das Prinzip Hoffnung) For Bloch “death, considered as the axe of nothingness, is the hardest of all non-utopias.” (Prinzip Hoffnung) The only strange thing here is that Bloch does not trace out further all the consequences of that foundering of the “principle of hope” upon the àHardness of Reality which he here admits does take place.

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