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Title: The Κᾰτέχων in Carl Schmitt's Philosophy of World History: Nonconceptuality, Weaponisation, and Politics of a Metaphorical Constellation
Authors: Qu, Jason
Advisors: Lande, Joel B.
Department: German
Certificate Program: Contemporary European Politics and Society Program
Class Year: 2021
Abstract: This work centers its study on the katechon (Koine Greek: κᾰτέχων/κατέχον) in Carl Schmitt’s (1888-1985) philosophy of world history, specifically within his analysis of the legal and political orders that have come to shape and drive European public law as well as global politics. It proceeds by considering the original theological topos in which the term is found, namely, St. Paul’s Second Epistle to the Thessalonians, and goes against much of the prevailing literature in the field by divorcing the discussion of Schmitt’s katechon from this theological basis. The Blumenbergian framework of absolute metaphors will be applied in understanding Schmitt’s approach to understanding and theorizing the term as a constellation of metaphors that is absolute in a Blumenbergian sense. Katechon will be treated as a nonconcptuality, an abstract idea, that is to be defined through a process of concretization and identification. The work then reconstructs the appearances of katechon in Schmitt’s various phases of legal history, proceeding from medieval Latin Christendom to the modern legal manifestations of ius publicum Europaeum (public European law), the Great Powers System, and the Großraum Order of the 19th and 20th centuries. The work will consider the concepts of nomos, Ordnung, the political, and the nature of a legal order, in drawing the conclusion that Schmitt’s katechon is a functional identity, that which “restrains,” requiring a spatially coherent and politically conscious entity to protect and safeguard, an entity embodied by the Großraum Order in Schmitt’s thought. Finally, the work shall delve into a discussion of Schmitt’s political theology, regarding katechon as a fundamentally Schmittian innovation within a constellation of new concepts to politically orient a secular, modern world.
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en
Appears in Collections:German, 1958-2022

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