Anxiety and the Absolutism of Reality

  • Xander KirkeEmail author
Part of the Global Political Thinkers book series (GPT)


This chapter explores the existential themes in Blumenberg’s thought, arguing that they are crucial as a preliminary understanding of how he develops his theory of myth. It begins by discussing the notions of ‘Angst’ and ‘Estrangement’ in existential philosophy, and how this mode of thought influenced at least indirectly. It moves on to outline Blumenberg’s well-known concept of the ‘absolutism of reality’, a condition in which the whole, raw, totality of the world threatened to overwhelm us. As fundamentally changeable and adaptable animals, we do not have a naturally instinctively given home, or grounding in the world. We need to find significance (Bedeutsamkeit) in order to mediate the absolutism of reality. This, as we will later see, has consequences for how Blumenberg views ‘myth.’


Existentialism Significance (BedeutsamkeitAbsolutism of reality Estrangement Being 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Geography, Politics and SociologyNewcastle UniversityNewcastle upon TyneUK

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