Adorno: A Critical Introduction

Adorno: A Critical Introduction

Simon Jarvis

Language: English

Pages: 294

ISBN: 0745611796

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Jarvis offers an introduction to the intellectual and institutional contexts for Adorno's thought, and examines his contributions to social theory, cultural theory, aesthetics and philosophy. He demonstrates the enduring coherence and explanatory power of Adorno's work and illustrates its continuing relevance to contemporary debates.

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it sees both in an affirmative metaphysic of history and in the mythical redundance and invariance of positivist historiography. The work rejects the pessimistic theory that human nature is irrevocably founded on domination. But it also wjects the cultural idealist denial that there can be anything natural in social life, the insistence that social life is cultural ’all the way down’. Once more this furnishes a critical point of Adorno‘s engagement with the Marxist tradition. For Man, Adorno

other. What this means is that it is Introduction 3 unusually hard to pick and choose in Adorno's work - to select out arguments which still work and to discard those which do not because all Adorno's arguments have something like a systematic relationship to each other. They share a philosophical idiom which gives his work its internal coherence. If we lop off the bits which look difficult or obsolete - the engagement with Hegelian idealism, say - we can find that even apparently unconnected

Transcendental subject~vityis not subject to temporal or historical spealication, any more than to location in space, because it is not a ’being’. Since the account of aesthetic judgement given in the third critique is a hanscendental one it represents the conditions of the possibility of aesthetic judgement as timeless invariants. Thus, in Adorno’s view, even though it is one of Kant‘s chief merits as an aesthetician to have ’attained first to a knowledge which has remained valid ever since

testified to in aesthetics. Materialist aesthetics insists that works of art add u p to 'more' than their production or reception by a human sub)ect. Yet it can hardly present them as objects entirely independent of such sub jects. Works of art are appearances which appear to claim to have an essence distinct from merely empirical appearances. ?his claim is illusory, because works of art would be nothing at all without the empirical elements of which they are made up. Yet it is not a mere

Dialectic as Mrfacrif iquc speak of facts of reason which are not further interrogable is not dogmatic, as long as such data rmhy me not further interrogable and instead reprcsent genuinely ineliminable obscurities within finite experience itself. Such facts of reason d o not prohibit metaphysical speculation, but, much rather, explain why speculation can neither be settled nor done away with. Here it becomes clearer why Adorno‘s idea of release of critical thinking from the armour of

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