The Cambridge Companion to Adorno (Cambridge Companions to Philosophy)

The Cambridge Companion to Adorno (Cambridge Companions to Philosophy)

Tom Huhn

Language: English

Pages: 420

ISBN: 2:00004218

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


The great German philosopher and aesthetic theorist Theodor Wiesengrund Adorno (1903-1969) was one of the main philosophers of the first generation of the Frankfurt School of critical theory. As an accomplished musician, Adorno originally focused on the theory of culture and art. He later turned to the problem of the self-defeating dialectic of modern reason and freedom. A distinguished roster of Adorno specialists explores the full range of his contributions to philosophy, history, music theory, aesthetics and sociology in this collection of essays.

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commodity structure, im- poses forms of identity onto nature of the kind whose effects are now apparent in the ecological crisis. The artist’s products, on the other hand, offer a model of what an emancipated employment of histori- cally developed ‘technical’ resources in other spheres might achieve. Cambridge Companions Online © Cambridge University Press, 2006 Adorno, Heidegger, and the Meaning of Music 253 Because it requires freedom from instrumental ends for it to be aes- thetic at

free- dom, impartiality, justice, and respect, we would overlook something Cambridge Companions Online © Cambridge University Press, 2006 330 gerhard schweppenh äuser crucially important. The historical index of these concepts, which binds them to their own reverse sides, is by no means a surface mat- ter. As concepts, they are firmly linked to bourgeois society’s history of domination. They thus carry within themselves, as modern coin- cidentiae oppositorum, the opposite of what they

“On Lyric Poetry and Society,” Adorno (following Benjamin) in effect writes – or points to postromantic lyric as that which allows him to write – a Marxian translation of Kantian aesthetics. Under- lying Adorno’s Kantian account is the aesthetic’s quasi conceptual and thus quasi social quality. The aesthetic, while looking like conceptual-objective, “useful,” content-determined thought or ac- tivity, quite precisely only looks like them, only mimes them at the level of form. Aesthetic

2 (1949), pp. 77–80. 21. Mann, Story of a Novel, 47–8. See Mann’s diary entry for October 6, 1943, in Mann, Tageb ücher 1940–1943, ed. Peter de Mendelssohn (Frankfurt: Fischer, 1982), 635. Just as Mann was alluding to Adorno’s patronym, Adorno himself was getting rid of it: About this time, Adorno, whose name had been registered as “Wiesengrund-Adorno” on his birth certificate, legally dropped the first part of his name. See Rolf Wiggershaus, The Frankfurt School: Its History, Theories, and

sport, on the assumption that intellectual con- centration alone would not draw thought through. And it might be worthwhile to continue in this style, for just a moment, as it will allow us to check a main point in Adorno’s description of the on- togeny of this new type of human being: that we are not to become Cambridge Companions Online © Cambridge University Press, 2006 Right Listening and a New Type of Human Being 193 cultured individuals, people capable of being much involved in what

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