By Alex Thomson
The most influential philosophers and cultural theorists of the 20 th century, Theodor Adorno poses a substantial problem to scholars. His works can frequently look imprecise and impenetrable, rather for people with little wisdom of the philosophical traditions on which he attracts. Adorno: A consultant for the at a loss for words is an interesting and available account of his inspiration that doesn't patronise or short-change the reader. these new to Adorno - and those that have struggled to make headway along with his paintings - will locate this a useful source: in actual fact written, accomplished and particularly keen on simply what makes Adorno tough to learn and comprehend.
“'Alex Thompson's ebook not just illuminates Adorno's most vital principles, it makes an unique contribution to modern social theory... The e-book may be of serious clarificatory use for undergraduates, and may offer a lot stimulus to postgraduates and lecturers as well.' Darrow Schecter, collage of Sussex”
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Extra resources for Adorno: A Guide for the Perplexed (Guides for the Perplexed)
Their radical opponents wanted to recover the revolutionary fervour of the late Weimar and early Nazi era; their colleagues the idea of a total social theory. What this really meant was the attempt to get around Adorno's more sceptical influence, to reach the Horkheimer who had written such programmatic essays as Traditional and Critical Theory', in which a revolutionary politics and a radical theory of society went hand in hand. This must mean regressing behind the rigour of the subsequent insight, central to Dialectic of Enlightenment, that the idea of a theory of society contributes to social rationalization, rather than breaking its spell.
Negative Dialectics (1966) - which consolidates and expands on his earlier Against Epistemology: A Metacritique (1956), built around his Oxford Husserl studies - is Adorno's most extended attempt to provide a basis for a non-systematic philosophy. Unlike the ironically presented Minima Moralia and the genealogical Dialectic of Enlightenment, it is a more straightforward work of philosophy, albeit fairly idiosyncratic, consisting on the one hand of detailed criticisms of Heidegger, Kant and Hegel, and on the other reflections on the very possibility of philosophy after Auschwitz.
An over-emphasis on Adorno's exile ignores the most difficult political decision of his life. What distinguishes Adorno and Horkheimer from almost all their other friends and colleagues who 31 ADORNO: A GUIDE FOR THE PERPLEXED had been forced to flee to the United States is the simple fact of their return to Europe. Herbert Marcuse, Siegfried Kracauer, and many other figures closely or loosely associated with the Institute for Social Research, never made it back. Nor did other well-known intellectuals such as Hannah Arendt.
Adorno: A Guide for the Perplexed (Guides for the Perplexed) by Alex Thomson