By Brian O’Connor
The simply philosophical matters of Theodor W. Adorno’s detrimental dialectic would appear to be a long way faraway from the concreteness of serious conception; Adorno’s philosophy considers maybe the main conventional topic of “pure” philosophy, the constitution of expertise, while severe idea examines particular features of society. yet, as Brian O’Connor demonstrates during this hugely unique interpretation of Adorno’s philosophy, the destructive dialectic could be visible because the theoretical starting place of the reflexivity or severe rationality required by means of severe conception. Adorno, O’Connor argues, is devoted to the “concretion” of philosophy: his thesis of nonidentity makes an attempt to teach that truth isn't reducible to appearances. This lays the basis for the utilized “concrete” critique of appearances that's necessary to the potential for severe theory.
To explicate the context within which Adorno’s philosophy operates—the culture of contemporary German philosophy, from Kant to Heidegger—O’Connor examines intimately the information of those philosophers in addition to Adorno’s self-defining changes with them. O’Connor discusses Georg Lukács and the effect of his “protocritical theory” on Adorno’s suggestion; the weather of Kant’s and Hegel’s German idealism appropriated by means of Adorno for his idea of subject-object mediation; the concern of the item and the corporation of the topic in Adorno’s epistemology; and Adorno’s very important evaluations of Kant and the phenomenology of Heidegger and Husserl, reviews that either remove darkness from Adorno’s key recommendations and exhibit his development of severe conception via an engagement with the issues of philosophy.
“Brian O’Connor has produced a sublime and persuasive safeguard of the epistemological middle of Adorno’s philosophy: the concern of the thing for the potential of adventure. His research of Adorno’s transcendental technique is novel and demanding. a useful contribution to Adorno studies.” —J. M. Bernstein, writer of Adorno: Disenchantment and Ethics
“Brian O’Connor has crafted a well timed and powerful contribution to the continuing reception of Adorno’s paintings. He offers a miles wanted and particularly lucid remedy of Adorno’s crucial issues with the character of the article of expertise and the form of subjectivity, with particular connection with the achievements of Kant and Hegel, round and during which Adorno located his personal project.” —Tom Huhn, college of visible Arts, New York
“O’Connor takes Adorno heavily as a thinker, instead of in regards to the philosophy as an insignificant epiphenomenon of the social conception. Taking complete account of vital contemporary paintings in German, he additionally brings a transparent and analytical intelligence to the dissection and reconstruction of a few of Adorno’s principal arguments. O’Connor’s research makes Adorno’s important and distinct contributions to epistemology and metaphysics more durable than ever to ignore.” —Simon Jarvis, college of Cambridge, writer of Adorno: A serious Introduction
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Extra resources for Adorno’s Negative Dialectic: Philosophy and the Possibility of Critical Rationality (Studies in Contemporary German Social Thought)
Kant argues in the Antinomies that questions whose answers require evidence beyond the limitations of what the structures of our experience can allow are the product of an antinomical rationality. The result is that two internally consistent, individually demonstrable but mutually exclusive answers to questions of this nature can be given. This, not dissimilarly to the equipollence method of argument used by ancient skepticism, undermines the exclusive truth claims of either position. What is required to escape from this, according to Kant, is that we recognize the necessary limitations of experience as 26 Chapter 1 identiﬁed by critical philosophy itself.
In other words, rationalism is merely a system of schematization in which again prejudicially atomized pieces of reality are ordered. Lukács argues that the subjectivist aim of rationalist philosophy has its origins in modern society. Kant’s creative epistemological subject resembles the ideal of the bourgeois individual: “[T]he man who now emerges must be the individual, egoistic bourgeois isolated artiﬁcially by capitalism and that his consciousness, the source of his activity and knowledge, is an individual isolated consciousness à la Robinson Crusoe” (HCC 135).
But how, it might be asked, are Kantian and Hegelian ideas to be put together given the extraordinary differences between the two philosophers (differences elaborated not least by Hegel himself in his various histories of modern philosophy)? To preempt the extensive analysis below, I want to suggest here the complementary relationship that Adorno ﬁnds between Kant and Hegel. For Adorno experience is a relationship of subject to object, but this relationship takes two directions. First, there is what we might call a vertical dimension in which a subject has directly physical yet signiﬁcant experience of an object.