Adorno’s critical materialism

Philosophy and Social Criticism 32 (6):719-737 (2006)
Abstract
The article explores the character of Adorno’s materialism while fleshing out his Marxist-inspired idea of natural history. Adorno offers a non-reductionist and non-dualistic account of the relationship between matter and mind, human history and natural history. Emerging from nature and remaining tied to it, the human mind is nonetheless qualitatively distinct from nature owing to its limited independence from it. Yet, just as human history is always also natural history, because human beings can never completely dissociate themselves from the natural world, nature is inextricably entwined with human history. Owing to the entwinement of mind and matter, humanity and nature, a version of dialectical materialism can be found in Adorno’s work. Key Words: body • dialectics • Hegel • history • idealism • Marx • materialism • mind • nature • Timpanaro.
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