Writing and judging: Adorno, Arendt and the chiasmus of natural history

Philosophy and Social Criticism 30 (4):445-475 (2004)
This essay engages in a comparative analysis of Theodor W. Adorno and Hannah Arendt. It does so by situating both thinkers in terms of their respective Auseinandersetzungen with the fundamental ontology of Martin Heidegger. While Heidegger seeks to engage in a Destruktion of the opposition between time and being, Adorno and Arendt seek to understand this relation critically in terms of the concept of ‘natural history’. For both, a reading of Kant’s Third Critique becomes the indispensable means by which it is possible to locate a path pointing beyond the chiasmic structure of natural history. Key Words: Adorno • aesthetic experience • Arendt • Heidegger • history • inter-subjectivity • judgement • phenomenology • politics • writing.
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