Gaps: An Inquiry into Determination and Deformation in Adorno

Abstract
This article proposes and explores a hypothesis about some claims made by Adorno. The claims at issue appear to allege, in a way that is hard to understand, that beings in modernity are deformed. The hypothesis is that Adorno’s conception of mediation illuminates that idea. For Adornian mediation seems to bode an account of the determination of beings – of how beings are as they are – that will explicate his claims about beings’ deformation. Acting on that hypothesis, the paper explores Adorno’s views about conceptual mediation (and thereby that which Adorno calls ‘the priority of the object’) and his views about social mediation. I find that those views do not in fact explain the type of deformation at issue. But I argue that there is more than one way in which one might interpret that negative result.
Keywords Adorno  deformation  determination  mediation  priority of the object  Hegel  University of Sussex conference
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