Adorno and the problems of a critical construction of the historical present

Critical Horizons 8 (2):135-156 (2007)
This paper argues that Adorno's metaphysics can be rescued from the constellation of his messianic materialism. The recovery of metaphysics in this context also means that it is rescued as the basis of possible critique. Rescue here entails that the ideas of truth, freedom, justice and democracy should be seen as transcending whatever is empirically given, while remaining immanently operative within society. These ideas can still be drawn on for a critique of the present, thus renewing the original project of critical theory.
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