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Summary

Theodor W. Adorno (1903–1969) was a first-generation member of the Frankfurt School For Social Research. As was the case with his fellow 'Critical Theorists' Horkheimer and Marcuse et al, his work was interdisciplinary and considerably Marxist. His task, as he saw it, was to use philosophy, sociology and other tools to understand the evils of the past and present, thereby helping to prepare the possibility – he thought one could do little more than that – of a better future. Adorno’s largest philosophical debts are to Kant, Hegel, Marx and Nietzsche. Adorno drew upon those thinkers, and others including Freud and Walter Benjamin, in creating a distinctive approach to metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, aesthetics, and political philosophy.

Key works

Adorno’s magnum opus, Negative Dialectics (first published 1966), is as much a critique of metaphysics, epistemology and of systematic philosophy in general as it is a contribution to those endeavours. Somewhat similar – and working via an account of Husserl’s phenomenology – is the earlier Metacritique of Epistemology (first published in 1956). The posthumously published Aesthetic Theory is also very important; given the centrality of aesthetics to Adorno’s philosophy, it is not ‘just’ a work on aesthetics. There are other important works. Dialectic of Enlightenment (co-written with Max Horkheimer; first published in 1947) presents a case that the Enlightenment has disastrously misfired. Minima Moralia (1951) is a careful and quintessentially Adornian aphoristic text, covering many subjects but especially social, political and ethical ones. Hegel: Three Studies (1963) is something of a preparation for Negative Dialectics. Among the recently translated lecture courses, Problems of Moral Philosophy is perhaps the most enlightening.

Introductions

Theodor Adorno: Key Concepts, edited by D. Cook, might be the most accessible introduction to this difficult thinker. Other introductions include works by B. O’Connor, G. Rose, S. Jarvis, and chapters 5 and 7 of D. Held. Adorno’s lectures (such as the aforementioned Problems of Moral Philosophy) are also useful as introductions.

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1469 found
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1 — 50 / 1469
  1. Governing Through Conflict: On Adorno's Critique of Postwar Sociology.Yasmin Afshar - forthcoming - Constellations.
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  2. Governing Through Conflict: On Adorno's Critique of Postwar Sociology.Yasmin Afshar - forthcoming - Wiley: Constellations.
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  3. The" Clatter of Triplicity". Adorno's Reception of Hegel.Daniel Althof - forthcoming - Hegel-Studien.
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  4. Notes on Adorno's 'Resignation'.Aaron Bell - forthcoming - Telos: Critical Theory of the Contemporary:NA.
    Introduction to and critical examination of Theodor Adorno's essay "Resignation." Deals with the theory/praxis debate, Adorno's confrontation with the radical student movements in the 1960's, and the charge that Adorno was either politically conservative or an ineffective pessimist.
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  5. Ben Watson, Frank Zappa: The Negative Dialectics of Poodle Play.W. Bonefeld - forthcoming - Radical Philosophy.
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  6. Critique et métacritique.R. P. Stanislas Breton - forthcoming - Les Etudes Philosophiques.
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  7. Fascism in Nowadays Brazil: On the Topicality of Adorno’s Education After Auschwitz.Mauricio Rodrigues de Souza - forthcoming - Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology.
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  8. Christoph Menke, The Sovereignty of Art: Aesthetic Negativity in Adorno and Derrida.A. Fisher - forthcoming - Radical Philosophy.
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  9. “A False Classless Society”: Adorno’s Social Theory Revisited.Naveh Frumer - forthcoming - Philosophy and Social Criticism.
    Philosophy & Social Criticism, Ahead of Print. Adorno’s social theory is enjoying renewed attention, as is the debate to what extent is it Marxist. A central issue remains Adorno’s concept of social totality: capitalism as a fully integrated society in which every difference is levelled. One problem this raises is why is he still committed to the Marxist concept of class. And second, how to understand his critique of the idea of proletarian class-consciousness, which seems to leave his critical theory (...)
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  10. “A False Classless Society”: Adorno’s Social Theory Revisited.Naveh Frumer - forthcoming - Sage Publications Ltd: Philosophy and Social Criticism.
    Philosophy & Social Criticism, Ahead of Print. Adorno’s social theory is enjoying renewed attention, as is the debate to what extent is it Marxist. A central issue remains Adorno’s concept of social totality: capitalism as a fully integrated society in which every difference is levelled. One problem this raises is why is he still committed to the Marxist concept of class. And second, how to understand his critique of the idea of proletarian class-consciousness, which seems to leave his critical theory (...)
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  11. “A False Classless Society”: Adorno’s Social Theory Revisited.Naveh Frumer - forthcoming - Sage Journals: Philosophy and Social Criticism.
    Philosophy & Social Criticism, Ahead of Print. Adorno’s social theory is enjoying renewed attention, as is the debate to what extent is it Marxist. A central issue remains Adorno’s concept of social totality: capitalism as a fully integrated society in which every difference is levelled. One problem this raises is why is he still committed to the Marxist concept of class. And second, how to understand his critique of the idea of proletarian class-consciousness, which seems to leave his critical theory (...)
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  12. Adorno, Theodor.Dustin Garlitz - forthcoming - In Klaus Bruhn Jensen & Robert T. Craig (eds.), Encyclopedia of Social Theory. Wiley-Blackwell.
    The article focuses on the scholarly career of German sociologist, philosopher, and musicologist Theodor W. Adorno. Examined are his leading publications, his notable teachers and collaborators, and his time in exile in the United States, among other places. Special emphasis is placed on his negative dialectics, including how this perspective formed a method of communication in itself. Adorno's contributions to the Frankfurt School, and to 20th-century Continental philosophy, sociology, and musicology, are also covered.
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  13. Adorno's Aesthetic Model of Social Critique.Andrew Huddleston - forthcoming - In Peter E. Gordon, Espen Hammer & Maxim Pensky (eds.), Blackwell Companion to Adorno.
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  14. Eric S. Nelson: Levinas, Adorno, and the Ethics of the Material Other.Kelvin Ka Ho Li - forthcoming - Human Studies:1-7.
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  15. Adorno, Marx, and Abstract Domination.Eli B. Lichtenstein - forthcoming - Philosophy and Social Criticism.
    Philosophy & Social Criticism, Ahead of Print. This article reconstructs and defends Theodor Adorno’s social theory by motivating the central role of abstract domination within it. Whereas critics such as Axel Honneth have charged Adorno with adhering to a reductive model of personal domination, I argue that the latter rather understands domination as a structural and de-individualized feature of capitalist society. If Adorno’s social theory is to be explanatory, however, it must account for the source of the abstractions that dominate (...)
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  16. Theodor W. Adorno. Aesthetic Theory.S. Martin - forthcoming - Radical Philosophy.
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  17. JM Bernstein, Adorno: Disenchantment and Ethics.A. Morgan - forthcoming - Radical Philosophy.
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  18. The Flesh of Negation: Adorno and Merleau-Ponty Contra Heidegger.Daniel Neofetou - forthcoming - Philosophy and Social Criticism.
    Philosophy & Social Criticism, Ahead of Print. Theodor Adorno’s 1960–1961 lecture course Ontology and Dialectics, recently translated into English, provides the most systematic articulation of his critique of Martin Heidegger. When Adorno delivered three of the lectures at the Collège de France, Maurice Merleau-Ponty was reportedly scandalised as he was at that time developing his own ontology, informed by Heidegger. However, this article problematises the assumption that Adorno’s negative dialectic and Merleau-Ponty’s late ontology are incompatible. First, Adorno’s criticism of Heidegger’s (...)
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  19. The Flesh of Negation: Adorno and Merleau-Ponty Contra Heidegger.Daniel Neofetou - forthcoming - Sage Journals: Philosophy and Social Criticism.
    Philosophy & Social Criticism, Ahead of Print. Theodor Adorno’s 1960–1961 lecture course Ontology and Dialectics, recently translated into English, provides the most systematic articulation of his critique of Martin Heidegger. When Adorno delivered three of the lectures at the Collège de France, Maurice Merleau-Ponty was reportedly scandalised as he was at that time developing his own ontology, informed by Heidegger. However, this article problematises the assumption that Adorno’s negative dialectic and Merleau-Ponty’s late ontology are incompatible. First, Adorno’s criticism of Heidegger’s (...)
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  20. The Flesh of Negation: Adorno and Merleau-Ponty Contra Heidegger.Daniel Neofetou - forthcoming - Philosophy and Social Criticism:019145372110668.
    Theodor Adorno’s 1960–1961 lecture course Ontology and Dialectics, recently translated into English, provides the most systematic articulation of his critique of Martin Heidegger. When Adorno deliv...
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  21. The Flesh of Negation: Adorno and Merleau-Ponty Contra Heidegger.Daniel Neofetou - forthcoming - Sage Publications Ltd: Philosophy and Social Criticism.
    Philosophy & Social Criticism, Ahead of Print. Theodor Adorno’s 1960–1961 lecture course Ontology and Dialectics, recently translated into English, provides the most systematic articulation of his critique of Martin Heidegger. When Adorno delivered three of the lectures at the Collège de France, Maurice Merleau-Ponty was reportedly scandalised as he was at that time developing his own ontology, informed by Heidegger. However, this article problematises the assumption that Adorno’s negative dialectic and Merleau-Ponty’s late ontology are incompatible. First, Adorno’s criticism of Heidegger’s (...)
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  22. Theodor W. Adorno, Hegel: Three Studies.P. Osborne - forthcoming - Radical Philosophy.
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  23. ‘To Conceal Domination in Production’: Horkheimer and Adorno’s Critical Functionalist Theory of Race.Andrew J. Pierce - forthcoming - Sage Publications Ltd: Philosophy and Social Criticism.
    Philosophy & Social Criticism, Ahead of Print. This article revisits the Frankfurt School’s reflections on race, anti-Semitism and fascism, focusing especially on the theory of race implicit in Dialectic of Enlightenment. It argues that this theory has the potential to be developed into a critical functionalist theory of race that avoids both class and race reductionism, offering a thoroughly intersectional competitor to currently dominant philosophies of race. The key to such a theory is the view that racialization plays a functional (...)
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  24. ‘To Conceal Domination in Production’: Horkheimer and Adorno’s Critical Functionalist Theory of Race.Andrew J. Pierce - forthcoming - Philosophy and Social Criticism.
    Philosophy & Social Criticism, Ahead of Print. This article revisits the Frankfurt School’s reflections on race, anti-Semitism and fascism, focusing especially on the theory of race implicit in Dialectic of Enlightenment. It argues that this theory has the potential to be developed into a critical functionalist theory of race that avoids both class and race reductionism, offering a thoroughly intersectional competitor to currently dominant philosophies of race. The key to such a theory is the view that racialization plays a functional (...)
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  25. ‘To Conceal Domination in Production’: Horkheimer and Adorno’s Critical Functionalist Theory of Race.Andrew J. Pierce - forthcoming - Sage Journals: Philosophy and Social Criticism.
    Philosophy & Social Criticism, Ahead of Print. This article revisits the Frankfurt School’s reflections on race, anti-Semitism and fascism, focusing especially on the theory of race implicit in Dialectic of Enlightenment. It argues that this theory has the potential to be developed into a critical functionalist theory of race that avoids both class and race reductionism, offering a thoroughly intersectional competitor to currently dominant philosophies of race. The key to such a theory is the view that racialization plays a functional (...)
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  26. ‘To Conceal Domination in Production’: Horkheimer and Adorno’s Critical Functionalist Theory of Race.Andrew J. Pierce - forthcoming - Philosophy and Social Criticism:019145372110668.
    Philosophy & Social Criticism, Ahead of Print. This article revisits the Frankfurt School’s reflections on race, anti-Semitism and fascism, focusing especially on the theory of race implicit in Dialectic of Enlightenment. It argues that this theory has the potential to be developed into a critical functionalist theory of race that avoids both class and race reductionism, offering a thoroughly intersectional competitor to currently dominant philosophies of race. The key to such a theory is the view that racialization plays a functional (...)
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  27. On How to Make Adorno Scream: John Holloway's Concept of Revolution Against Class and Identity'.Marcel Stoetzler - forthcoming - Historical Materialism.
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  28. Brian O'Connor. Adorno's Negative Dialectic: Philosophy and the Possibility of a Critical Rationality. MIT Press 2004.Margherita Tonon - forthcoming - Yearbook of the Irish Philosophical Society.
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  29. Theodor W. Adorno, Beethoven: The Philosophy of Muxic.B. Watson - forthcoming - Radical Philosophy.
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  30. Thinking About Thinking in Adorno’s Minima Moralia.Richard White - forthcoming - Tandf: The European Legacy:1-16.
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  31. Theodor W. Adorno.L. Zuidevaart - forthcoming - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  32. The Dissonance of Modernity: On Baudelaire and Adorno.Joseph Acquisto - 2022 - British Journal of Aesthetics 62 (1):101-114.
    This essay considers 'modern' poetry and music as interrelated signifying practices in the works of Charles Baudelaire and Theodor Adorno through a focus on their approach to understanding dissonance. For Baudelaire, dissonance depends on consonance in order to be perceived at all, a fact which allows us to read the modern not just in terms of a break with the past but also as dependent on it. This essay demonstrates the mutually constitutive nature of consonance and dissonance by placing Baudelaire (...)
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  33. Politics Unblocked: Arendt and Adorno on the Possibility of Action in an Administered World.Tobias Albrecht - 2022 - In Maria Robaszkiewicz & Tobias Matzner (eds.), Hannah Arendt: Challenges of Plurality. Springer Verlag. pp. 139-156.
    In this paper, I draw attention to the potential that Arendt’s plurality centered notion of politics has for critical theory; especially for the critical theory of Theodor W. Adorno, but also beyond. I argue that Arendt’s understanding of politics is the closest approximation to a political theory in line with Adorno’s thinking. Illuminating this proximity allows for a more combined reading than usually asserted and can thereby inform current discourses of and about critical theory.
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  34. Art and Aesthetics After Adorno.J. M. Bernstein, Claudia Brodsky, Anthony J. Cascardi, Thierry de Duve, Ales Erjavec, Robert Kaufman & Fred Rush (eds.) - 2022 - Fordham University Press.
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  35. The Antinomy of Death: Ernst Bloch and Theodor W. Adorno on Utopia and Hope.Hent de Vries - 2022 - Angelaki 27 (1):110-127.
    This article discusses the remarkable conversation between Ernst Bloch and Theodor W. Adorno regarding the relationship between utopia and death. It unpacks the antinomy of death and analyzes the m...
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  36. Negative Anthropologie Bei Plessner Und Adorno: Theoretische Grundlagen – Geschichtsphilosophie – Moderne-Kritik.Sebastian Edinger - 2022 - De Gruyter.
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  37. Aesthetics and the Aesthetic Today: After Adorno.Aleš Erjavec - 2022 - In J. M. Bernstein, Claudia Brodsky, Anthony J. Cascardi, Thierry de Duve, Ales Erjavec, Robert Kaufman & Fred Rush (eds.), Art and Aesthetics After Adorno. Fordham University Press. pp. 182-209.
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  38. La idea de una dialéctica modificada y la filosofía en el pensamiento de Theodor W. Adorno.Fabrizio Fallas-Vargas - 2022 - Revista de Filosofía 47 (1):139-156.
    Este artículo explora algunas de las relaciones entre dialéctica y filosofía dentro del programa de una dialéctica modificada de Theodor W. Adorno ¿Cómo pensar la tensión entre las categorías dialécticas y la filosofía desde el prisma de una dialéctica negativa? ¿Qué significa desde el pensamiento de Adorno a liberar a la filosofía y a la dialéctica de su carácter afirmativo? Elaborar estas preguntas es el objetivo de este trabajo.
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  39. Freedom, Normativity, and Concepts: Adorno Contra Brandom on the Path From Kant.Samuel Ferns - 2022 - Critical Horizons 23 (1):55-77.
    ABSTRACT Robert Brandom reads from Kant an account of reasoning and concept use centred upon normativity and autonomous freedom in the act of judgement. I claim that this reading is flawed because it screens from view another aspect of Kant’s reflections on freedom and reason. By comparing Brandom’s interpretation of Kant with that of Theodor W. Adorno, highlighting their contrasting views of the relation between transcendental and empirical, I contend that Brandom unduly conflates freedom and normativity and thereby takes the (...)
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  40. Fear of Nature, Fear of Self, Fear of Society: Psychic Defense Mechanisms in Adorno's Theory of Culture and Experience.Todd Hedrick - 2022 - European Journal of Philosophy 30 (1):227-244.
    European Journal of Philosophy, Volume 30, Issue 1, Page 227-244, March 2022.
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  41. Agustín Lucas (2017). El lenguaje del sufrimiento. Estética y política en la teoría social de Theodor Adorno. Buenos Aires: Prometeo Libro, 345 pp. [REVIEW]Miguel Alirangues López - 2022 - Anales Del Seminario de Historia de la Filosofía 39 (1):277-279.
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  42. Ilustración sin dominio y pensamiento altruista. La desmitologización de la ilustración en Adorno y Horkheimer.Antonio Gutiérrez Pozo - 2022 - Hybris, Revista de Filosofí­A 12 (2).
    This article shows how Adorno and Horkheimer’s project of enlighten the enlightenment has as goal to overcome the dialectic of enlightenment and achieve an enlightenment without domination. The rationalization and disenchantment that define enlightenment have turned everything into an object that can be manipulated by human beings. In the administered world it has even come to reduce the human being itself to an object by means of his identification and deindividualization. This is the death of the human being. Enlightenment has (...)
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  43. Adorno’s Critique of Work in Market Society.Craig Reeves & Matthew Sinnicks - 2022 - Business Ethics Journal Review 10 (1):1-7.
    Jaakko Nevasto has offered a number of thoughtful criticisms of our attempt to show that Adorno’s work can fruitfully be brought to bear on topics in business ethics. After welcoming his constructive clarifications, we attempt to defuse Nevasto’s main objections and defend our application of Adorno, focusing in particular on the topics of moral epistemology, needs, and the possibility of genuine activity – and thus good work – within capitalist society.
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  44. Adorno After Adorno.Fred Rush - 2022 - In J. M. Bernstein, Claudia Brodsky, Anthony J. Cascardi, Thierry de Duve, Ales Erjavec, Robert Kaufman & Fred Rush (eds.), Art and Aesthetics After Adorno. Fordham University Press. pp. 41-68.
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  45. 10. Is Adorno's Philosophy a Negative Theology?Gerrit Steunebrink - 2022 - In Ilse Bulhof & Laurens ten Kate (eds.), Flight of the Gods: Philosophical Perspectives on Negative Theology. Fordham University Press. pp. 293-319.
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  46. Theodor W. Adorno: Ästhetische Theorie a cura di A. Eusterschulte e S. Tränkle, Berlin-Boston, De Gruyter, 2021, pp. 304. [REVIEW]Elettra Villani - 2022 - Studi di Estetica 22.
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  47. Neurath’s Debate with Horkheimer and the Critique of Verstehen.Andreas Vrahimis - 2022 - In Adam Tamas Tuboly (ed.), The History of Understanding in Analytic Philosophy: Before and After Logical Empiricism. London: Bloomsbury.
    During the late 1930s, the failed attempt at collaboration between the Frankfurt School and the Vienna Circle culminated in Horkheimer’s 1937 paper ‘The Latest Attack on Metaphysics’. Horkheimer ([1937] 1972), relying on a caricature of positivism as espousing an uncritical myth of the given, drew far-reaching conclusions concerning positivism’s conservative prohibition of the radical questioning of appearances. Horkheimer (1940) later applied some of these criticisms to Dilthey’s conception of Verstehen, while presenting Logical Empiricism as dismissing Dilthey’s proposals nothing more than (...)
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  48. Taboos on the Teaching Vocation.Theodor W. Adorno - 2021 - Філософія Освіти 26 (2):168-187.
    The work "Taboos on the teaching vocation" was read by the German social philosopher and representative of critical theory Theodor Adorno as a report on May 21, 1965 at the Berlin Institute for Educational Research. In this report, Adorno considered the socio-psychological and socio-cultural reasons that in the context of Western European culture have historically led to the social emergence of many psychological taboos on the pedagogical work of the school teacher. The philosopher theoretically deduced the dialectical connection between human (...)
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  49. On Reification and Extreme Violence. Mimesis, Play and Power in Adorno.Marco Angella - 2021 - Critical Horizons 22 (4):402-419.
    ABSTRACT In this paper, I will offer some examples of the effectiveness of Adorno’s concept of mimesis for an analysis of extreme violence and for a defence of democratic institutions against possible regressions into authoritarian regimes. I will start by reading the concept of mimesis through the lens of the interlacement between the concepts of play and power. My aim is twofold: first, I wish to further the analysis of Adorno’s concept of mimesis by showing that it can be interpreted (...)
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  50. The "Primal Pseudos": Adorno's Concept of Nationalism.Wacyl Azzouz - 2021 - Krisis 41 (1):5-23.
    Even though the term “primal pseudos” appears only once in Theodor W. Adorno’s lecture History and Freedom, it is the key for the understanding of Adorno’s concept of nation and nationalism. In the aforementioned lecture the term “primal pseudos” describes the contradiction immanent in the concept of the nation. The critical investigation into the immanent contradiction of the concept of the nation discloses the impossibility of what nationalism wants rather than its falseness.
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