Do our actions make any difference in wrong life?: Adorno on moral facts and moral dilemmas

Philosophy and Social Criticism 34 (7):737-758 (2008)
Adorno's moral philosophy has often been accused of making aporetic prescriptions that are too taxing for moral agents. In this article, I defend his approach in terms of a theory of moral dilemmas. My guideline is Adorno's famous sentence that wrong life cannot be lived rightly. I argue that this claim is not distinctly prescriptive, as most of Adorno's critics believe, but is a claim about moral reality. Emphasizing realist aspects of his moral theory, I suggest that wrong life is neither inconceivable nor an amoral or skeptical trope. Instead, Adorno's sentence about wrong life can be interpreted as a claim about the salience of particular moral facts. This, I conclude, allows Adorno to envisage moral reasons that motivate moral conduct case by case, although they are blocked overall
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DOI 10.1177/0191453708093084
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Moral Realism.Peter Railton - 1986 - Philosophical Review 95 (2):163-207.
Virtue and Reason.John McDowell - 1979 - The Monist 62 (3):331-350.
Ethics, Inventing Right and Wrong.J. L. Mackie - 1977 - Erkenntnis 18 (3):425-430.
Are Moral Requirements Hypothetical Imperatives?John McDowell & I. G. McFetridge - 1978 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 52 (1):13-42.
Adorno on the Ethical and the Ineffable.James Gordon Finlayson - 2002 - European Journal of Philosophy 10 (1):1–25.

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