Phenomenology's negative dialectic: Adorno's critique of Husserl's epistemological foundationalism

Philosophical Forum 40 (1):99-125 (2009)
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The recent eruption of scholarship surrounding the nature and tenability of foundationalism in the work of Edmund Husserl offers the impetus and opportunity to (re)examine Theodor Adorno’s Metacritique of Epistemology. In that text, Adorno attempts an immanent critique of phenomenology designed to expose the antinomies that vitiate not only Husserl’s philosophy but any foundationalist epistemology. A detailed analysis of Adorno’s arguments and Husserl’s texts reveals that while Adorno successfully locates a hidden contradiction within Husserl’s notion of ‘perceptual fulfillment,’ his attack on ‘categorial intuition’ misfires. These mixed results call out for renewed and refined exercises in the immanent critique of foundationalism.



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Jared A. Millson
Rhodes College

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Husserl and the problem of idealism.Theodore W. Adorno - 1940 - Journal of Philosophy 37 (1):5-18.

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