Natural history: The life and afterlife of a concept in Adorno

Critical Horizons 5 (1):227-258 (2004)
Theodor Adorno's concept of 'natural history' [Naturgeschichte] was central for a number of Adorno's theoretical projects, but remains elusive. In this essay, I analyse different dimensions of the concept of natural history, distinguishing amongst (a) a reflection on the normative and methodological bases of philosophical anthropology and critical social science; (b) a conception of critical memory oriented toward the preservation of the memory of historical suffering; and (c) the notion of 'mindfulness of nature in the subject' provocatively asserted in Max Horkheimer and Adorno's Dialectic of Enlightenment. These strands are united by the notion of transience and goal of developing a critical theory sensitive to the transient in history. The essay concludes by suggesting some implications of an expanded concept of natural history for issues in the discourse theory of Jürgen Habermas.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1163/1568516042653620
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 25,662
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Understanding Adorno on ‘Natural-History’.Tom Whyman - 2016 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 24 (4):452-472.
Adorno’s ‘Addendum’.Jaffe Aaron - forthcoming - Philosophy and Social Criticism:019145371668575.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Mimesis in Adorno's Aesthetic Theory.Bed P. Paudyal - 2009 - Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry 4 (8):1-10.
Adorno's Aesthetic Concept of Aura.Yvonne Sherratt - 2007 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 33 (2):155-177.
Adorno and the Disenchantment of Nature.Alison Stone - 2006 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 32 (2):231-253.
Adorno’s Critical Materialism.Deborah Cook - 2006 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 32 (6):719-737.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

59 ( #84,669 of 2,143,787 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #280,512 of 2,143,787 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums