These seventeen lectures given in 1963 focus largely on Kant, 'a thinker in whose work the question of morality is most sharply contrasted with other spheres of existence'. After discussing a number of the Kantian categories of moral philosophy, Adorno considers other, seemingly more immediate general problems, such as the nature of moral norms, the good life, and the relation of relativism and nihilism. In the course of the lectures, Adorno addresses a wide range of topics, including: theory and practice, (...) ethics as bad conscience, the repressive character, the problem of freedom, dialectics in Kant and Hegel, the nature of reason, the moral law as a given, psychoanalysis, the element of the Absurd, freedom and law, the Protestant tradition of morality, Hamlet, self-determination, phenomenology, the concept of the will, the idea of humanity, The Wild Duck, and Nietzsche's critique of morality. (shrink)
This volume makes available in English for the first time Adorno’s lectures on metaphysics. It provides a unique introduction not only to metaphysics but also to Adorno’s own intellectual standpoint, as developed in his major work Negative Dialectics. Metaphysics for Adorno is defined by a central tension between concepts and immediate facts. Adorno traces this dualism back to Aristotle, whom he sees as the founder of metaphysics. In Aristotle it appears as an unresolved tension between form and matter. This basic (...) split, in Adorno’s interpretation, runs right through the history of metaphysics. Perhaps not surprisingly, Adorno finds this tension resolved in the Hegelian dialectic. Underlying this dualism is a further dichotomy, which Adorno sees as essential to metaphysics: while it dissolves belief in transcendental worlds by thought, at the same time it seeks to rescue belief in a reality beyond the empirical, again by thought. It is to this profound ambiguity, for Adorno, that the metaphysical tradition owes its greatness. The major part of these lectures, given by Adorno late in his life, is devoted to a critical exposition of Aristotle’s thought, focusing on its central ambiguities. In the last lectures, Adorno’s attention switches to the question of the relevance of metaphysics today, particularly after the Holocaust. He finds in metaphysical experiences, which transcend rational discourse without lapsing into irrationalism, a last precarious refuge of the humane truth to which his own thought always aspired. This volume will be essential reading for anyone interested in Adorno’s work and will be a valuable text for students and scholars of philosophy and social theory. (shrink)
This is a comprehensive collection of readings from the work of Theodor Adorno, one of the most influential German thinkers of the twentieth century. What took place in Auschwitz revokes what Adorno termed the “Western legacy of positivity,” the innermost substance of traditional philosophy. The prime task of philosophy then remains to reflect on its own failure, its own complicity in such events. Yet in linking the question of philosophy to historical occurrence, Adorno seems not to have abandoned his paradoxical, (...) life-long hope that philosophy might not be entirely closed to the idea of redemption. He prepares for an altogether different praxis, one no longer conceived in traditionally Marxist terms but rather to be gleaned from “metaphysical experience.” In this collection, Adorno's literary executor has assembled the definitive introduction to his thinking. Its five sections anatomize the range of Adorno's concerns: “Toward a New Categorical Imperative,” “Damaged Life,” “Administered World, Reified Thought,” “Art, Memory of Suffering,” and “A Philosophy That Keeps Itself Alive.” A substantial number of Adorno’s writings included appear here in English for the first time. This collection comes with an eloquent introduction from Rolf Tiedemann, the literary executor of Adorno’s work. (shrink)
Allow me to preface my remarks today by saying that I am not going to give a lecture in the usual sense of communicating results or presenting a systematic statement. Rather, what I have to say will remain on the level of an essay; it is no more than an attempt to take up and further develop the problems of the so-called Frankfurt discussion. I recognize that many uncomplimentary things have been said about this discussion, but I am equally aware (...) that it approaches the problem correctly and that it would be wrong always to begin again at the beginning. (shrink)
This classic book by Theodor W. Adorno anticipates many of the themes that have since become common in contemporary philosophy: the critique of foundationalism, the illusions of idealism and the end of epistemology.
We present a short introduction to, and the first English language translation of, Theodor W. Adorno's 1964 article, "Meinungsforschung und Öffentlichkeit." In this article, Adorno situates the misunderstanding of public opinion within a dialectic of elements of publicness itself: empirical publicness' dependence on a normative ideology of publicness, and modern publicness' tendency to undermine its own principles. He also locates it in the dual role of mass media as both fora for the expression of opinion and, as he calls them, (...) "organs of public opinion." The introduction provides a discussion of Adorno's reception in the American academy, arguing that contemporary sociological practice should be concerned with the problems Adorno raises. We suggest that Adorno's relegation to the fields of philosophy and aesthetics belies his relevance to empirical sociological research. (shrink)