Adorno’s Negative Dialectic: Philosophy and the Possibility by Brian O’Connor

By Brian O’Connor

The simply philosophical issues of Theodor W. Adorno’s detrimental dialectic would appear to be a long way faraway from the concreteness of serious idea; Adorno’s philosophy considers possibly the main conventional topic of “pure” philosophy, the constitution of expertise, while serious idea examines particular points of society. yet, as Brian O’Connor demonstrates during this hugely unique interpretation of Adorno’s philosophy, the detrimental dialectic may be visible because the theoretical origin of the reflexivity or severe rationality required by means of serious idea. Adorno, O’Connor argues, is devoted to the “concretion” of philosophy: his thesis of nonidentity makes an attempt to teach that truth isn't really reducible to appearances. This lays the basis for the utilized “concrete” critique of appearances that's necessary to the potential for serious theory.

To explicate the context during which Adorno’s philosophy operates—the culture of contemporary German philosophy, from Kant to Heidegger—O’Connor examines intimately the tips of those philosophers in addition to Adorno’s self-defining variations with them. O’Connor discusses Georg Lukács and the impact of his “protocritical theory” on Adorno’s proposal; the weather of Kant’s and Hegel’s German idealism appropriated by means of Adorno for his conception of subject-object mediation; the concern of the item and the business enterprise of the topic in Adorno’s epistemology; and Adorno’s very important evaluations of Kant and the phenomenology of Heidegger and Husserl, reviews that either light up Adorno’s key innovations and demonstrate his development of serious concept via an engagement with the issues of philosophy.

“Brian O’Connor has produced a sublime and persuasive security of the epistemological middle of Adorno’s philosophy: the concern of the article for the opportunity of adventure. His research of Adorno’s transcendental technique is novel and demanding. a useful contribution to Adorno studies.” —J. M. Bernstein, writer of Adorno: Disenchantment and Ethics

“Brian O’Connor has crafted a well timed and strong contribution to the continuing reception of Adorno’s paintings. He offers a miles wanted and particularly lucid therapy of Adorno’s significant issues with the character of the article of expertise and the form of subjectivity, with particular connection with the achievements of Kant and Hegel, round and in which Adorno positioned his personal project.” —Tom Huhn, tuition of visible Arts, New York

“O’Connor takes Adorno heavily as a thinker, instead of in regards to the philosophy as a trifling epiphenomenon of the social thought. Taking complete account of vital contemporary paintings in German, he additionally brings a transparent and analytical intelligence to the dissection and reconstruction of a few of Adorno’s critical arguments. O’Connor’s examine makes Adorno’s very important and distinct contributions to epistemology and metaphysics more durable than ever to ignore.” —Simon Jarvis, collage of Cambridge, writer of Adorno: A severe Introduction

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Extra info for Adorno’s Negative Dialectic: Philosophy and the Possibility of Critical Rationality (Studies in Contemporary German Social Thought)

Example text

This relation is, in a sense, nonconceptual in that it is not a relation of subject to an object with particular conceptual determinations. However it is not a relation that lies outside the space of reasons in that its necessity can be shown by philosophical argument. Kant seems to think that it is shown by experience too. This arrangement of the nonconceptual within the space of reasons will be a telling element in Adorno’s account of nonidentity. 2 Antinomy and Transcendental Argument It may seem strange to put the ideas of antinomy and transcendental argument together.

In speaking of inner experience Kant refers only to the most general characteristic of empirical self-consciousness, the awareness of the temporal sequence of one’s experiences. He means to argue, here as in many other parts of the first Critique, against a conception of selfconsciousness as the arcane alleged awareness of an essential ego. The most general characteristic of empirical self-consciousness is, as Kant himself puts it, “consciousness of my own existence as determined in time” (CPR B275).

The argument that follows is that this awareness “presupposes something permanent in perception” (CPR B275). Without something permanent which is distinct from the representations (thoughts or experiences) themselves there would be no way, it seems, of realizing the contrasting representations that I actually have. In the preface to the second edition Kant notes: “For all grounds of determination of my existence which are to be met with in me are representations [or ideas] and as representations themselves require a permanent distinct from them, in relation to which their change, and so my existence in the time wherein they change, may be determined” (CPR Bxl).

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