Tagged: Adorno

The Frankfurt School

The “Frankfurt School” refers to a group of German theorists who developed powerful analyses of the changes in Western capitalist societies that occurred since the classical theory of Marx. Working at the Institut fur Sozialforschung in Frankfurt, Germany in the late 1920s and early 1930s, theorists such as Max Horkheimer, T.W. Adorno, Walter Benjamin, Herbert Marcuse, Leo Lowenthal, and Erich Fromm produced some of the first accounts within critical social theory of the importance of mass culture and communication in social reproduction and domination. The Frankfurt School also generated a critical cultural studies program that analyzes the processes of cultural production...

Theodor Adorno: Minima Moralia. Part III, 1947

Avalanche, veux-tu m’emporter dans ta chute? French: Avalanche, won’t you carry me away in your fall? Baudelaire 101 Hothouse plant. – The talk of early or late development, seldom free of the death-wish for the former, is not binding. Whoever develops early, lives in anticipation. Their experience is an a prioristic, intuitive sensibility, which gropes in pictures and words for what is later redeemed in things and human beings. Such anticipation, satiated in itself, as it were, turns away from the external world and lends the color of something neurotically playful to the relationship to the latter. If early developers...

Theodor Adorno: Minima Moralia. Part II, 1945

Where everything is bad it must be good to know the worst. – F.H. Bradley 51 Behind the mirror. First word of caution for authors: check every text, every fragment, and every line to see if the central motif presents itself clearly enough. Whoever wants to express something, is so carried away that they are driven along, without reflecting on such. One is too close to the intention, “in thought,” and forgets to say, what one wants to say. No improvement is too small or piddling to be carried out. Out of a hundred changes, a single one may appear...

Theodor Adorno: Minima Moralia. Part 1, 1944

Dedication The melancholy science, from which I make this offering to my friend, relates to a realm which has counted, since time immemorial, as the authentic one of philosophy, but which has, since its transformation into method, fallen prey to intellectual disrespect, sententious caprice and in the end forgetfulness: the teaching of the good life. What philosophy once called life, has turned into the sphere of the private and then merely of consumption, which is dragged along as an addendum of the material production-process, without autonomy and without its own substance. Whoever wishes to experience the truth of immediate life,...

Adorno: music and language – a fragment

This fragment was written in 1956. it is published in “[easyazon_link identifier=”B004VYF1A0″ locale=”US” tag=”mainacademicsite-20″]Quasi una Fantasia, Essays on Modern Music.” by Theodor W. Adorno[/easyazon_link]. (Translated by Rodney Livingstone), VERSO, London, New York. Adorno compares music and language, and also outlines a theory of modern aesthetics. Here is the text: “Music resembles a language. Expressions such as musical idiom, musical intonation, are not simply metaphors. But music is not identical with language. The resemblance points to something essential, but vague. Anyone who takes it literally will be seriously misled. Music resembles language in the sense that it is a temporal sequence...

Dialektik der Aufklärung

Die in dem Buch erkannte Entwicklung zur totalen Integration ist unterbrochen, nicht abgebrochen; sie droht, über Diktaturen und Kriege sich zu vollziehen. Die Prognose des damit verbundenen Umschlags von Aufklärung in Positivismus, den Mythos dessen, was der Fall ist, schließlich die Identität von Intelligenz und Geistfeindschaft hat überwältigend sich bestätigt. Unsere Konzeption der Geschichte wähnt nicht, ihr enthoben zu sein, aber sie jagt nicht positivistisch nach Information. Als Kritik von Philosophie will sie Philosophie nicht preisgeben.

Horkheimer/Adorno: Dialectic of Enlightenment

The following text pieces are from the 1989 translation by John Cumming. Myth is already enlightenment; and enlightenment reverts to mythology. p. XVI _____________________ “Everything unknown and alien is primary and undifferentiated: that which transcends the confines of experience; whatever in things is more than their previously known reality. What the primitive experiences in this regard is not a spiritual as opposed to a material substance, but the intricacy of the Natural in contrast to the individual. The gasp of surprise which accompanies the experience of the unusual becomes its name. It fixes the transcendence of the unknown in relation...

Theodor Adorno

Here is a short biographical sketch of Adorno’s life from the  Stanford Encyclopedia for Philosophy: “Born on September 11, 1903 as Theodor Ludwig Wiesengrund, Adorno lived in Frankfurt am Main for the first three decades of his life and the last two. He was the only son of a wealthy wine merchant of assimilated Jewish background and an accomplished musician of Italian Catholic descent. Adorno studied philosophy with the neo-Kantian Hans Cornelius and music composition with Alban Berg. He completed his Habilitationsschrift on Kierkegaard’s aesthetics in 1931, under the supervision of the Christian socialist Paul Tillich. After just two years...

Adorno: Self-reflection of Dialectics

(From: Theodor Adorno, Negative Dialectics, 1969. End.) The question is whether metaphysics as a knowledge of the absolute is at all possible without the construction of an absolute knowledge – without that idealism which supplied the title for the last chapter of Hegel’s Phenomenology. Is a man who deals with the absolute not necessarily claiming to be the thinking organ with the capacity to do so, and thus the absolute himself? And on the other hand, if dialectics turned into a metaphysics that is not simply like dialectics, would it not violate its own strict concept of negativity? Dialectics, the...

Reason and the Subject of Philosophy

Philosophie, die einmal überholt schien, erhält sich am Leben, weil der Augenblick ihrer Verwirklichung versäumt ward. (Philosophy, which once seemed obsolete, lives on because the moment to realize it was missed.) (Theodor Adorno) REASON AND THE SUBJECT OF PHILOSOPHY. Truth kills, Nietzsche once advised philosophers, and he added: indeed, it kills itself.[1] We always knew that the voice of reason is, at best, a whisper in human affairs, but Nietzsche is the first philosopher to tell us that it is the voice of a suicidal subject. Is it only fin-de-siècle European pessimism (justified, we might add, from a later vantage point) or...