By Brian O’Connor

Theodor W. Adorno (1903-69) used to be one of many most desirable philosophers and social theorists of the post-war interval. an important to the improvement of serious concept, his hugely unique and designated yet usually tricky writings not just develop questions of primary philosophical value, yet offer deep-reaching analyses of literature, artwork, song sociology and political theory.

In this accomplished creation, Brian O’Connor explains Adorno’s philosophy for these coming to his paintings for the 1st time, via unique new traces of interpretation. starting with an summary of Adorno’s existence and key philosophical perspectives and affects, which contextualizes the highbrow setting within which he labored, O’Connor assesses the important components of Adorno’s philosophy.

He rigorously examines Adorno’s specified kind of research and exhibits how a lot of his paintings is a serious reaction to a number of the types of id considering that experience underpinned the harmful forces of modernity. He is going directly to speak about the most components of Adorno’s philosophy: social thought, the philosophy of expertise, metaphysics, morality and aesthetics; commencing special bills of Adorno’s notions of the dialectic of Enlightenment, reification, totality, mediation, id, nonidentity, event, adverse dialectics, immanence, freedom, autonomy, imitation and autonomy in artwork. the ultimate bankruptcy considers Adorno’s philosophical legacy and value today.

Including a chronology, thesaurus, bankruptcy summaries, and proposals for extra examining, Adorno is a perfect advent to this not easy yet vital philosopher, and crucial examining for college kids of philosophy, literature, sociology and cultural studies.

“Introductions akin to Brian O’Connor’s Adorno are a style of their personal correct with their right calls for. ... O’Connor’s sort is cautious, mercifully jargon-free, and well suited for the style. he isn't seduced into emulating Adorno’s scintillating variety, and he handles Adorno’s abstruse options with perception and dexterity.” —James Gordon Finlayson, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

“O’Connor’s e-book stands proud as an extremely lucid and trustworthy creation to a notoriously tough philosopher. i will consider no learn of this sort that so elegantly and successfully explores Adorno’s notion and its relevance to our personal time.” —Espen Hammer, Temple collage, USA

“This long-awaited advent is a perfect place to begin for somebody drawn to Adorno’s wealthy and not easy paintings. O’Connor succeeds in combining accessibility with philosophical sophistication and interpretative nuance. He unlocks significant problems with which Adorno’s writings provides us and demonstrates the long-lasting significance of non-identity thinking.” —Fabian Freyenhagen, college of Essex, UK

“This is surely the easiest advent to Adorno to be had, and may be instructed to an individual hoping to familiarize themselves with this hard and profitable philosopher.” —Owen Hulatt, Unversity of York, UK

“This publication is a such a lot great addition to the Routledge Philosophers sequence. Brian O’Connor’s slender quantity is likely to be the main concise but wide-ranging of all introductions to Theodor W. Adorno’s (1903–1969) suggestion at present in print this present day. O’Connor’s textual content merits a place at the shelf of somebody who's drawn to the Frankfurt university quite often or Adorno specifically. those people who are attracted to studying extra concerning the thinker through the identify of Adorno will be clever to choose this ebook up.” —Patrick Gamsby, Brandeis college, USA

“...this new creation is lucid and gripping...In specific, it truly is first-class in bringing out the importance of Adorno’s criticisms of identity-thinking, that are too usually disregarded as obscure.” —Koshka Duff, Marx & Philosophy overview of Books

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Extra resources for Adorno (Routledge Philosophers)

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It is a network of domination. And crucially, as we have seen, Adorno rules out the idea that there could be a good, life-enhancing form of totality. We turn now to the second objection to Adorno’s concept of totality. During the positivist dispute he was pressed on what was seen as a lack of justification for this concept. This criticism emerged, almost inevitably, as a direct result of Adorno’s anti-positivist way 40 Adorno of asserting the validity of the concept. His core claim, as we have seen, is that society as a totality is all pervasive.

It becomes unreason because it actually prevents social analysis from freely considering the relationship between facts and what it is that might sustain those relationships. For Adorno, as we saw in the previous chapter, any constraint on thinking is an obstacle to objectivity. Philosophy as speculative thinking, however, ‘refuses to have its rules prescribed to it by organized knowledge’ (CM 13). The speculative character of the concept of totality is evident in the following passage: Society 31 For while the notion of society may not be deduced from any individual facts, nor on the other be apprehended as an individual fact itself, there is nonetheless no social fact which is not determined by society as a whole.

In that regard it appears to be merely philosophy. What gave Adorno a preference for the philosophical approach to social theory was that philosophy took seriously the possibility of there being a difference between appearance and reality or essence. Existing sociological method, he claimed, examined only appearance. ‘Dialectics’, as he calls his own interpretative approach, ‘will not allow itself to be robbed of the distinction between essence and appearance’ (IPD 11). In Adorno’s theory this means showing how a supposedly given fact – an appearance, be it epistemological, metaphysical or sociological – is mediated by something that does not appear.

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