Peter E. Gordon's Adorno and Existence PDF

By Peter E. Gordon

ISBN-10: 0674734785

ISBN-13: 9780674734784

From the start to the top of his occupation, the severe theorist Theodor W. Adorno sustained an uneasy yet enduring bond with existentialism. His perspective total was once that of unsparing feedback, verging on polemic. In Kierkegaard he observed an early paragon for the past due flowering of bourgeois solipsism; in Heidegger, an impresario for a “jargon of authenticity” cloaking its idealism in an air of secrecy of pseudo-concreteness and neo-romantic kitsch. Even within the straitened rationalism of Husserl’s phenomenology Adorno observed a useless try to separate from from the prison-house of consciousness.

Most students of serious concept nonetheless regard those philosophical workouts as marginal works―unfortunate lapses of judgment for a philosopher differently celebrated for dialectical mastery. but his chronic fascination with the philosophical canons of existentialism and phenomenology indicates a connection way more efficient than mere antipathy. From his first released booklet on Kierkegaard’s aesthetic to the mature reports in unfavourable dialectics, Adorno used to be endlessly returning to the philosophies of bourgeois interiority, looking the paradoxical relation among their appear failure and their hidden promise.

Ultimately, Adorno observed in them an instructive if unsuccessful try and notice his personal ambition: to flee the enchanted circle of idealism which will grab “the primacy of the object.” workouts in “immanent critique,” Adorno’s writings on Kierkegaard, Husserl, and Heidegger current us with a photographic negative―a philosophical portrait of the writer himself. In Adorno and Existence, Peter E. Gordon casts new and surprising mild in this ignored bankruptcy within the historical past of Continental philosophy.

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Extra info for Adorno and Existence

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Already in the dissertation Adorno had distinguished Kierkegaard’s thought from recent trends in existential ontology. But now Adorno no longer cared to associate Kierkegaard with the recent philosophers at all. Instead it was the theological element in Kierkegaard that came to the fore, and with a surprising consequence, for even as this new and more sympathetic reading drew Kierkegaard away from contemporary existentialism it brought him into a horizon of thought with which Adorno felt a far greater affinity.

But all facts of biography seem to pale in significance when one considers the political and philosophical differences between the two thinkers. The greatest temptation when Starting Out with Kierkegaard / 15 interrogating Adorno’s bond with the philosophy of existence would be to reduce it to a merely political antagonism, as if critical theory and existentialism were little more than rarefied and philosophical names for an essentially political standoff between two opposing ideologies of the mid-twentieth century, socialism and fascism.

23 By the time Adorno began to revise the dissertation for publication, the political scene was beginning to show signs of serious fracture and “decency” grew increasingly rare. ”24 By 1932, however, the book was nearly complete.  B. Mohr (Siebeck) in the winter of 1933. ”26 It is also worth noting that in the very same year Tillich published his book “The Socialist Decision,” an attack on the new regime that led to his dismissal from the university and, soon thereafter, his flight into exile.

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Adorno and Existence by Peter E. Gordon


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