Negative Dialectics

ISBN-10: 0745635105

ISBN-13: 9780745635101

Edition: 2008

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Book details

Copyright year: 2008
Publisher: Polity Press
Publication date: 9/9/2008
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 352
Size: 6.00" wide x 8.75" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 1.100
Language: English

Theodor W. Adorno is the progenitor of critical theory, a central figure in aesthetics, and the century's foremost philosopher of music. He was born and educated in Frankfurt, Germany. After completing his Ph.D. in philosophy, he went to Vienna, where he studied composition with Alban Berg. He soon was bitterly disappointed with his own lack of talent and turned to musicology. In 1928 Adorno returned to Frankfurt to join the Institute for Social Research, commonly known as The Frankfurt School. At first a privately endowed center for Marxist studies, the school was merged with Frankfort's university under Adorno's directorship in the 1950s. As a refugee from Nazi Germany during World War II, Adorno lived for several years in Los Angeles before returning to Frankfurt. Much of his most significant work was produced at that time. Critics find Adorno's aesthetics to be rich in insight, even when they disagree with its broad conclusions. Although Adorno was hostile to jazz and popular music, he advanced the cause of contemporary music by writing seminal studies of many key composers. To the distress of some of his admirers, he remained pessimistic about the prospects for art in mass society. Adorno was a neo-Marxist who believed that the only hope for democracy was to be found in an interpretation of Marxism opposed to both positivism and dogmatic materialism. His opposition to positivisim and advocacy of a method of dialectics grounded in critical rationalism propelled him into intellectual conflict with Georg Hegel, Martin Heidegger, and Heideggerian hermeneutics.

Translator's Note
Editor's Foreword
The Concept of Contradiction
After Paul Tillich's death
Plan and intention of the lecture course
Negative dialectics and the logic of disintegration
Contradiction in the concept
Logic as a coercive force to bring about identity
Contradiction in the object; antagonism in society; mastery over nature
Idealist, materialist and negative dialectics
The Negation of Negation
Abstract subjectivity and social objectivity
The negation of negation as a positive; Hegel's critique of positivity
Critique of Hegel's vindication of institutions
Against the fetishization of positivity as such
The actual is not rational
Critical theory and negative dialectics; philosophical criticism of the hypostasis of spirit
Whether Negative Dialectics is Possible
The ideology of the positive; reified thought
Resistance to reification, determinate negation, immanent critique
The positive as an aspect
Hegel's philosophy circular; Falsum index sui et veri
Critique of synthesis
The concept of system (I)
Whether Philosophy is Possible without System
The concept of system (II)
System and systematization Heidegger's latent system
Negative dialectics as secularized system
The unifying aspect and resistance of the positive; analysis of the singular and the power of system
Enforced provincialization
The eleventh Feuerbach thesis today
Theory and Practice
The transition to practice a historical failure
Marx's concept of science; the definition of philosophy
The forces of production and the relations of production in conflict
Against the cult of practice
Interpretation as critique; philosophy and revolution; referring science back to philosophy
Left Hegelianism and thinking as a mode of behaviour
Being. Nothing. Concept
Philosophy as self-criticism
The philosophy of the non-conceptual; 'a pause for breath'
The mastery of nature and social domination
No identity of thinking and being
Indeterminate and indeterminateness in Hegel
The self-reflection of the concept; the concept and the non-conceptual; formal or substantive philosophy
'Attempted Breakouts'
Formalism and chance; Heidegger's archaic tendencies
Hegel's existent being [Seiendes] as a concept; Krug's 'quill' and Freud's 'dregs of the phenomenal world'
The non-conceptual as the neglected factor; the micrological method
Bergson and Husserl
Bergson's 'images'; Proust puts Bergson to the test; Husserl's conceptual realism
The failure of historical attempts to break out; the task of a breakout through self-reflection
The idea of infinity; against 'exhaustion'
The Concept of Intellectual Experience
The concept of infinity in idealism
The finitude of categories; against the claim to infinity
On a philosophy of 'openness'
The concept of intellectual experience: experience vs. deduction; the experience of the new; the meta-critical turn against first philosophy
The relation of works of art to the philosophy of art
Dialectic of enlightenment; philosophy's fallibility in principle
The Element of Speculation
Relation to the empirical; intellectual experience and spiritualization
Earnestness and play
The uncontrolled, irrationality and the mimetic element; the affinity between philosophy and art
Intuition, inspiration, association
Concept and non-concept
The concept of speculation; the speculative element in Marx
'The metaphysics of the forces of production'
Philosophy and 'Depth'
Essence and appearance; speculation and ideology
Philosophy as 'resistance'
The theodicy of suffering; suffering and happiness
The invocation of depth or metaphysical meaning
Critique of the thesis of the meaningful; 'inwardness'
Resistance to bleating
Depth: the expression of suffering
Negative Dialectics
Adorno's Notes: expression and presentation, thinking as negativity
Second reflection, making concrete
'Straitjacket', relation to system
Bourgeois ratio and system
Exchange principle and system, critique of system
Ambiguity of system
System and fragment, immanence and transcendence
The subject within objectivity, the concept of the qualitative
Truth as concrete
Relativism, the fragility of truth, truth unfathomable
Dialectics and firm ground; against synthesis
Unity and multiplicity
Negative ontology of perennial antagonism
Method and the creation of content
Principle of domination, Existentialism
Spontaneity in Sartre, Sartre's 'Gotz', language and history
Additional Notes
Thing, concept, name
Against the current
Plato's Cratylus
Linguistic precision
Knowledge and utopia
Thought and non-being
Towards a Theory of Intellectual Experience
Bibliographical Sources
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