Adorno and the Political (Thinking the Political) by Espen Hammer

By Espen Hammer

Publish 12 months note: First released in 2005

Interest in Theodor W. Adorno maintains to develop within the English-speaking global because the value of his contribution to philosophy, social and cultural concept, in addition to aesthetics is more and more well-known. Espen Hammer’s lucid publication is the 1st to correctly research the political implications of his paintings, paying cautious cognizance to Adorno’s paintings on key thinkers equivalent to Kant, Hegel and Benjamin.

Examining Adorno’s political studies and assessing his engagement with Marxist in addition to liberal idea, Hammer appears on the improvement of Adorno’s proposal as he confronts Fascism and sleek mass tradition. He then analyzes the political measurement of his philosophical and aesthetic theorizing. through addressing Jürgen Habermas’s influential criticisms, he defends Adorno as a theorist of autonomy, accountability and democratic plurality. He additionally discusses Adorno’s relevance to feminist and ecological considering. rather than those that see Adorno as anyone who relinquished the political, Hammer’s account indicates his reflections to be, at the such a lot primary point, politically inspired and deeply engaged.

This invigorating exploration of a big political philosopher is an invaluable advent to his suggestion as an entire, and should be of curiosity to students and scholars within the fields of philosophy, sociology, politics and aesthetics.

“Hammer is to be congratulated for providing a lucid and constant case for the importance of Adorno’s political proposal, doing justice to its complexity whereas situating it inside its particular old context.” —Howard Caygill, college of London

“Clearly written, well-structured ... it's a impressive success to have attained this point of readability a few subject that's this hard and obscure.” —Raymond Geuss, collage of Cambridge

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Extra resources for Adorno and the Political (Thinking the Political)

Example text

W hat one might refer to as the "world-view” (weltanschaulich) character of Heidegger's 1927 work has been perhaps best cap­ tured by the philosopher Winfried Franzen: Heidegger's Being and Time was written at a time when the first of the great world catastrophes had, more than ever before, shaken confidence in the [Western-scientific] heritage that began with the Greeks. Heidegger’s critique of traditional ontology is only comprehensible against the background of an era that had absolutized the ‘science’ in the sense of the exact, individual sci­ ences, that had made technology into an uncontrollable Moloch, and that had devalued man into a mere functionary of the civilization-process.

The first conclusion was that culture and democracy are antitheses, since the former concept is neces­ sarily elitist, while the latter promotes a leveling of values that is conducive to vulgarity. The second conclusion followed from a re­ active and m ilitant assertion of German cultural superiority, in re­ sponse to the perceived political and intellectual threat posed by the Western powers. 20 Here, too, an observation by Stern is ap­ posite: To many Germans, with their honest confusion of culture and religion, a superior culture was as much a legitimate reason for ruling others as the Christian missionary impulse had once been.

In one of his first pub­ lished writings, a review of F. W. ”26 Following his final rupture with the church in the late 1910s, the idea of a total break with the past becomes a prominent theme in Heidegger’s philosophy over the course of the next decade. ”27 Like many of his generation, he was dis­ mayed by the patent unresponsiveness of the "school-philosophy” of the prewar years, neo-Kantianism, when it came to addressing the ultimate problems of hum an existence; above all, since the an­ swers provided to such questions in the prew ar period seemed manifestly irrelevant and valueless in face of the changed realities of the postwar situation.

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