Download Adorno: A Guide for the Perplexed (Guides for the Perplexed) by Alex Thomson PDF

By Alex Thomson

Some of the most influential philosophers and cultural theorists of the 20th century, Theodor Adorno poses a substantial problem to scholars. His works can usually appear vague and impenetrable, relatively for people with little wisdom of the philosophical traditions on which he attracts. Adorno: A advisor for the confused is a fascinating and obtainable account of his notion that doesn't patronise or short-change the reader. these new to Adorno - and people who have struggled to make headway along with his paintings - will locate this a useful source: basically written, complete and particularly desirous about simply what makes Adorno tough to learn and comprehend.

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“'Alex Thompson's e-book not just illuminates Adorno's most vital principles, it makes an unique contribution to modern social theory... The ebook should be of significant clarificatory use for undergraduates, and may supply a lot stimulus to postgraduates and teachers as well.' Darrow Schecter, college of Sussex”

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Extra resources for Adorno: A Guide for the Perplexed (Guides for the Perplexed)

Sample text

This was anything but a soft option. The decision by Horkheimer and Adorno to seek to re-establish the Institute for Social Research in Frankfurt in 1950 was a calculated political strategy as to how they might best engage in the reconstruction of post-war West Germany and work to avoid a repetition of the evils of the Nazi regime. The twenty-year period from 1950 to the late 1960s has been judged harshly by the self-proclaimed inheritors of Adorno and Horkheimer. It is axiomatic that history has invariably been written from the standpoint of the victors.

Adorno's idea of cultural criticism is certainly stamped by his experience in the United States, but what he learns is not to reject that which is outside his idea of culture; rather the opposite, he seeks to make space in his thought for that which might come from outside. American democracy may be the mere equivalence of everyone without hierarchy. Unlike many of Nietzsche's heirs, including Heidegger and those American Nietzscheans who follow Leo Strauss, who see this as the triumph of herd morality over aristocratic virtues which make true dwelling on the earth impossible, Adorno hopes for a rather different sort of future, neither home-coming or disaster, but something more like a release from the dialectics of culture altogether.

In these works Adorno succeeds in synthesizing his critical and aesthetic interests not only with his more abstruse epistemological studies carried out in Oxford, but also with a theoretical account of the interrelationship between philosophy and society. These questions can never again be separated in regard to Adorno's work, and the characteristic density and power of his writing comes from the close interweaving of these three aspects. Adorno followed Horkheimer to Los Angeles in 1941 although characteristically, he was reluctant to leave his new home in New York - and their close collaboration was productive.

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