By Espen Hammer
Curiosity in Theodor W. Adorno keeps to develop within the English-speaking global because the value of his contribution to philosophy, social and cultural conception, in addition to aesthetics is more and more well-known. Espen Hammer’s lucid e-book is the 1st to correctly study the political implications of his paintings, paying cautious recognition to Adorno’s paintings on key thinkers corresponding to Kant, Hegel and Benjamin.
Examining Adorno’s political reports and assessing his engagement with Marxist in addition to liberal conception, Hammer seems to be on the improvement of Adorno’s notion as he confronts Fascism and sleek mass tradition. He then analyzes the political size of his philosophical and aesthetic theorizing. by way of 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 pondering. instead of those that see Adorno as anyone who relinquished the political, Hammer’s account exhibits his reflections to be, at the such a lot basic point, politically encouraged and deeply engaged.
This invigorating exploration of a massive 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 featuring a lucid and constant case for the importance of Adorno’s political inspiration, doing justice to its complexity whereas situating it inside its particular ancient context.” —Howard Caygill, college of London
“Clearly written, well-structured ... it's a impressive success to have attained this point of readability a couple of subject that's this hard and obscure.” —Raymond Geuss, college of Cambridge
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Additional info for Adorno and the Political
Apart from the extreme density of their mode of presentation, it seems clear that they all felt that Adorno, especially in “On Natural History,” had been venturing into precisely the kind of metaphysical speculation that Horkheimer, with his interdisciplinary program of materialist research, involving the collaborative efforts of philosophy and sociology, had wanted to exclude from the Institute’s activities. A closer look at these texts reveals, however, that Adorno is not in the business of reverting to a dogmatic metaphysics; on the contrary, the central concern, arguably, of these essays is to develop a notion of Darstellung — of philosophical presentation or representation — that can free thinking from its traditional dependence on conceptual continuity and generality.
Every commodity, Marx states, has a two-fold aspect: on the one hand, a use-value, which “is realized only in the process of consumption” (1971: 20), referring to the structure of needs that define agents in their status as natural beings; on the other, an exchange-value, which fixes the value a product has when offered on a market in exchange for other products. Without wanting to rehearse Marx’s complex theory of value in 29 ADORNO AND THE POLITICAL much detail, the difference between use-value and exchange-value (and between concrete and abstract labor) is so important to Lukács, Benjamin, and Adorno that it is necessary to pause for a moment in order to consider, at least roughly, what Marx actually does with these categories.
7 A simpler and more convincing explanation is perhaps that they lost control of the situation and did not know what better course of action to take. Of greater significance is another confrontation, less than four months before his death on August 13, 1969, in which Adorno, before an auditorium of almost 1,000 students, was approached by two men who, accompanied by encouraging shouts from the back benches, demanded that he, in Stalinist style, criticize his own decision to evacuate Krahl and his companions from the Institute.
Adorno and the Political by Espen Hammer