Gerhard Schweppenhäuser, James Rolleston, "Theodor W. Adorno: An Introduction"
English | 2009 | ISBN: 0822344718 | PDF | pages: 200 | 0.8 mb
Theodor W. Adorno (1903-1969) was one of the twentieth century's most important thinkers. In light of two pivotal developments-the rise of fascism, which culminated in the Holocaust, and the standardization of popular culture as a commodity indispensable to contemporary capitalism-Adorno sought to evaluate and synthesize the essential insights of Western philosophy by revisiting the ethical and sociological arguments of his predecessors: Kant, Nietzsche, Hegel, and Marx. This book, first published in Germany in 1996, provides a succinct introduction to Adorno's challenging and far-reaching thought. Gerhard Schweppenhäuser, a leading authority on the Frankfurt School of critical theory, explains Adorno's epistemology, social and political philosophy, aesthetics, and theory of culture.
After providing a brief overview of Adorno's life, Schweppenhäuser turns to the theorist's core philosophical concepts, including post-Kantian critique, determinate negation, and the primacy of the object, as well as his view of the Enlightenment as a code for world domination, his diagnosis of modern mass culture as a program of social control, and his understanding of modernist aesthetics as a challenge to conceive an alternative politics. Along the way, Schweppenhäuser illuminates the works widely considered Adorno's most important achievements: Minima Moralia, Dialectic of Enlightenment (co-authored with Horkheimer), and Negative Dialectics. Adorno wrote much of the first two of these during his years in California (1938-49), where he lived near Arnold Schoenberg and Thomas Mann, whom he assisted with the musical aesthetics at the center of Mann's novel Doctor Faustus.
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