Dialectic of Enlightenment
Author: Max Horkheimer, Theodor W. Adorno, Gunzelin Noeri
Publisher: Stanford University Press
This celebrated work is the keystone of the thought of the Frankfurt School. It is a wide-ranging philosophical and psychological critique of the Western categories of reason and nature, from Homer to Nietzsche.
Towards a New Manifesto
Author: Theodor Adorno, Max Horkheimer
Publisher: Verso Books
Presents a dialogue between the two philosophers covering such themes as theory and practice, labor and leisure, and domination and freedom.
Can One Live After Auschwitz?
Author: Theodor W. Adorno, Rolf Tiedemann
Publisher: Stanford University Press
This is a comprehensive collection of readings from the work of Theodor Adorno, one of the most influential German thinkers of the twentieth century. What took place in Auschwitz revokes what Adorno termed the "Western legacy of positivity,” the innermost substance of traditional philosophy. The prime task of philosophy then remains to reflect on its own failure, its own complicity in such events. Yet in linking the question of philosophy to historical occurrence, Adorno seems not to have abandoned his paradoxical, life-long hope that philosophy might not be entirely closed to the idea of redemption. He prepares for an altogether different praxis, one no longer conceived in traditionally Marxist terms but rather to be gleaned from "metaphysical experience.” In this collection, Adorno's literary executor has assembled the definitive introduction to his thinking. Its five sections anatomize the range of Adorno's concerns: "Toward a New Categorical Imperative,” "Damaged Life,” "Administered World, Reified Thought,” "Art, Memory of Suffering,” and "A Philosophy That Keeps Itself Alive.” A substantial number of Adorno’s writings included appear here in English for the first time. This collection comes with an eloquent introduction from Rolf Tiedemann, the literary executor of Adorno’s work.
Dialectic of Enlightenment
Author: Jacob Klapwijk
Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers
Dialectic of Enlightenment is a thought-provoking introduction to the Frankfurt School of Critical Theory. Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno first identified the dialectic of enlightenment when fascism was on the rampage in Europe. They warned that enlightened reason and societal freedom threaten to revert into blindness and oppression. Herbert Marcuse and the young Jÿrgen Habermas elaborated their Critical Theory, declaring that post-war society has not escaped this dilemma, blinded as it is by ideology, pseudo-democracy, and mass manipulation. Critical Theory aims to unmask modern reason and liberate society. But a fundamental question keeps coming back: how can this critique of modernity remain viable within a repressive societal system? Is reason in the modern world indeed doomed to self-destruct? Does rationality inevitably lead to domination and oppression? Jacob Klapwijk argues that the dialectic of enlightenment proves to be a faith, a mythical faith encouraging resignation and despair. Instead we need a wholesome reason, one inspired by a messianic faith. Dialectic of Enlightenment is an important book for students of philosophy, theology, and the social sciences. It invites them to a renewed criticism of the mythological traits and self-destructive tendencies of modern reason. It also offers a perspective of hope to all who share the author's concern about the direction of today's globalizing world.
Author: Theodor Adorno
This is the first British paperback edition of this modern classic written by one of the towering intellectual of the twentieth century. Theodor Adorno (1903-69) was a leading member of the Frankfurt School. His books include The Jargon of Authenticity, Dialectic of Enlightenment (with Max Horkheimer), and Aesthetic Theory
Author: Theodor W. Adorno
Publisher: A&C Black
Adorno's magnum opus, in which he summarises his life's thinking on concepts of beauty, the ugly and the sublime.
Author: Martin Jay
Examines the development of the philosophy of Theodor W. Adorno and discusses his theories concerning music, culture, and society
This volume contains a new translation, with a historical introduction by the translators, of two works written under the pseudonym Johannes Climacus. Through Climacus, Kierkegaard contrasts the paradoxes of Christianity with Greek and modern philosophical thinking. In Philosophical Fragments he begins with Greek Platonic philosophy, exploring the implications of venturing beyond the Socratic understanding of truth acquired through recollection to the Christian experience of acquiring truth through grace. Published in 1844 and not originally planned to appear under the pseudonym Climacus, the book varies in tone and substance from the other works so attributed, but it is dialectically related to them, as well as to the other pseudonymous writings. The central issue of Johannes Climacus is doubt. Probably written between November 1842 and April 1843 but unfinished and published only posthumously, this book was described by Kierkegaard as an attack on modern speculative philosophy by "means of the melancholy irony, which did not consist in any single utterance on the part of Johannes Climacus but in his whole life. . . . Johannes does what we are told to do--he actually doubts everything--he suffers through all the pain of doing that, becomes cunning, almost acquires a bad conscience. When he has gone as far in that direction as he can go and wants to come back, he cannot do so. . . . Now he despairs, his life is wasted, his youth is spent in these deliberations. Life does not acquire any meaning for him, and all this is the fault of philosophy." A note by Kierkegaard suggests how he might have finished the work: "Doubt is conquered not by the system but by faith, just as it is faith that has brought doubt into the world!."
The writings of the Frankfurt school, in particular of Horkheimer, Adorno, Marcuse, and Jurgen Habermas, caught the imagination of the radical movements of the 1960s and 1970s and became a key element in the Marxism of the New Left. Partly due to their rise to prominence during the political turmoil of the 1960s, the work of these critical theorists has been the subject of continuing controversy in both political and academic circles. However, their ideas are frequently misunderstood. In this major work, now available from Polity Press, David Held presents a much-needed introduction to, and evaluation of, critical theory. Some of the major themes he considers are critical theory's relation to Marx's critique of political economy, Freudian psychoanalysis, aesthetics and the philosophy of history. There is also an extended discussion of critical theory's substantive contribution to the analysis of capitalism, culture, the family, the individual, as well as its contribution to epistemology and methodology.
This volume comprises Adorno's first lectures specifically dedicated to the subject of the dialectic, a concept which has been key to philosophical debate since classical times. While discussing connections with Plato and Kant, Adorno concentrates on the most systematic development of the dialectic in Hegel's philosophy, and its relationship to Marx, as well as elaborating his own conception of dialectical thinking as a critical response to this tradition. Delivered in the summer semester of 1958, these lectures allow Adorno to explore and probe the significant difficulties and challenges this way of thinking posed within the cultural and intellectual context of the post-war period. In this connection he develops the thesis of a complementary relationship between positivist or functionalist approaches, particularly in the social sciences, as well as calling for the renewal of ontological and metaphysical modes of thought which attempt to transcend the abstractness of modern social experience by appeal to regressive philosophical categories. While providing an account of many central themes of Hegelian thought, he also alludes to a whole range of other philosophical, literary and artistic figures of central importance to his conception of critical theory, notably Walter Benjamin and the idea of a constellation of concepts as the model for an 'open or fractured dialectic' beyond the constraints of method and system. These lectures are seasoned with lively anecdotes and personal recollections which allow the reader to glimpse what has been described as the 'workshop' of Adorno's thought. As such, they provide an ideal entry point for all students and scholars in the humanities and social sciences who are interested in Adorno's work as well as those seeking to understand the nature of dialectical thinking.
Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer's Dialectic of Enlightenment is a formative text in the canon of critical theory, and a classic of twentieth-century thought. Nick Lawrence's excellent guide aids students in their study of this central work. We now take for granted that the so-called "enlightenment" is a complicated and contested idea, yet Adorno and Horkheimer were among the first to argue that rational and progressive discourse - premised on the goal of controlling nature and liberating humanity from fear - can carry within it the seeds of regression. This book introduces students to the context within which Dialectic of Enlightenment was written, giving special attention to the intellectual debates surrounding its composition. Key concepts from the text - such as "enlightenment," "myth," and "the domination of nature" - are described and contextualized. This book is an invaluable tool for students and lecturers who need to engage with this key text.
This volume comprises one of the key lecture courses leading up to the publication in 1966 of Adorno's major work, Negative Dialectics. These lectures focus on developing the concepts critical to the introductory section of that book. They show Adorno as an embattled philosopher defining his own methodology among the prevailing trends of the time. As a critical theorist, he repudiated the worn-out Marxist stereotypes still dominant in the Soviet bloc – he specifically addresses his remarks to students who had escaped from the East in the period leading up to the building of the Berlin Wall in 1961. Influenced as he was by the empirical schools of thought he had encountered in the United States, he nevertheless continued to resist what he saw as their surrender to scientific and mathematical abstraction. However, their influence was potent enough to prevent him from reverting to the traditional idealisms still prevalent in Germany, or to their latest manifestations in the shape of the new ontology of Heidegger and his disciples. Instead, he attempts to define, perhaps more simply and fully than in the final published version, a ‘negative', i.e. critical, approach to philosophy. Permeating the whole book is Adorno’s sense of the overwhelming power of totalizing, dominating systems in the post-Auschwitz world. Intellectual negativity, therefore, commits him to the stubborn defence of individuals – both facts and people – who stubbornly refuse to become integrated into ‘the administered world’. These lectures reveal Adorno to be a lively and engaging lecturer. He makes serious demands on his listeners but always manages to enliven his arguments with observations on philosophers and writers such as Proust and Brecht and comments on current events. Heavy intellectual artillery is combined with a concern for his students’ progress.
These essays, written between 1949 and 1967, focus on a single theme: the triumph in the twentieth century of the state-bureaucratic apparatus and ‘instrumental reason’ and the concomitant liquidation of the individual and the basic social institutions and relationships associated with the individual. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Eclipse of Reason
Author: Max Horkheimer
Publisher: A&C Black
In his most important work, Max Horkheimer surveys and demonstrates the gradual ascendancy of Reason in Western philosophy, its eventual total application to all spheres of life, and what he considers its present reified domination. First published in 1947, Horkheimer here explores the ways in Nazism - that most irrational of political movements - had co-opted ideas of rationality for its own ends. Ultimately, the book is a warning of the ways this might happen again and, as such, this is a book that has never appeared more timely.
The Culture Industry
Author: Theodor W Adorno
The creation of the Frankfurt School of critical theory in the 1920s saw the birth of some of the most exciting and challenging writings of the twentieth century. It is out of this background that the great critic Theodor Adorno emerged. His finest essays are collected here, offering the reader unparalleled insights into Adorno's thoughts on culture. He argued that the culture industry commodified and standardized all art. In turn this suffocated individuality and destroyed critical thinking. At the time, Adorno was accused of everything from overreaction to deranged hysteria by his many detractors. In today's world, where even the least cynical of consumers is aware of the influence of the media, Adorno's work takes on a more immediate significance. The Culture Industry is an unrivalled indictment of the banality of mass culture.