Alex Thomson's Adorno: A Guide for the Perplexed (Guides for the Perplexed) PDF

By Alex Thomson

ISBN-10: 0826474209

ISBN-13: 9780826474209

Probably the most influential philosophers and cultural theorists of the 20th century, Theodor Adorno poses a substantial problem to scholars. His works can usually appear imprecise and impenetrable, rather for people with little wisdom of the philosophical traditions on which he attracts. Adorno: A consultant for the confused is an interesting and obtainable account of his proposal that doesn't patronise or short-change the reader. these new to Adorno - and those that have struggled to make headway along with his paintings - will locate this a useful source: in actual fact written, complete and in particular excited about simply what makes Adorno tough to learn and comprehend.


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

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

Sample text

Nor did other well-known intellectuals such as Hannah Arendt. Having made new homes in the USA, many were to play an influential role in the development of post-war culture in America. By contrast, Adorno and Horkheimer chose a different path, and opted to play a part in the reconstruction of Germany after the material and psychic devastation wrought by the Nazi regime, by the Second World War and by the Holocaust. 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.

Finally, it is worth noting that Adorno's own work will itself seek to be aesthetic in a certain way. This does not mean that Adorno aims to create art rather than philosophy, but that the attention to the particular, to the here and now of specific events, which he discerns in Schoenberg's work, is also his own objective. Adorno seeks a way of thinking and writing which continually explores the tension between the necessary generalization involved in conceptual thought and the singularity and particularity of thought's objects: that is, of the world.

28 Adorno saw himself as a public intellectual: he both accepts and acknowledges his own entanglement in the same 'culture industry' that he not only anatomizes but criticizes relentlessly, repetitively, almost tediously; an entanglement that is the necessary price of any attempt to intervene. Permanent exile would be easy by comparison. Certain themes return again and again in Adorno's public interventions: the need to ensure events never repeat themselves; the need to develop a deep-rooted democratic culture; the need to avoid positivist or technicist thinking; the importance of culture but the impoverishment of what passes for it; administration and systematization which passes from top to bottom of society, in which the thinker is entwined.

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

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