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

By Alex Thomson

Some of the most influential philosophers and cultural theorists of the 20 th century, Theodor Adorno poses a substantial problem to scholars. His works can frequently appear vague and impenetrable, rather for people with little wisdom of the philosophical traditions on which he attracts. Adorno: A consultant for the at a loss for words is an interesting and obtainable account of his inspiration that doesn't patronise or short-change the reader. these new to Adorno - and people who have struggled to make headway together with his paintings - will locate this a useful source: in actual fact written, accomplished and particularly desirous about simply what makes Adorno tough to learn and comprehend.

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

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

Sample text

3 What is remarkable is not the vehemence of this response, but how typical it remains of many readers' reactions. Adorno is best known in the English-speaking world for his writing on popular culture, mostly produced in the years of exile in the United States, despite the fact that it is a very small part of his philosophical and critical achievement. Or perhaps it would be more accurate to say 'notorious', since for the most part Adorno's name is simply used as shorthand for an elitist contempt for mass culture with which 'we' are assumed to have little in common.

Democracy. What is expressed as a 27 ADORNO: A GUIDE FOR THE PERPLEXED contrast in Minima Moralia is more fully spelt out in the later essay: what was imposed on Germany rather late as 'nothing more than the formal rules of the game' is there deep-rooted, 'substantial'. The political form of democracy is infinitely closer to the people. American everyday life, despite the oft lamented hustle and bustle, has an inherent element of peaceableness, good-naturedness, and generosity, in sharpest contrast to the pent-up malice and envy which exploded in Germany between 1933 and 1945.

Subsequent developments in European and American thought and society continue to show Adorno's work in an awkward light. e. his interest in the extent to which reality resists being understood or appropriated by conceptual thought, and his critique of the priority of the subject, prefigure similar concerns in the work of a younger generation of French thinkers, such as Derrida and Foucault, whose major works were beginning to be published in the last years of Adorno's life. But since these concerns are rooted in a common inheritance from earlier philosophies, as recent studies of German Idealism and early Romantic philosophy have shown, these connections are not a question of direct inspiration.

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