Negative Dialectics (Negative Dialectics Ppr)

Negative Dialectics (Negative Dialectics Ppr)

Theodor W. Adorno

Language: English

Pages: 440

ISBN: 0826401325

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


The major work and Adorno's culminating achievement. Negative Dialectics is a critique of the philosophies of Kant, Hegel, and Heidegger, and a visionary elaboration of the author's own vision of dialectics.

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It would be nothing but full, unreduced experience in the medium of conceptual reflection, whereas even the “science of empirical consciousness” reduced the contents of such experience to cases of categories. What makes philosophy 13 NEGATIVE DIALECTICS risk the strain of its own infinity is the unwarranted expectation that each individual and particular puzzle it solves will be like Leibniz’s monad, the ever-elusive entirety in itself—although, of course, in line with a pre-established

the doctrine of an immediacy newly restored in each dialectical stage. The theory of second nature, to which Hegel already gave a critical tinge, is not lost to a negative dialectics. It assumes, tel quel, the abrupt immediacy, the formations which society and its evolution present to our thought; and it does this so that analysis may bare its mediations to the extent of the immanent difference between phenomena and that which they claim to be in themselves. The self-preserving solidity, the

definitions of the object will escape cognition. The ideal of discrimination, of the nuance—an ideal which in 44 INTRODUCTION cognition, including the latest developments, has never been quite forgotten, despite all “Science is measurement”—refers not only to an individual faculty which objectivity can do without. A discriminating man is one who in the matter and its concept can distinguish even the infinitesimal, that which escapes the concept; discrimination alone gets down to the

second nature. Faith in Being, a dim weltanschauung derived from critical premonitions, really degenerates into a bondage to Being, as Heidegger incautiously defined it once. Feeling face to face with the cosmos, the believer clings without much ado to any kind of particular, if only it is forceful enough in convicting the subject of its weakness. The subjects’ readiness to cringe before the calamity that springs from the subjective context itself is the punishment for their futile wish to fly

even Kant keeps the first two layers of meaning strictly apart and this is not due to a careless use of language. It is due to the fact that, in idealism, identity designates the point of indifference of the psychological and logical moments. Logical universality, as the universality of thought, is tied to individual identity, without which it would not come into being—for nothing past would be maintained in something present, and thus nothing would be maintained as the same at all. The recourse

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