By Albrecht Wellmer
In Harry F. Dahms, Lawrence Hazelrigg (ed.) Theorizing glossy Society as a Dynamic technique (Current views in Social concept, quantity 30) Emerald crew Publishing restricted, pp. 35–60
This essay used to be a lecture given as a part of the sequence “Classics of Modernity” on the college of Constance in the summertime semester of 1984. unique German booklet: Albrecht Wellmer, Zur Dialektik von Moderne und Postmoderne. Vernunftkritik nach Adorno. Frankfurt (Main): Suhrkamp, pp. 135–166.
Purpose – Appreciating the ongoing relevance and contribution of Theodor W. Adorno’s paintings calls for acknowledgement of the trouble to know his philosophy in a manner that's in keeping with that that's to be understood, because the helpful first step to reaching concordant understanding.
Design/methodology/approach – To assay an realizing of Adorno’s quest for the thing past the idea that, you need to adopt a trip throughout the complexity of his considering, starting with the ebook he wrote with Max Horkheimer, Dialectic of Enlightenment.
Findings – the trouble to trap the substance of philosophy in a way that enables for illustration arises from the inherently processual personality of philosophy, that is regularly either unfinished and with no safe summation of document at any step alongside the way in which. certainly, the trouble is all of the higher with admire to Adorno, in mild of his postulate that philosophy “must attempt, by way of the concept that, to go beyond the concept.”
Research limitations/implications – Adorno’s obsession to beat the compulsion of id made him perceptive and blind whilst. to disencumber his insights from their reconciliatory-philosophical shroud, one must reveal the idea that of rationality to an identical obsessive gaze lower than which fake generalities dissolve in Adorno’s philosophy.
Originality/value – The inherently processual personality of Adorno’s philosophy makes his writings particularly germane to offer stipulations of contemporary society, as they spotlight the significance of efforts to enhance theories which are sufficiently delicate to the dynamic personality of recent society, together with its inconsistencies and its contradictions.
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Extra resources for Adorno, Advocate of the Nonidentical: An Introduction
Today, in the age of the complete domination of the commodity form over all aspects of social life, what remains of the subdued, senseless promise of happiness that we received in the darkness of movie theaters from dancers sheathed in Dim stockings? Never has the human body-above all the female body-been so massively manipulated as today and, so to speak, imagined from top to bottom by the techniques of advertising and commodity production: The opacity of sexual differences has Dim Stockings >a: o :r: I-- been belied by the transsexual body; the incommunicable foreignness of the ' singular physis has been abolished by its mediatization as spectacle; the mortality of the organic body has been put in question by its traffic with the body without organs of commodities; the intimacy of erotic life has been refuted by pornography.
It seems that the form of the whatever, an irreducible quodlibet-like character, inheres in potentiality and possibility, insofar as they are distinct from reality. But what potentiality are we dealing with here? And what does "whatever" mean in this context? Of the two modes in which, according to Aristotle, every potentiality is articulated, the decisive one is that which the philosopher calls "the potentiality to not-be" (dynamis me einai) or also impotence (adynamia). For if it is true that whatever being always has a potential character, it is equally certain that it is not capable of only this or that specific act, nor is it therefore simply incapable, lacking in power, nor even less is it indifferently capable of everything, all-powerful: The being that is properly whatever is able to not-be; it is capable of its own impotence.
It is astounding that this century's two most lucid observers of the incomparable horror that surrounded them - Kafka and Walser- both present us with a world from which evil in its traditional su- preme expression, the demonic, has disappeared. Neither Klamm nor the Count nor Kafka's clerks and judges, nor even less Walser's creatures, despite their ambiguity, would ever figure in a demonological catalogue. If something like a demonic element survives in the world of these two authors, it is rather in the form Spinoza may have had in mind when he wrote that the devil is only the weakest of creatures and the most distant from God; as such - that is, insofar as the devil is essentially impotentnot only can it not do us harm, but on the contrary it is what most needs our help and our prayers.
Adorno, Advocate of the Nonidentical: An Introduction by Albrecht Wellmer