By Theodor W. Adorno
This quantity contains one of many key lecture classes best as much as the ebook in 1966 of Adorno’s significant paintings, Negative Dialectics. those lectures specialise in constructing the suggestions severe to the introductory element of that e-book. They convey Adorno as an embattled thinker defining his personal method one of the winning tendencies of the time. As a serious theorist, he repudiated the tired Marxist stereotypes nonetheless dominant within the Soviet bloc—he in particular addresses his feedback to scholars who had escaped from the East within the interval prime as much as the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961. motivated as he used to be via the empirical colleges of inspiration he had encountered within the usa, he however persevered to withstand what he observed as their give up to clinical and mathematical abstraction. in spite of the fact that, their effect was once powerful sufficient to avoid him from reverting to the conventional idealisms nonetheless standard in Germany, or to their most modern manifestations within the form of the recent ontology of Heidegger and his disciples. as a substitute, he makes an attempt to outline, possibly extra easily and completely than within the ultimate released model, a ‘negative’, i.e. severe, method of philosophy. Permeating the full booklet is Adorno’s experience of the overpowering energy of totalizing, dominating structures within the post-Auschwitz international. highbrow negativity, for that reason, commits him to the obdurate defence of individuals—both evidence and people—who stubbornly refuse to turn into built-in into ‘the administered world’.
These lectures display Adorno to be a full of life and fascinating lecturer. He makes critical calls for on his listeners yet regularly manages to liven up his arguments with observations on philosophers and writers similar to Proust and Brecht and reviews on present occasions. Heavy highbrow artillery is mixed with a priority for his students’ progress.
“The most sensible advent to Adorno’s notion is Adorno’s lectures: sufferer and expansive, they supply the darkest corners of his inspiration with mild and air. Aiming to tricky the fundamental assumptions and dealing approach at the back of his philosophical perform usually, those lapidary lectures contact on the various so much tricky points of Adorno’s philosophy.” —J. M. Bernstein, New university for Social examine
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Extra info for Lectures on Negative Dialectics: Fragments of a Lecture Course 1965/1966
Now, ladies and gentlemen, you may object – and I should like especially in these first lectures to anticipate as many of your objections as I reasonably can and to respond to them as best I may – you may object that this dual character of contradiction, the fact that on the one hand we have a contradiction in the realm of ideas and concepts, and on the other that the world itself is antagonistic in its objective form – that this dual character amounts to a kind of pre-established disharmony. Furthermore, this disharmony is a sort of wonder of the world, a negative adaequatio rei atque cogitationes [harmony of things and ideas] for which I owe you an explanation.
What is the source of determinate negation without the positive postulation guiding it. On this point: what is the product of the neg[ation] of the neg[ation]. My reply: always a bad positivity. Index falsi. – The gravest reservation to concept of synthesis. Incidentally, in H[egel] the so[-called] synthesis (which plays an astonishingly minor role in his texts) is not simply the better and higher, but the self-assertion of the thesis in the antithesis, the expression of non-identity; in this respect not so very different from emp[irical] phil[osophy].
E. what is the source of determinate negation without the positive postulation guiding it. On this point: what is the product of the neg[ation] of the neg[ation]. My reply: always a bad positivity. Index falsi. – The gravest reservation to concept of synthesis. Incidentally, in H[egel] the so[-called] synthesis (which plays an astonishingly minor role in his texts) is not simply the better and higher, but the self-assertion of the thesis in the antithesis, the expression of non-identity; in this respect not so very different from emp[irical] phil[osophy].