Om Adorno's Aesthetics of Critique
Adorno's Aesthetics of Critique examines Theodor Adorno's mode of critique from the perspective of his aesthetics. This has two purposes. The first purpose is to determine the effect of the primary importance Adorno places on aesthetics in his philosophy as a whole and to determine how this primacy influences the way in which he reads the philosophical tradition. The second purpose is to understand the role of aesthetics in critical thinking generally and to reinvigorate Adorno's understanding of the subjective and objective dimensions of critique. The ultimate aim is to promote new interpretations of Adorno and to reassert his relevance for constructing effective modes of critical thinking.The book proceeds through four main chapters that focus on four different dimensions of Adorno's thought: knowledge, history, culture, and art. The first chapter uses Adorno's aesthetic theory to re-read his interpretation of Kant's subject-object dynamic. This grounds the second chapter, on history, which proceeds through an analysis of Adorno's reading of Hegel. The third chapter uses the philosophical grounding of the first two to explore how knowledge and history interact within society as fundamental dimensions of "culture". The scope and meaning of culture and its relevance for critique form the primary focus of this chapter. The fourth chapter turns to art to highlight the relationship between the critical and artistic dimensions of aesthetics in order to facilitate a dialogue between them. This serves the purpose of asserting and outlining the relevance of aesthetics for critical thought in the humanities and social sciences, which forms the crux of the book.