Upplysningens självreflexion. Aspekter av Theodor W. Adornos kritiska teori
Sammanfattning: This dissertation consists of a collection of previously published or otherwise presented essays dealing with the philosophical, sociological and aesthetic writings of Theodor W. Adorno (1903-1969). The title of the dissertation is intended to cover a common programmatic theme running through Adorno's writings. Chapter one, ?Adorno and the Frankfurt school?, deals with the biography of Adorno and the history of the Institute of Social Research. Chapter two, ?The infernal repetition? presents an interpretation of the central thesis of The Dialectic of Enlightenment, ?myth is already enlightenment; and enlightenment reverts to mythology?. The idea of myth and enlightenment is traced back to the collaboration between Adorno and Walter Benjamin before the war. Horkheimer and Adorno do not demand a return to myth, such as several critics of civilisation and revolutionary conservatives. Chapter three, ?Ontology and dialectics?, presents Adorno's criticism of Martin Heidegger's basic concepts. Adorno's general objection concerns the concept of being. There is no logic in claiming that the question of being should be the most fundamental question. In reality, being in the earliest philosophy already presupposes a certain stage of generality and abstraction in thinking, i.e. it is already a stage of enlightenment. Being is a concept that poses as a non-concept. What is supposed to be genuine origin is not. In chapter four, ?The lament over reification?, a basic concept of Adorno's theory of modern capitalist society, reification, is discussed. Reification must, to be a critical concept be seperated from alienation. It is hard to imagine a modern complex society as entirely transparent and Adorno agrees that a free society can not avoid such reified practices as administration and division of labour. In chapter five, ?The banality of Evil and the authoritarian personality?, the empirical study conducted by Adorno in the USA is compared with Hannah Arendt's report on the trial against Adolf Eichmann. In the qualitative section of the study of the authoritarian personality Adorno develops a series of typologies or syndromes. Eichmann displays traces of both the conventional and the authoritarian syndrome and of the manipulative type. The last chapter, ??Teddie hates jazz??, discusses Adorno's theory of the culture industry. Adorno does not criticize ?low? culture from the perspective of ?high?. A lot of high culture, such as what is known as classical music, is just as much commodified and therefore a product of the culture industry. Adorno did recognize the legitimacy of revolt against conformist and pretentious high culture. However, it is doomed to fail because of its lack of autonomy. Autonomous art, according to Adorno, aspires to express truth and expresses the contradiction between art and society in aesthetic forms.
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