Download Against Epistemology: A Metacritique by Theodor W. Adorno PDF

By Theodor W. Adorno

This vintage publication by way of Theodor W. Adorno anticipates a few of the topics that experience due to the fact develop into universal in modern philosophy: the critique of foundationalism, the illusions of idealism and the tip of epistemology. It additionally foreshadows a few of the key rules that have been constructed through Adorno in his most crucial philosophical works, together with Negative Dialectics.

Against Epistemology relies on a manuscript Adorno initially wrote in Oxford in 1934-37 in the course of his first years in exile and in this case transformed in Frankfurt in 1955-56. The textual content was once written as a critique of Husserl’s phenomenology, however the critique of phenomenology is used because the get together for a much wider critique of epistemology. Adorno defined this as a ‘metacritique’ which blends jointly the research of Husserl’s phenomenology because the so much complex example of the decay of bourgeois idealism with an immanent critique of the tensions and contradictions inner to Husserl’s inspiration. the result's a robust textual content which is still essentially the most devastating evaluations of Husserl’s paintings ever written and which heralded the various principles that experience turn into standard in modern philosophy.

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Extra resources for Against Epistemology: A Metacritique

Example text

While analyzing the suffering of the oppressed in the past as well as in the present, Marx views the final materialization of his promise for the classless society as following the very same logic that brought about the suffering, such that the promise would in some sense justify the suffering and surpass a mournful memory of those victims. This account provides the background against which we should read Benjamin’s explicit and largely overlooked critique of Marx. This critique hints at a way to inherit the promise that neither opposes it to memory nor justifies past suffering.

Instead, we should accept that, in a way to be explored, the past—which is always a particular past, a specifically condensed “image”—claims us in asking to be read. Benjamin wishes to emphasize that the “true” and singular image of the past, the one that concerns the singularity of the present most of all (due to its political significance), requires a “presence of mind” (Geistesgegenwart) and is always in danger of being missed and lost forever: The true image of the past flits by. The past can be seized only as an image which flashes up at the instant when it can be recognized and is never seen again.

Accusing the “politicians in whom the opponents of fascism had placed their hopes” of a betrayal of the working classes, Benjamin writes: Our consideration proceeds from the insight that the politicians’ stubborn faith in progress, their confidence in their ‘mass basis,’ and, finally, their servile integration in an uncontrollable apparatus have been three aspects of the same thing. It seeks to convey an idea of the high price our accustomed thinking will have to pay for a conception of history that avoids any complicity with the thinking to which these politicians continue to adhere (Thesis X).

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