Against Epistemology: A Metacritique by Theodor W. Adorno

By Theodor W. Adorno

This vintage ebook via Theodor W. Adorno anticipates the various issues that experience on the grounds that develop into universal in modern philosophy: the critique of foundationalism, the illusions of idealism and the tip of epistemology. It additionally foreshadows some of the key rules that have been built by means of Adorno in his most crucial philosophical works, together with adverse 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 therefore remodeled in Frankfurt in 1955-56. The textual content used to be 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 such a lot complicated 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 continues to be some of the most devastating evaluations of Husserl’s paintings ever written and which heralded the various principles that experience develop into ordinary in modern philosophy.

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The Hegelian principle of dialectic, understood through the tension between speculation and science, is the positive expression of such negativity. Hegel seeks to recast it as the organon of truth. What all philosophy works at – philosophy which expects to be ‘raised to the status of a science’ with the Phenomenology of Spirit, the conceptual movement which strives for lordship over contradictoriness by settling it – becomes equated with the essence of philosophy. One more step and the metaphysician of absolute spirit, for whom the world is always right, could be called the consistent positivist.

Philosophers have defamed it wherever reflection behaves radically and with obvious vigour, from Plato’s curse against ostensibly effeminate musical keys to Heidegger’s 28 invective against ‘idle talk’ (Gerede). Ever since they began to question what was at the beginning, the act which cuts the Gordian knot lay on their lips. Even Hegel warded off that tendency of traditional philosophy with the motif of the nullity of the individuated. To its greater glory, the pure concept abuses the more highly developed individual as impure and decay.

57; ibid. p. 470. CF. Helmut Coing, Geschichte und Bedeutung des Systemgedankens in der Rechtswissenschaft, in Frankfurter Universitätsreden, Heft 17, 1956, p. 36. INTRODUCTION 29 ably. While Plato’s philosophy denounced the rhetoricians, who dealt formally with objects about which they understood nothing, he also applied himself to an advocate’s formalism, in the method of conditioning concepts, which surpassed sophistic formalism only in logical consistency. In the contest Socrates must almost always be in the right against those designated as his opponents, even though and because he‘ k n o w s nothing’.

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