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Title: Undialectical conclusions : Adorno, his Habermasian critics, non-identity and the culture industry
Author: Morgan, Ben
ISNI:       0000 0001 3420 3859
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 1994
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My thesis is a critique of Adorno's method that stays true to the dialectical spirit of his philosophy precisely by calling it in question. It opens, in Part I, with an account of Habermasian objections to negative dialectics. Habermas is concerned that Adorno's assault on rationality is so allembracing that it undermines the very standards it requires rationally to legitimate its critique. Adorno consciously embraces this self-undermining position. But Habermas believes its aporias, however self-conscious, to be misguided because a less paradoxical standard was close to hand. Language itself could have supplied negative dialectics with the norms it needed to criticize the abuses of instrumental reason. If Adorno is not logically forced to adopt an aporetic position, the question arises why a philosopher so gifted should manoeuvre himself into a theoretical dead-end. Habermas's answer to this, in the essay on Dialektik der Aufklärung included in Der philosophische Diskurs der Moderne, is that Adorno illicitly privileges one of the three distinct logics of modernity, inappropriately judging cognitive and moral discourses by aesthetic criteria. When compared to the subject's awe-struck contemplation of a work of art, any more practical intervention in the world is bound to appear crude and instrumental. [continued in text ...]
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Methodology