Open Access (free)
Between Adorno and Heidegger
Joanna Hodge

13 Joanna Hodge Aesthetics and politics: between Adorno and Heidegger Antinomies of reason The alignments of T. W. Adorno to the protracted, difficult process of coming to terms with a broken Marxist inheritance and of Martin Heidegger to the Nazi politics of rethinking the human might seem to leave them at opposite non-communicating poles of political difference.1 Their views on aesthetics seem similarly starkly opposed, in terms both of judgements and of the place of aesthetics within the philosophical pantheon. Aesthetic theory for Adorno marks out a domain of

in The new aestheticism
Open Access (free)
Andrew Feenberg’s critical theory of technology

This is the first monograph devoted to the work of one of the foremost contemporary advocates of contemporary critical theory, Andrew Feenberg. It focuses on Feenberg’s central concept, technical politics, and explores his suggestion that democratising technology design is key to a strategic understanding of the process of civilisational change. In this way, it presents Feenberg’s intervention as the necessary bridge between various species of critical constructivism and wider visions of the kind of change that are urgently needed to move human society onto a more sustainable footing. The book describes the development of Feenberg’s thought out of the tradition of Marx and Marcuse, and presents critical analyses of his main ideas: the theory of formal bias, technology’s ambivalence, progressive rationalisation, and the theory of primary and secondary instrumentalisation. Technical politics identifies a limitation of Feenberg’s work associated with his attachment to critique, as the opposite pole to a negative kind of rationality (instrumentalism). It concludes by offering a utopian corrective to the theory that can provide a fuller account of the process of willed technological transformation and of the author’s own idea of a technologically authorised socialism.

Feminist aesthetics, negativity and semblance
Ewa Plonowska Ziarek

Lukács and Adorno, this demand for mimesis produces, as Henry Mimesis in black and white 53 Louis Gates Jr. remarks, ‘an overly mimetic conception of oppositional literature’.8 Yet, this often unexamined interconnection between the ‘mimetic’ and the ‘oppositional’ produces what Paul Gilroy diagnoses as the politics of fulfilment, that is, politics ‘content to play occidental rationality at its own game’.9 By legitimating the contextual integration of aesthetics into cultural logic, even if it is a logic of opposition, this ahistorical appeal to mimesis, I would

in The new aestheticism
Open Access (free)
Andrew Bowie

McDowell now employ against ‘bald naturalism’ (see Bowie 1996). Analytical aesthetics, which until very recently spent much of its time narrowly obsessed with things like the ontological status of ‘the work of art’, has been undermined by the demonstration, in the light of the work of Wittgenstein, Adorno and other Romantic-influenced thinkers, that the notion of ‘work’ in question is a recent historical product whose ontological status is inseparable from considerations of its changing social status. In this perspective, merely reviving the detail, context and effects of

in Aesthetics and subjectivity
Robert Fine and Philip Spencer

there from all over Europe to be tormented, tortured and finally murdered. 56 Rethinking antisemitism: Adorno, Horkheimer and the Dialectic of Enlightenment While most Marxists had great difficulty in thinking about how Jews could be cast as such an enemy, we have seen that there were exceptions able to develop a more critical and self-critical approach. The most significant contribution to our understanding of antisemitism from within the

in Antisemitism and the left
Open Access (free)
Andrew Bowie

of music that is better than it can ever be played, and the same can apply to texts which transcend the ways in which they come to be read.6 A tension emerges at this point, though, which is paradigmatically manifest in the work of T. W. Adorno. Is it not a form of self-deception to concentrate on the value of aesthetic ‘appearance’,7 if the task should be to make the real world itself more tolerable and humane? The basic problem in Adorno emerges from the conflict between the need for a negative critical perspective which suspects an ‘affirmative’ culture of

in The new aestheticism
Open Access (free)
An introduction
John J. Joughin and Simon Malpas

great narratives of modernity: from the time of its autonomy through art-for-art’s-sake to its status as a necessary negative category, a critique of the world as it is. It is this last moment (figured brilliantly in the writings of Theodor Adorno) that is hard to relinquish: the notion of the aesthetic as subversive, a critical interstice in an otherwise instrumental world. Now, however, we have to consider that this aesthetic space too is eclipsed . . .13 Foster’s caricature of aesthetic autonomy aside, one needs to ask precisely what might be at stake in his

in The new aestheticism
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Towards an archaeology of modernism
Jay Bernstein

Flaubert belies this easy synthesis of ideal and real; what transpires in modernist fictions is either the elaboration and continuation of Flaubert’s stutter, in extremis in Proust, or, when even that seems no longer possible, an interrogation of those ideals as what themselves make life stutter and collapse, hence the affirmation of what is incompatible with those ideals as alone what might be required for their satisfaction.3 Adorno pointedly expresses this conception of modernism: ‘Rimbaud’s postulate of the radically modern is that of an art that moves in the tension

in The new aestheticism
Hannah Arendt’s Jewish writings
Robert Fine and Philip Spencer

Jews, but we want to, too. (Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl ) 2 At the time that Horkheimer and Adorno were rethinking their approach to modern antisemitism, Hannah Arendt was also embarking on her own sustained efforts to understand the phenomenon. Initially, she had shown little interest in the question of antisemitism, which she professed had previously ‘bored’ her, but with the rise of Hitler, antisemitism

in Antisemitism and the left
Jürgen Habermas and the European left
Robert Fine and Philip Spencer

treatment of others. 3 In 1959 Theodor Adorno deployed the term ‘secondary antisemitism’ to conceptualise the opinion he found not uncommon within Germany that the Jewish people were culpable of exploiting German guilt over the Holocaust. 4 It was not only in Germany that Jewish survivors met with indifference and hostility. Some survivors spoke of the reluctance of their fellow human beings to hear the story of their experiences; some told of the hostility they

in Antisemitism and the left