History and Freedom: Lectures 1964-1965 by Theodor W. Adorno

By Theodor W. Adorno

Regardless of all of humanity's disasters, futile efforts and incorrect turnings some time past, Adorno didn't allow himself be persuaded that we're doomed to endure a bleak destiny for ever. one of many components that avoided him from determining a definitive plan for the longer term process background used to be his emotions of cohesion with the sufferers and losers. As for the longer term, the process occasions was once to stay open-ended; rather than finality, he remained dedicated to a Hölderlin-like openness. This hint of the messianic has what he referred to as the color of the concrete in place of mere summary possibility.

Early within the Nineteen Sixties Adorno gave 4 classes of lectures at the street resulting in unfavorable Dialectics, his magnum opus of 1966. the second one of those was once fascinated with the themes of background and freedom. when it comes to content material, those lectures represented an early model of the chapters in detrimental Dialectics dedicated to Kant and Hegel. In formal phrases, those have been improvised lectures that let us to glimpse a philosophical paintings in growth.

The textual content released right here supplies us an outline of all of the subject matters and motifs of Adorno's philosophy of background: the main inspiration of the domination of nature, his feedback of the existentialist notion of a historicity with no background and, eventually, his competition to the conventional concept of fact as anything everlasting, unchanging and ahistorical.

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Extra info for History and Freedom: Lectures 1964-1965

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This difficulty is that of grasping that something objective has primacy over human beings who nevertheless think of themselves as the most certain reality. This fits in with the conception of history and the philosophy of history based on it as an assemblage of facts which then have to be interpreted in their indirect, derived context. It is held to be legitimate to investigate this context even though it really presupposes a larger framework that encompasses the individual subjects. Now, precisely because dialectics is necessarily and permanently concerned with the critique of mere facticity, of mere immediacy, I should wish not to ignore or neglect the element of truth contained in facts.

And if you do look it up, it will leave me with the space to do rather more justice to the subject matter of these lectures if I need to mention only those matters that I have not discussed elsewhere and if I can refer you to already existing publications that can reinforce what I have to say here. This is the only reason I am doing it and not because I think it essential for you to have read every sentence I have written. Someone like Karl Kraus could justifiably make such a demand, but it would be sheer arrogance for me to do likewise.

Nowadays, there really is something like a perversion of consciousness, a reversing of what is primary and what secondary, which goes so far that, for purely epistemological reasons that have by now become automatic, we let ourselves be talked out of everything we experience at any given moment as the determining forces in our lives, and we are taught to regard them instead as a metaphysical sleight of hand. And in contrast to this, things that are really questionable, such as the primary character of individual human reactions, are treated by this so-called scientific mind as if they were truly primary and an absolutely secure foundation of knowledge, simply because they are supposed to be the basis of all our judgements.

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