By Alex Thomson
Probably the most influential philosophers and cultural theorists of the 20 th century, Theodor Adorno poses a substantial problem to scholars. His works can usually appear imprecise and impenetrable, quite for people with little wisdom of the philosophical traditions on which he attracts. Adorno: A advisor for the at a loss for words is an interesting and available account of his suggestion that doesn't patronise or short-change the reader. these new to Adorno - and people who have struggled to make headway together with his paintings - will locate this a useful source: in actual fact written, accomplished and particularly involved in simply what makes Adorno tricky to learn and comprehend.
“'Alex Thompson's e-book not just illuminates Adorno's most vital principles, it makes an unique contribution to modern social theory... The ebook should be of significant clarificatory use for undergraduates, and may offer a lot stimulus to postgraduates and teachers as well.' Darrow Schecter, college of Sussex”
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Extra resources for Adorno: A Guide for the Perplexed (Guides for the Perplexed)
Unlike the works of his philosophical nemesis Martin Heidegger, Adorno's collected works are available in German in a cheap paperback edition - a small victory, perhaps. At the time of writing, all 38 AGAINST AUTHENTICITY 20 volumes (23 books in total) can be yours for only €200. ) Blue pocket-sized tombstones, packed with dense text on thin paper, published in Frankfurt, they testify to both Adorno's productive relationship with the publisher Peter Suhrkamp, and his lifelong association with the regional city.
Given this tension, little wonder that Adorno and Lazarsfeld were unable to persuade the Rockefeller Foundation to continue to pay for what they wanted, but which Adorno seems unwilling to provide. Adorno's involvement in empirical social research and his reflections on the theory of sociology continue to manifest these kinds of tensions throughout his career. Although the project on The Authoritarian Personality, a study of personality types which sought to estimate the extent to which fascist and anti-Semitic tendencies were present in American society, received considerable acclaim, Adorno's involvement in such work always seems halfhearted, although he knows its importance for the sake of the institute's reputation and finances.
Certainly, the critical decision to work towards the construction of a democracy in West Germany which would actually survive the strains and stresses of the post-war era, unlike its illfated Weimar predecessor, looks like a political cop-out from the perspective of 60s radicalism. In the years preceding his death, Adorno was engaged in a running conflict with student activists, perplexed by his apparent refusal to support the kind of revolutionary activities they felt his work demanded. On 31 January 1969, 76 students were arrested when Adorno called the police to the offices of the Institute for Social Research.