Adorno on Education or, Can Critical Self-Reflection Prevent the Next Auschwitz?

Historical Materialism 17 (1):74-97 (2009)
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Abstract

This article presents Theodor W. Adorno's concept of education, the basis of which is critical self-reflection. It argues that a close reading of Adorno's various writings on education yields a theory of critical self-reflection that is not simply introspection but an analysis of the social totality. Beginning with Adorno's assessment of education within capitalism – which is always a critique of capitalism itself – the article moves through his concept of critical self-reflection, and concludes by reassessing his claim that an education for critical self-reflection offers the strongest barrier to the recurrence of Auschwitz.

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