Philosophy and Social Criticism 43 (6):571-598 (2017)

Abstract
Jürgen Habermas’ characterization of Adorno’s project as an aestheticization of philosophy continues to influence our reading of his work. In contradiction to Lambert Zuidervaart, who suggests that in order to be understood as politically relevant, Adorno’s philosophy must be supplemented with empirical research, I argue in this article that Adorno’s work contains many of the resources we would need to theorize an ethical politics. First, it both identifies the moral debt carried by the subject and addresses the need for social transformation in order to change this situation. Second, it proposes an ethical comportment of self-relinquishment as a first step towards this reorganization of the social. The self-relinquishment of philosophy to its object is modeled upon aesthetic experience, which, according to Adorno, we must regard as a remorseful atonement for the subject’s domination of the object in its attempt to ‘wrest itself free’ of undifferentiated being. By incorporating into philosophical thought the mimetic bodily impulses tamed by aesthetic form, we may engender within ourselves a solidarity with objectivity. Rather than the self-possessing and conservative subject that constitutes its world mentally, Adorno theorizes a subject for whom thinking is a temporalization or a becoming. Thinking produces otherness within the subject itself. In this thinking-as-becoming, we see the beginnings of a highly individuated political subjectivity capable of acting in solidarity with the other. This brings us to the third element within Adorno’s philosophy that can serve us in formulating an ethical politics: the non-violent organizational principle of the modern work of art. In mobilizing the logic of the modern work of art, the autonomous individual is empowered to forge a politics that preserves contradiction in the facilitation of a non-violent relation with others.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s)
DOI 10.1177/0191453716631166
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 65,714
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Negative Dialectics.Raymond Geuss - 1975 - Journal of Philosophy 72 (6):167-175.
Adorno: Disenchantment and Ethics.J. M. Bernstein - 2001 - Cambridge University Press.

View all 29 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Constellations of indigeneity: The power of definition.Claire Timperley - 2020 - Contemporary Political Theory 19 (1):38-60.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Possibility of an Ethical Politics: From Peace to Liturgy.John Drabinski - 2000 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 26 (4):49-73.
Ethical Explorations.John Skorupski - 1999 - Oxford University Press.
Against Levinas’ Messianic Politics: A Polemic.Jason Caro - 2018 - Continental Philosophy Review 51 (1):1-21.
Are Ethical Conflicts Irreconcilable?Maeve Cooke - 1997 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 23 (2):1-19.
The Third.William Paul Simmons - 1999 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 25 (6):83-104.
Absolute Adversity: Schmitt, Levinas, and the Exceptionality of Killing.Jesse Sims - 2005 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 31 (2):223-252.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2016-02-27

Total views
28 ( #396,956 of 2,462,717 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #299,212 of 2,462,717 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes