Language and History in Adorno's Notes to Literature (Studies in Philosophy)

By Ulrich Plass

Plass argues that Adorno’s essays on literature are of prime importance for an realizing of his aesthetics simply because they problem the conceptual barriers of philosophical discourse.

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Sixty six Adorno turns Nietzsche’s vitalistic bias the other way up. Alexandrianism isn't easily the curse of the theoretical, the severe, the philological brain; it's, quite, the one standpoint that permits seeing existence as ideology. purely the person who doesn't stay can see lifestyles as that which it has turn into: mere life, nonlife, dying. From the viewpoint of Adorno’s philosophy of historical past, the essay is a necrology. Adorno’s strangely optimistic connection with the out of date interpretive culture of Alexandrianism is mirrored in his proclamation The artwork of Transition 33 that the “contemporary relevance of the essay is that of anachronism” (NL 1: 22; GS eleven: 32). Adorno’s connection with Alexandrianism responds to the query even if the essay is certainly an expression of freedom—insofar because it freely chooses its objects—or no matter if the essay basically indulges in eclecticism. Hegel, in his Lectures at the background of Philosophy (1805/06), arrives at an ambivalent overview of the alleged eclecticism of Alexandrinian philosophy. at the one hand, Alexandrianism is, in accordance with Hegel, to not be stressed with a type of undesirable eclecticism that chooses roughly randomly from varied faculties of proposal, deciding upon up principles the following and there, with out uniting them right into a coherent structure—“as if a costume were patched jointly from items of alternative colours and materials. It used to be formerly famous that an eclecticism yields not anything greater than a superficial mixture. ”67 Hegel is going directly to insist that the Alexandrians have been eclecticists in a favorable feel, simply because they have been eclectic for the sake of solidarity: The Alexandrians are eclectic philosophers within the greater feel of the be aware. . . . [Eclecticism] unifies the previous rules which are specific and one-sided, containing basically components of the assumption; a extra concrete and extra profound proposal unifies those components into one. therefore Plato, too, was once eclectic; he united Pythagoras, Heraclitus, and Parmenides; and hence the Alexandrians, too, are eclectics, even if this expression continuously instantly implies the belief of selectivity [Vorstellung des Herauslesens]. sixty eight nonetheless, Hegel concerns concerning the idea of eclecticism. For him, it indicates the idea—lost within the English translation—of arbitrarily studying anything out of whatever: Herauslesen. Adorno is definitely past such concerns whilst he feedback, tongue-in-cheek, that you will simply learn anything out of whatever if one reads anything into it while (cf. NL 1: four; GS eleven: 11). In a extra direct connection with Hegel, Adorno defends the essay opposed to the accusation of eclecticism as following: whilst the essay is charged with having no perspective of its personal and accused of relativism since it doesn't recognize any perspective outdoor itself, the inspiration of fact as anything “fixed,” a hierarchy of suggestions, has come into play, the very idea that Hegel, who didn't like issues of view, had destroyed. right here the essay is in accord with its polar contrary, the philosophy of absolute wisdom. (NL 1:18–19; GS eleven: 27) 34 Language and background in Theodor W.

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