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Adorno's Positive Dialectic


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Table of Contents

Preface; Abbreviations; General introduction; Prelude to Adorno's Intellectual Tradition: Prelude I: Adorno's intellectual tradition: German philosophy; Prelude II: Adorno's intellectual tradition: Sigmund Freud; Part I. Negative Thesis: The Decline of Enlightenment: 1. The decline of subjectivity: the instincts; 2. The decline of subjectivity: narcissism; 3. The decline of knowledge acquisition; 4. Knowledge acquisition: a negative solution; Part II. Positive Thesis: The Redemption of Enlightenment: 5. The aesthetic: aura; 6. Knowledge acquisition: an aesthetic form; 7. A positive dialectic of knowledge acquisition; 8. A positive dialectic of subjectivity: the instincts; 9. A positive dialectic of subjectivity: the structure of the self; Concluding comments; Bibliography; Index.

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This book offers an interpretation of the work of Theodor Adorno.


'Yvonne Sherratt's interpretation of Adorno's positive dialectic is provocative, lucid and original. By reconstructing hidden Freudian dimensions, she rescues Adorno's critique of enlightenment from poststructuralist pessimism. By insisting on an aesthetic way of knowing, she reclaims Adorno's utopian language from Habermasian neglect. And by reconciling these two poles in Adorno's dialectic, Yvonne Sherratt suggests a new relevance for Adorno's work.' Lambert Zuidervaart, Calvin College
"It is a book which ought to be read not only by scholars and students of critical theory but also of those interested in Adorno who, despite themselves, yearn to describe the glass as being half full." Philosophy in Review

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