Gerhard Richter

in Language Without Soil

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print November 2009 | ISBN: 9780823231263
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823235360 | DOI:

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Theodor W. Adorno suggests that language without soil acts as a kind of repository for some long-forgotten dream. “Hopeless like deathheads”, he writes, “do the words of foreign derivation wait to be reawakened in a better order”. One could say that Adorno, in this essay as in all of his works, refuses to concretize the specific content of this “better order” because to specify it would be to betray it, to empty it in advance, and thus to return it to a soil that does not nourish but imprisons it within the confines of a narrowly conceived notion of reason. The essays collected in this volume, each in their own way, address the epistemo-ethical possibilities and limitations in late modernity of a mode of critical thinking that emerges from Adorno's principle of a “language without soil”.

Keywords: Theodor W. Adorno; language; soil; order; reason; critical thinking

Chapter.  3868 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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