Chapter

Aesthetic Theory and Nonpropositional Truth Content in Adorno

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: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fso/9780823231263.003.0009
Aesthetic Theory and             Nonpropositional Truth Content in Adorno

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This chapter offers a close reading of a passage from the literary and philosophical work Minima Moralia that enacts Theodor W. Adorno's radical concept of nonpropositional truth content in philosophical aesthetics after Auschwitz. Readers of Adorno's texts, especially those devoted to philosophical aesthetics, can hardly fail to be struck by their chiastic structure. The aesthetic theory that Adorno develops constitutes not only a theory of the aesthetic but also a theory that is itself aesthetic, hence a theory of literature that exhibits qualities associated with literary texts, and a theory of music that harbors within itself traces of musical composition. The rhetorically self-conscious tropes of his posthumous Aesthetic Theory, the stylized literary studies of his Notes to Literature, his musically inflected meditations on musicological questions from Ludwig van Beethoven to Arnold Schönberg, and so many of his other texts perform this provocative inversion in a variety of registers and conceptual modulations.

Keywords: Minima Moralia; Theodor W. Adorno; nonpropositional truth; content; theory; literature; Ludwig van Beethoven; Arnold Schönberg; aesthetics

Chapter.  6840 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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