Of Stones and Glass Houses: <i>Minima Moralia</i> as Critique of Transparency

Eric Jarosinski

in Language Without Soil

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print November 2009 | ISBN: 9780823231263
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823235360 | DOI:
Of Stones and Glass Houses:               Minima Moralia as Critique of Transparency

Show Summary Details


Transparency has come to enact a fantasy of renewal and immediacy that Theodor W. Adorno himself criticized decades before its widespread deployment in the embassies, ministries, and other government and commercial buildings dotting the landscape of the “New Berlin”. His work criticizes transparency in asserting that the potential promise of insight is only to be realized, if ever, through a recognition of reason's own limitations and the coercive influence of social relations upon critical perception. This chapter traces this critique in the thought-images of Minima Moralia in Adorno's essay “Functionalism Today”, in which he brings much of his critique of aesthetics and politics to bear on architecture. It has set off an intense local debate about the appropriateness of the transparency metaphor, as well as the practical considerations of the use of glass in a public space.

Keywords: transparency; Theodor W. Adorno; Minima Moralia; buildings; aesthetics; glass; architecture; politics; metaphor

Chapter.  6479 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Fordham University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.