The Ephemeral and the Absolute: Provisional Notes to Adorno's Aesthetic Theory

Peter Uwe Hohendahl

in Language Without Soil

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print November 2009 | ISBN: 9780823231263
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823235360 | DOI:
The Ephemeral and the             Absolute: Provisional Notes to Adorno's Aesthetic Theory

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This concluding chapter proposes an alternative interpretation of Theodor W. Adorno's unfinished Aesthetic Theory in which he reconsiders some of the philosopher's central aesthetic concepts, such as aesthetic autonomy, from the perspective of those moments when Adorno's writing appears to destabilize the work of art and, by extension, the philosophical claims that his theories generally are held to make on behalf of the aesthetic. Adorno's Aesthetic Theory, initially shunned or attacked when it was posthumously published in 1970, has become increasingly his most widely and carefully read work. While the interpreters are still in disagreement about the appropriate reading of the text, there is largely consensus about its significance as the culmination of Adorno's œuvre and its importance for the contemporary debate on aesthetics.

Keywords: interpretation; Theodor W. Adorno; Aesthetic Theory; concepts; autonomy; art; aesthetics

Chapter.  9456 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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