Adorno: The Recovery of Experience

Adorno: The Recovery of Experience

by Roger Foster


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Examines the role of experience within Adorno’s philosophy of language and epistemology.

In Adorno, Roger Foster argues that there is a coherent critical project at the core of Adorno’s philosophy of language and epistemology, the key to which is the recovery of a broader understanding of experience. Foster claims, in Adorno’s writings, it is the concept of spiritual experience that denotes this richer vision of experience and signifies an awareness of the experiential conditions of concepts. By elucidating Adorno’s view of philosophy as a critical practice that discloses the suffering of the world, Foster shows that Adorno’s philosophy does not end up in a form of resignation or futile pessimism. Foster also breaks new ground by placing Adorno’s theory of experience in relation to the work of other early twentieth-century thinkers, in particular Henri Bergson, Marcel Proust, Edmund Husserl, and early Wittgenstein.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780791472101
Publisher: State University of New York Press
Publication date: 06/01/2008
Series: SUNY series in Contemporary Continental Philosophy Series
Pages: 246
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Roger Foster teaches philosophy at the Borough of Manhattan Community College, the City University of New York.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments and a Note on Translation

1. The Consequences of Disenchantment

Disenchantment and Experience
Language and Expression
Selbstbesinnung (Self-Awareness)
Natural History and Suffering
The Limits of Language or How Is Spiritual Experience Possible?

2. Saying the Unsayable

Language and Disenchantment
Wittgenstein as a Philosopher of Disenchantment
The Dissolution of Philosophy
Adorno on Saying the Unsayable

3. Adorno and Benjamin on Language as Expression

Benjamin on Showing and Saying
Benjamin on Language
Trauerspiel: Allegory and Constellation
Adorno and Philosophical Interpretation
Constellation and Natural History

4. Failed Outbreak I: Husserl

The Husserlian Outbreak
Logical Absolutism
The Intuition of Essences
Self-Reflection and Natural History

5. Failed Outbreak II: Bergson

Spiritual Affinities
Memory and the Concept in Matter and Memory
Intuition: the External Demarcation of the Concept
Confinement as Habitude
The Internal Subversion of the Concept

6. Proust: Experience Regained

The Depths of Experience
Involuntary Memory
Expression, Suffering, Allegory
Metaphor and Contradiction

7. A Contemporary Outbreak Attempt: John McDowell on Mind and World

Disenchantment and Natural-Scientific Understanding
McDowell’s Epistemological Antinomy
Second Nature
Domesticated Experience
McDowell and Adorno: Final Considerations


Critical Theory and ExperienceCommunication
Theory as an Outbreak Attempt


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