Adorno, Theodor Wiesengrund

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Adorno, Theodor Wiesengrund

(tāədôr' vē`zəngro͝ond ädôr`nō), 1903–69, German philosopher, born as Theodor Adorno Wiesengrund. Forced into exile by the Nazis (1933), he spent 16 years in England and the United States before returning to Germany to take up a chair in philosophy at Frankfurt. A leading member of the Frankfurt SchoolFrankfurt School,
a group of researchers associated with the Institut für Sozialforschung (Institute of Social Research), founded in 1923 as an autonomous division of the Univ. of Frankfurt.
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, Adorno launched critiques of the Enlightenment conception of reason (see Dialectic of Enlightenment, written with Max Horkheimer, 1947, tr. 1972), of Hegelian idealism (see Negative Dialectics 1966, tr. 1973), and of existentialismexistentialism
, any of several philosophic systems, all centered on the individual and his relationship to the universe or to God. Important existentialists of varying and conflicting thought are Søren Kierkegaard, Karl Jaspers, Martin Heidegger, Gabriel Marcel, and Jean-Paul
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 (see The Jargon of Authenticity 1964, tr. 1973). He also led an influential attack on the "culture industry" prevalent in contemporary capitalist society. Influenced by Schoenberg, Adorno wrote extensively on music theory and developed an account of modernism in art. Adorno's works include Minima Moralia (1951, tr. 1974), Philosophy of Modern Music (1958, tr. 1985), and Aesthetic Theory (1970, tr. 1984).


See biographies by S. Müller-Doohm (2003) and D. Claussen (2008); study by M. Jay (1984).

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