Theodore Adorno

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Adorno, Theodore

 

(father’s surname Wiesengrund, mother’s maiden name Adorno). Born Sept. 11, 1903, in Frankfurt am Main; died Aug. 6, 1969, in Brig, Switzerland. German philosopher, sociologist, and musicologist. From 1931–33, docent at the University of Frankfurt. Emigrated to England in 1933, moved to the USA in 1938 and to Frankfurt am Main in 1949; a university professor (from 1950) and the director of the Institute of Social Research (from 1953).

The critique of culture and society developed by Adorno and German sociologist M. Horkheimer (The Dialectic of Education, 1947) was influenced by Hegelian dialectics, the theory of commodity fetishism, and partially by the psychoanalysis of S. Freud. Critical analysis of man’s personality changes in the so-called planned society, which he essentially equated with bourgeois and socialist society, is central in Adorno’s thought. In the USA, Adorno and his coworkers conducted a concrete investigation of the structure and formation of the so-called authoritarian personality, which they viewed as a psychological precondition for fascism (The Authoritarian Personality, 1950). Following W. Benjamin, Adorno sees the goal of philosophy not as the “construction of the universal,” but as the discovery of the specifics of the individual and the unique (Negative Dialectic, 1966). In a number of works, he criticized phenomenology, existentialism and neopositivism.

In the philosophical and aesthetic conception of the “new music,” Adorno is oriented toward the works of the Austrian composers A. Schönberg, A. Berg, and A. Webern, seeing in them adequate exposure of the fear and despair of man alone in contemporary bourgeois society. From this point of view Adorno criticizes I. Stravinsky’s neoclassicism as the “restoration” of obsolete musical forms (The Philosophy of the New Music, 1949), the mass standardization of musical culture, and false musical consciousness that is losing its ability to accept artistic form as a whole. A student of A. Berg, he is the author of a number of musical works. The aphoristic laconicism typical of the style of Adorno’s works reflects the influence of K. Kraus. Adorno’s works and speeches contain attacks on the social and cultural life of socialist countries. He exerted a significant influence on contemporary bourgeois sociology, philosophy, and musicology.

WORKS

Zur Metakritik der Erkenntnistheorie. Stuttgart, 1956.
Noten zur Literatur, vols. 1–3. Frankfurt am Main, 1958–65.
Klangfiguren. Berlin, 1959.
Einleitung in die Musiksoziologie. Frankfurt am Main, 1962.
Minima Moralia. Frankfurt am Main, 1962.
Dissonanzen, 3rd ed. Göttingen, 1963.
Quasi una fantasia. Frankfurt am Main, 1963.
Negative Dialektik. Frankfurt am Main, 1966.

REFERENCES

Mann, T. Sobr. soch., vol. 9. Moscow, 1960. Pages 228–30.
Zoltai, D. “Muzykal’naia kul’tura sovremennosti v zerkale estetiki T. Adorno.” Voprosy filosofii, 1968, no. 3.
Davydov, Iu. “Negativnaia dialektika ‘negativnoi dialektiki’ Adorno.” Sovetskaia muzyka, 1969, no. 7–8.

IU. N. POPOV

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(8) Theodor W. Adorno, "Introduction", in Theodor W.
(6.) Theodor W. Adorno. "Education after Auschwitz", in Can One Live after Auschwitz?
Apesar de vivermos uma epoca de multiplicidade de produtos culturais, caracterizada por um plural heterogeneo de mercadorias, para Theodor W. Adorno (1996, p.
Horkheimer, Max, and Theodor W. Adorno. Dialectic of Enlightenment.
(3.) Claussen, Detlev (2008), Theodor W. Adorno: One Last Genius.
La oposicion entre los conceptos de totalidad y particularidad ha sido reconocida frecuentemente como uno de los temas clave del pensamiento de Theodor W. Adorno (Buck-Morss 1981, 139; Gomez 1998, 132; Hohendahl 1995, 227; Jameson 1990, 15; Jay 1984, 56).
By Theodor W. Adorno. (London, England: Polity Press, 2006.
Theodor W. Adorno's reflections on literature and the arts are spread over several of his works, but his "systematic" and comprehensive theorization of art (including literature) was to wait until Aesthetic Theory, which Adorno did not live to complete.