Against Epistemology: A Metacritique by Theodor W. Adorno

By Theodor W. Adorno

This vintage e-book via Theodor W. Adorno anticipates a few of the subject matters that experience due to the fact develop into universal in modern philosophy: the critique of foundationalism, the illusions of idealism and the top of epistemology. It additionally foreshadows a number of the key rules that have been built by way of Adorno in his most crucial philosophical works, together with unfavorable Dialectics.

Against Epistemology relies on a manuscript Adorno initially wrote in Oxford in 1934-37 in the course of his first years in exile and accordingly remodeled in Frankfurt in 1955-56. The textual content was once written as a critique of Husserl’s phenomenology, however the critique of phenomenology is used because the celebration for a much wider critique of epistemology. Adorno defined this as a ‘metacritique’ which blends jointly the research of Husserl’s phenomenology because the so much complex example of the decay of bourgeois idealism with an immanent critique of the tensions and contradictions inner to Husserl’s inspiration. the result's a robust textual content which continues to be the most devastating reviews of Husserl’s paintings ever written and which heralded the various rules that experience develop into average in modern philosophy.

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INTRODUCTION 33 Motivation and Tendency of Ontology The turn to ontology, which Husserl hesitatingly began and speedily revoked, was conditioned by the downfall of the great systems, as it so abruptly and thus so imposingly terrified the Kantian critique of reason. Ontologies want to be first philoso­ phy, but innocent of the compulsion and the impossibility of deducing itself and what is from a first principle. They want the advantages of a system without paying the penalty. They want to restore the obligation of order from spirit without grounding it in thought and the unity of the subject.

Hence immanence itself is constantly being polarized into subjec­ tive and objective moments in epistemological analysis. Emil Lask showed quite emphatically how that was so. Husserl’s noeticonoematic structure is likewise one of dualistic immanence, though that did not make him conscious of the contradiction thereby perpetuated. The return of subject and object within subjectivity and the duality of the one is detailed in two types of epistemology, each of which lives on the unrealizability of the other.

In this paradox, as in its abstract opposite, the doctrine of tabula rasa, is expressed the impossibility of the polarization of cognition and thus the impossibility of the very question of the first. New and Old With the concept of the first also collapses that of the absolutely new in which phenomenology participated without really coming up with any new themes and so phantasmagorically. The first and the absolutely new are complementary, and dialectical thought had to dispose of (sich entäußern) both of them.

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