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Theodor W. Adorno Eberhard Ortland
Aesthetics by Theodor W. Adorno at Abbey's Bookshop,


Theodor W. Adorno Eberhard Ortland Wieland Hoban


Polity Press

Philosophy: aesthetics


376 pages

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This volume of lectures on aesthetics, given by Adorno in the winter semester of 1958/59, formed the foundation for his later text Aesthetic Theory, widely regarded as one of Adorno's greatest works.

The lectures cover a wide range of topics, from an intense analysis of the work of Georg Lukacs to a sustained reflection on the theory of aesthetic experience which, even after 50 years and significant changes in the philosophical debate on aesthetics, still remains very relevant. An examination of the classical interpretation of beauty in Plato's Phaedrus, and of works by major figures such as Kant, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Kierkegaard and Benjamin, is placed alongside discussions of the latest experiments of John Cage, showing the virtuosity and breadth of Adorno's engagement. All the while, Adorno remains deeply connected to his surrounding context, offering us a window onto the artistic, intellectual and political confrontations that shaped life in West Germany during the Cold War.

This volume by one of the greatest thinkers of the 20th century will appeal to a broad range of students and scholars in the humanities and social sciences, as well as anyone interested in the development of critical theory.

By:   Theodor W. Adorno
Edited by:   Eberhard Ortland
Translated by:   Wieland Hoban
Imprint:   Polity Press
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 229mm,  Width: 154mm,  Spine: 29mm
Weight:   536g
ISBN:   9780745679402
ISBN 10:   0745679404
Pages:   376
Publication Date:   November 2017
Audience:   Professional and scholarly ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Theodor W. Adorno (1903-1969), a prominent member of the Frankfurt School, was one of the most influential thinkers of the 20th century in the areas of social theory, philosophy and aesthetics.

Adorno's lectures provide a fascinating glimpse into the philosophical workshop where his ideas were forged and developed, and this lecture course on aesthetics from the late 1950s is no exception. With an irrepressible sense of intellectual adventure, Adorno argues with the giants of the German tradition in the philosophy of art, interprets Plato's theory of beauty in the Phaedrus, and struggles to make sense of the music of John Cage. He offers a virtuoso series of variations on his central claim that, in art, we experience reason 'in the form of its otherness', as a 'particular resistance' to the instrumental rationality which dominates our lives. Peter Dews, University of Essex These lectures are much more than an early record of Adorno's path toward his late, uncompleted masterwork, Aesthetic Theory. They represent an independent and often revelatory statement of his thinking on aesthetics in the late 1950's. This book is an indispensable addition to the English-language reader's understanding of this central thinker. Michael Jennings, Princeton University

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