Hegel: Three Studies

Front Cover
MIT Press, 1994 - Philosophy - 160 pages
3 Reviews

This short masterwork in twentieth-century philosophy provides both a majorreinterpretation of Hegel and insight into the evolution of Adorno's critical theory. The firststudy focuses on the relationship of reason, the individual, and society in Hegel, defending himagainst the criticism that he was merely an apologist for bourgeois society. The second studyexamines the experiential content of Hegel's idealism, considering the notion of experience inrelation to immediacy, empirical reality, science, and society. The third study, "Skoteinos," is anunusual and fascinating essay in which Adorno lays out his thoughts on understanding Hegel. In hisreflections, which spring from his experience teaching at the Goethe University in Frankfurt,questions of textual and philosophical interpretation are intertwined.Rescuing the truth value ofHegel's work is a recurring theme of the critical theory of the Frankfurt School, and nowhere isthis goal pursued with more insight than in these three studies. The core problem Adorno sets forhimself is how to read Hegel in a way that comprehends both the work and its historical context,thereby allowing conclusions to be drawn that may seem on the surface to be exactly opposed to whatHegel wrote but that are, nevertheless, valid as the present truth of the work. It is theelaboration of this method of interpretation, a negative dialectic, that was Adorno's underlyinggoal.Adorno's efforts to salvage the contemporaneity of Hegel's thought form part of his response tothe increasingly tight net of social control in the aftermath of World War II. In this, his work isrelated to the very different attempts to undermine reified thinking undertaken by the variousFrench theorists. The continued development of what Adorno called "the administered world" has onlyincreased the relevance of his efforts.

  

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Review: Hegel: Three Studies

User Review  - Blair - Goodreads

What a hidden gem! My second favourite book on Hegel - to Charles Taylor's Hegel. Really shows the influence Hegelian thought had on the Frankfurt School and gives some unique perspectives on Hegel. Read full review

Review: Hegel: Three Studies

User Review  - Kevin Holden - Goodreads

This is an absolutely amazing book. The third 'study', Skoteinos, is probably the most beautiful & brilliant piece of writing on Hegel I have ever read. Read full review

Contents

The Experiential Content of Hegels Philosophy
53
Skoteinos or How to Read Hegel
89
Notes
149
Copyright

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About the author (1994)

Theodor W. Adorno is the progenitor of critical theory, a central figure in aesthetics, and the century's foremost philosopher of music. He was born and educated in Frankfurt, Germany. After completing his Ph.D. in philosophy, he went to Vienna, where he studied composition with Alban Berg. He soon was bitterly disappointed with his own lack of talent and turned to musicology. In 1928 Adorno returned to Frankfurt to join the Institute for Social Research, commonly known as The Frankfurt School. At first a privately endowed center for Marxist studies, the school was merged with Frankfort's university under Adorno's directorship in the 1950s. As a refugee from Nazi Germany during World War II, Adorno lived for several years in Los Angeles before returning to Frankfurt. Much of his most significant work was produced at that time. Critics find Adorno's aesthetics to be rich in insight, even when they disagree with its broad conclusions. Although Adorno was hostile to jazz and popular music, he advanced the cause of contemporary music by writing seminal studies of many key composers. To the distress of some of his admirers, he remained pessimistic about the prospects for art in mass society. Adorno was a neo-Marxist who believed that the only hope for democracy was to be found in an interpretation of Marxism opposed to both positivism and dogmatic materialism. His opposition to positivisim and advocacy of a method of dialectics grounded in critical rationalism propelled him into intellectual conflict with Georg Hegel, Martin Heidegger, and Heideggerian hermeneutics.

Shierry Weber Nicholsen teaches environmental philosophy and psychology in Antioch UniversitySeattle's M.A. Program on Environment and Community and is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist inprivate practice in Seattle. She has translated several works by Theodor Adorno and JürgenHabermas.

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