Adorno's Modernism

Adorno's Modernism : Art, Experience, and Catastrophe

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Theodor W. Adorno's aesthetics has dominated discussions about art and aesthetic modernism since World War II, and continues to inform contemporary theorizing. Situating Adorno's aesthetic theory in the context of post-Kantian European philosophy, Espen Hammer explores Adorno's critical view of art as engaged in reconsidering fundamental features of our relation to nature and reality. His book is structured around what Adorno regarded as the contemporary aesthetician's overarching task: to achieve a vision of the fate of art in the modern world, while demonstrating its unique cognitive potential. Hammer offers a lively examination of Adorno's work through the central problem of what full human self-actualization would require, and also discusses the wider philosophical significance of aesthetic modernism. This book will be a valuable resource for scholars and students of social philosophy, art, and aesthetics.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 242 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 14mm | 490g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1107121590
  • 9781107121591

Table of contents

Preface; Introduction; 1. Art and the problem of modernity; 2. The beautiful and the sublime: an aesthetics of nature; 3. The dialectic of aesthetic autonomy; 4. Language, truth, and semblance; 5. A topography of nothingness: Adorno on Beckett; 6. Experience and metaphysics: the legacy of Kant; 7. An aesthetics of negativity; Concluding remarks; Bibliography; Index.
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About Espen Hammer

Espen Hammer is Professor of Philosophy at Temple University, Philadelphia. He has published many essays and books, including Stanley Cavell: Skepticism, Subjectivity, and the Ordinary (2002), Adorno and the Political (2006), Philosophy and Temporality from Kant to Critical Theory (Cambridge, 2011) and The Routledge Handbook of the Frankfurt School (co-edited with Axel Honneth and Peter Gordon, forthcoming), and is the editor of German Idealism: Contemporary Perspectives (2007).
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