Very Short Introductions: Brilliant, Sharp, Inspiring T.W. Adorno (1903-69) was a German philosopher and social and cultural theorist. His work has come to be seen as increasingly relevant to understanding the pathologies of contemporary society evident in today’s climate emergency, the financial crash, the reappearance of fascism in many countries, and the growing instability of the world order.
This Very Short Introduction covers Adorno’s work and life, explaining his key philosophical concepts and the philosophical background and historical context of Adorno’s thinking. Andrew Bowie shows how Adorno’s exploration of why human reason can have irrational consequences led him to rethink basic concepts like ‘nature’, ‘history’, and ‘freedom’, offering alternatives to many ways of thinking about these concepts in contemporary philosophy. The book also examines Adorno’s socialtheory, as well as his highly critical assessments of jazz and modern culture, which he considered threatened by the effects of modern capitalism.
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