Adorno, Interpretation, and the Body

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JournalInternational Journal of Philosophical Studies
DateE-pub ahead of print - 9 Sep 2014
Issue number1
Volume23
Number of pages17
Pages (from-to)42-58
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Adorno sees experience as intrinsically interpretative. As interpretation requires normative constraints, in order to guide and channel this interpretative engagement, this opens the question of how experience acquires its motivating criteria. If experience is from the first criterially structured, how are these criteria acquired? Moreover, as these criteria are acquired in isolation from experience – as they are the precondition of that experience – are these criteria sensitive to the particularity of the experiences they produce? In order to address these questions, and the problems they threaten to create for Adorno’s epistemology, I look at Adorno’s theory of impulse and cognition. I argue that Adorno grounds the criterial structure of experience and reason in self-preservation. This provides both a motivation and a determining constraint on the criterial structure of experience. It is also a determining influence which is epistemically flexible and compatible with Adorno’s project of tracing the ‘non-identical’.

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