Philosophy of History

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Title: Philosophy of History
Authors: O'Connor, Brian
Permanent link: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/9298
Date: Jun-2008
Abstract: The concept of history was developed in a great array of directions during the period of Modern German Philosophy. Ranging from macrostructural analyses of the evolution of civilizations to descriptions of the temporal social experience of the individual it was essentially a critical concept, one which would seek to expose the allegedly naïve idea of the fixed properties of culture and of the individuals who might live within them. Adorno belongs to this tradition of critical historical philosophy. His philosophy of history is strongly marked by various Hegelian, Marxian, Nietzschean and hermeneutical ideas. A preoccupation with the idea of history is evident from the very beginnings of Adorno’s career. From his Habilitationsschrift (1931) right up to Aesthetic Theory (incomplete at the time of his death in 1969) the issue is never far from central. To deal comprehensively with the range of influences and the multiplicity of applications of the concept of history in Adorno’s work would be co-extensive with a critical analysis of his oeuvre. What this chapter will restrict itself to is Adorno’s engagements with what might be specifically regarded as ‘theories of history.’ The topics to be examined are Adorno’s critique of (1) the idea of universal history and (2) of progress, (3) his dialectical reading of the idea of natural history, and (4) his assessment of role of the totality in the production of history.
Type of material: Book Chapter
Publisher: Acumen Publishing (Routledge)
Keywords: Universal historyProgressNatural historySocial totalityGeist
DOI: 10.1017/UPO9781844654048
Other versions: https://www.routledge.com/Theodor-Adorno-Key-Concepts/Cook/p/book/9781844651207
Language: en
Status of Item: Not peer reviewed
Is part of: Deborah Cook (eds.). Adorno: Key Concepts
ISBN: 9781844654048
Appears in Collections:Philosophy Research Collection

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