Critique of Rationality in Schopenhauer, Nietzsche and Adorno: Aesthetics and Models of Resistance

Critique of Rationality in Schopenhauer, Nietzsche and Adorno: Aesthetics and Models of Resistance

Stefano Giacchetti

Language: English

Pages: 229

ISBN: 2:00145583

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


The main way to change the world, in Marx's perspective, is through a revolution of the structure of society, that is, of its economical system of material production. This revolution cannot take place through the traditional institutions embodied in any given form of government, since these institutions are there to defend the economic system that created them. A new society must be constructed on the abolition of capitalism and its institutions. Only a society that is structured on a system of production devoid of private property, where the means of production are not owned by an individual or a social class, can be free.

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action of the body are not two different states objectively known, connected by the bond of causality; they do not stand in the relation of cause and effect, but are one and same thing, though given in two entirely different ways, first quite directly, and then in perception for the understanding. The action of the body is nothing but the act of will objectified, i.e., translated into perception.12 We can experience the immediateness of the will through pain and pleasure, which are not

relapse into barbarism. In order to do so, Adorno had to reaffirm the role of conceptual constructions in rationality, while at the same time he also had to ascertain the limits of conceptual identification. Reason then, for Adorno, had to be based on the model of his negative dialectics, whose task is "the disenchantment of the 1 G. Leopardi, Zibaldone di Pensieri, Vol. I, pp. 1049 ("Man and, proportionally, animals are by nature reasonable. Therefore, I do not condemn reason inasmuch as it is

12 8 English empiricism," was made by Kant, who defended the rationalist claim that rational intuitions are a necessary prerequisite for knowledge, while at the same time he maintained the empiricist claim that knowledge is achieved by reason through sensory experience. Kant solved this conflict by individuating the common mistake of both rationalism and empiricism. Both, in fact, sustained the priority of the object of knowledge over the knowing subject, therefore considering reason as

inversion and finally grasp the truth of the will, we can refuse to affirm it. We cannot change the phenomenon of the will because the will has already affirmed itself in it, but we can annihilate the will. This is possible because the will is not something external to us; rather, we are its individual incarnation. Noluntas is then the negation of the principium individuationis, of the root of our egoism, and not the affirmation of an absolute nothingness, which is actually the only goal of the

thought is the "normalcy"; poetic reason is the affirmation of these "errors". The price that we have to pay for "Nietzschean" autonomy and freedom is the permanent risk of falling back into barbarism. "Once the defenses of subject-centered reason are razed, the logos [...] hollow within and aggressive without, will collapse into itself. It has to be delivered over to its other, whatever that may be" (J. Habermas, ibid., p. 311). Adorno's criticism of Nietzsche's affirmation of values is

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