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Regular version of the site

Events

"Adorno: Weimar Radical": a lecture by Fabian Link

On October 11, a lecture by Fabian Link, assistant research fellow of Department of History at Frankfurt-am-Main Goethe University, will take place.



Abstract

Theodore W. Adorno was an intellectual radical whose main philosophical attitudes encompassed a radical critique of capitalism and Enlightenment. More specifically, Adorno was a Weimar radical: uncompromising, politically controversial, and avant-gardist, socialized in a world, which was constituted by new liberal freedom, radial political attitudes, and economic uncertainties. After the seizure of power by the Nazis, Adorno left Germany for England, before travelling to the United States, where he worked for the Institute of Social Research under Max Horkheimer. During his exile years, Adorno radicalized his epistemic attitudes and his Weltanschauung, a process, for which Auschwitz was decisive. Around 1950, Adorno returned to Frankfurt together with Horkheimer and Friedrich Pollock  where he directed social empirical investigations which explored the mindset of the West Germans. Under the impression of the restitutive Adenauer-era and the continuity of Nazi ideology in the Federal Republic of Germany, Adorno further sharpened his philosophical fundamental critique of modern society in the late 1950s, resulting in his main work “Negative Dialektik”, published in 1966. This paper explores Adorno’s intellectual habitus, following the thesis that both the Weimar milieu and Auschwitz were the main reasons why Adorno developed such a radical critique of modernity.

The lecture will be held on October 11, at Myasnitskaya 20, room K-327.

About Fabian Link
Fabian Link is assistant in the Department of History at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main. His major research fields are modern German intellectual history and the history of science and the humanities from the Enlightenment to the Cold War. He is the author of "Burgen und Burgenforschung im Nationalsozialismus: Wissenschaft und Weltanschauung 1933-1945" (Vienna: Böhlau, 2014). His current research project deals with the history of the social sciences in Cold War West Germany.