Friday, July 9, 2021

Aesthetic Theory by Theodor Adorno - Summary

Aesthetic Theory is a book by the German philosopher Theodor Adorno . The work, which was published posthumously on the basis of Adorno's unfinished drafts, reflects on thesocial characterof modern art . Based on Hegel and Marx , Adorno discusses whether art can survive in a late capitalist society and whether art can help change society. In this discussion, Adorno builds on Kant's idea of ​​the autonomy of fine culture ( schöne Kunst ), while drawing on Marx's idea of ​​the anchoring of art in society. From this coupling of Kant and Marx, Adorno discusses the necessity and impossibility of the autonomy of art. For Adorno, therefore, authentic modern works of art express some of the conflicts that existed in the world in which these works were created. The difficult writing style of the work has a critic argued that it can be understood as an ambiguity in the work's title, which can be read both as a "theory of aesthetics" and as "aestheticized theory."

Central to Adorno's view of art is his distinction between Salary and Function , which makes his sociology of art different from both hermeneutic and empirical approaches. Where a hermeneutic approach typically emphasizes the artwork's meaning and cultural significance and downplays the work's political and / or economic role, an empirical approach typically focuses on the interplay between the work and various social factors and therefore ignores questions about. the meaning layer of the work. Adorno's grip lies in uniting these two analytical strategies. He argues that the content and function of the workshould be understood in relation to each other. 

Based on Adorno's view of the autonomy of modern art and what he sees as an important change in the nature of capitalism , Adorno is highly critical of the role that political art can play. Adorno believes that political art has problems with both efficiency and legitimacy in late capitalism. At the same time, however, he believes that political art can act as a form of corrective to what he saw as a failed aestheticism in very popular art. Adorno believes that in late capitalism, the best political art is able to work through its own inner contradictions in a way that the hidden inner contradictions in society can no longer be ignored. For Adorno, Samuel Beckett's are playsa good example of this. For Adorno, Beckett's pieces are more true than much other art. Adorno believes that all works of art have a content by virtue of an inner dialectical opposition between its form and content and to understand this dynamic one must therefore understand both the work's inner dynamics and the dynamics at stake in the work's social-historical context.

see also: