Brian O'Connor, "Adorno."

Gamsby, Patrick (2013) Brian O'Connor, "Adorno.". Philosophy In Review, 33 (6). pp. 483-485. ISSN 1920-8936

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This book is a most welcome addition to the Routledge Philosophers series. Brian O’Connor’s slim volume is perhaps the most concise yet wide-ranging of all introductions to Theodor W. Adorno’s (1903–1969) thought currently in print today. Having edited The Adorno Reader back in 2000 and authored Adorno’s Negative Dialectics: Philosophy and the Possibility of Critical Rationality in 2004, O’Connor has been steeped in Adorno’s Critical Theory for some time now, and he thus makes for an ideal guide through Adorno’s labyrinthine oeuvre. The fact that Adorno is such an intensely dialectical thinker makes it difficult to stay with him for the duration of the journey his texts provide. Indeed, for those who are familiar with his work, the task of providing a summary of Adorno’s thought is a seemingly Sisyphean one. In this case, the path of the Sisyphean boulder is an apt metaphor for that which one encounters while engaging one of Adorno’s texts, or even something as granular as a sentence from one of his texts. Just when the boulder is nearing the summit of comprehension, the boulder rolls backwards. In spite of this, Brian O’Connor has produced an overview where one of the most infamous members of the Frankfurt School gets his due. O’Connor’s book does not delve too deeply into the influence that Kant, Hegel, or Marx may or may not have had Adorno’s work; as befits an introduction, this is a text primarily about Adorno’s original contribution to philosophy.

Item Type: Article
Item ID: 14474
Additional Information: Book review.
Department(s): Memorial University Libraries
Date: 31 December 2013
Date Type: Publication
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