Adorno on the ethical and the ineffable

Finlayson, James Gordon (2002) Adorno on the ethical and the ineffable. European Journal of Philosophy, 10 (1). pp. 1-25. ISSN 0966-8373

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The thesis is that Adorno has a normative ethics, albeit a minimal and negative ethics of resistance. However Adorno’s ethical theory faces two problems: the problem of the availability of the good and the problem of whether a normative ethics is consistent with philosophical negativism. The author argues that a correct of understanding the role of the ineffable in Adorno’s Negative Dialectics solves both problems: it provides an account of the availability of the good that is consistent with his philosophical negativism. The author counters the prevalent objection that Adorno’s aporetic philosophy, like some negative theology, leads to irrationalism and mysticism. The parallel with negative theology is developed by means of a comparison with Nicholas of Cusa. Drawing on Wittgentstein’s saying/showing distinction and Adrian Moore’s work the author argues that Nicholas and Adorno can be seen to share a philosophically defensible notion of ineffable knowledge.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of History, Art History and Philosophy > Philosophy
Depositing User: Gordon Finlayson
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 19:38
Last Modified: 01 Jul 2019 14:16

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