Archive for the critical theory category

Bruce Kuklick’s history of American philosophy (6)

Kuklick, Bruce. A History of Philosophy in America 1720-2000. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2001. 346 pp. $19.95 (pbk), ISBN 0199260168. Part III: Professional Philosophy, 1912-2000 . . . . . . 12. Europe’s Impact on the United States . . . . . . So now we are up to chapter 12: Europe’s Impact on the […]

Marcuse, one-dimensionality, & the fate of utopia

Note these two articles on Marcuse’s development: Discovered manuscript shows Marcuse’s evolution by Laura Gardner, Brandeis Now, Oct. 9, 2013 Newly Discovered Draft of Marcuse Book Reveals Turn Toward Pessimism by Marc Parry, The Chronicle of Higher Education, September 30, 2013 Note also the upcoming conference at Brandeis University, 1-2 October 2014: The Many Dimensions […]

Aant Elzinga & the Humanities

I encountered Aant Elzinga in 1986 at a joint meeting of four scholarly societies concerned with the philosophy, history, and sociology of science and technology. I contacted him many years later and with his permission digitized some of his marvelous essays: The Man of Science in a World of Crisis: A Plea for a Two-Pronged […]

Jerome McGann on Blake, Adorno, Poetry & Knowledge

Written May 14, 2011 at 10:08 pm McGann, Jerome J. Towards a Literature of Knowledge. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989. Several years ago I collected a number of books by Jerome McGann, beginning with The Romantic Ideology. I put his Towards a Literature of Knowledge on my want list, but my attention turned elsewhere. I finally got hold […]

Review: Brian O’Connor, Adorno’s Negative Dialectic (1)

Adorno’s Negative Dialectic: Philosophy and the Possibility of Critical Rationality Brian O’Connor Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2004. 1 I did a very quick read of this book, which is a preposterous thing to do considering the difficulty of the subject matter. Furthermore, it is not fully comprehensible without a thorough grounding in Kant, […]

Adorno on Teutonic “depth”

“The appearance of depth is frequently the product of a complicity with suffering. A monstrous German tradition associates profound thoughts with the theodicy of evil and death. A theological terminus ad quem is tacitly assumed, as if what determined the dignity of an idea were its result, the confirmation of transcendence, or its immersion in […]

Marcuse vs operationalism, empiricism, & linguistic philosophy

I’ve just re-read chapter 7 of Marcuse’s One-Dimensional Man, which pinpoints his objections to the prevailing Anglo-American philosophy of the day, i.e. the philosophy of language dominant in analytical philosophy, and the treatment of concepts generally in philosophy and the social sciences. He has a particular objection to the empiricist reduction of thought to operationalism […]

Summer of ’11 Book Orgy

Here is a sampling of hard-copy books I’ve been reading all or parts of since my birthday, more or less in reverse chronological order, but several of these simultaneously. This doesn’t include isolated essays, chapters, or online reading. Yovel, Yirmiyahu. Spinoza and Other Heretics: The Adventures of Immanence [v. 2]. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, […]

March – mid-June 2008 reading review (1): books

I have not published a reading review since June 2007. Instead of beginning with July, I’ll work my way backward. At the moment there is too much non-book material to document readily, so this is an effort at compiling a list of books I’ve read part or all of since the beginning of March. I […]

Adorno’s true thoughts

Adorno supplied a sizable quantity of first-class quotable aphorisms. This is one famous one-liner, from Minima Moralia, #122, Monograms: True thoughts are those alone which do not understand themselves. On 17 December 1999 I interpreted this quote as follows: I take Adorno’s statement to mean that writers who formulate great truths or profound models of […]