Reply to Pickford

 

FABIAN FREYENHAGEN | Adorno’s Practical Philosophy: Living Less Wrongly | Cambridge University Press 2013


 

By Fabian Freyenhagen

How can we be deeply historical, but not restricted to just reproduce in thought what unfolds around us? How can we claim that our human potential is being systematically thwarted by our social world, before this potential has ever been realised? How can we restrict knowledge to be only of what is bad for us, without giving up the utopian impulse that this cannot be all there could be? These are central questions for Adorno, and they are the questions to which Henry Pickford’s review of my Adorno’s Practical Philosophy (henceforth ‘APP’) speaks. Before attempting a reply, let me begin by noting that I am very thankful for his engaging so generously and thoughtfully with my book.

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Henry Pickford on Fabian Freyenhagen’s “Adorno’s Practical Philosophy”

 

FABIAN FREYENHAGEN | Adorno’s Practical Philosophy: Living Less Wrongly | Cambridge University Press 2013


 

By Henry Pickford

Fabian Freyenhagen’s book is an extraordinary achievement, in that if offers a comprehensive account of Adorno’s thoughts on practical and moral philosophy with far greater clarity, consistency, textual grounding and extra-textual, elucidatory and rigorous argumentation than previous studies. Embracing Adorno’s own method in his ‘Essay as Form’, Freyenhagen draws from a large number of Adorno’s texts, chiefly from the post-war period, some published during his lifetime and some thereafter, and including material from an archived, as yet unpublished lecture course on moral philosophy, to weave a dense texture of mutually supporting references that results in a far more unified picture of Adorno’s ethical thought than one might have thought possible; it is a book from which I have learned a great deal. Together with Bernstein (2001) this study will continue to inform and provoke debate surrounding Adorno’s ethics and, with Freyenhagen (2014), his politics.

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