Hope for truth: Adorno's concepts of art and social theory in a comparative approach

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The constellation in which Adorno's unity of thought comes to light - the critique of science as ideology, the overcoming of the distinction between philosophy and sociology, the concept of art as the beginning and end of philosophy, knowledge (Erkenntnis) as constituens of both (art and philosophy), presupposes a close relationship between his theory of art and his social theory. In other words, from Adorno's aesthetic theory, and especially from his musical writings, a concept of art emerges that essentially coincides with his concept of social theory. The purpose of the present paper is to discuss this mirror-like relationship. In fact, postulates such as the interaction between object and method, the overcoming of deductive method and descriptive knowledge, the subject-object dialectics, the prefiguration of the non-identical from a tendency, the resistance of the singular to totalizing systems, the critique of ideology as a critique of language - among others with which they are correlated - are inherent to Adorno's concepts of art and social theory. They have both in common, as it should be inferred from Adorno's thinking, the hope for truth.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100-116
Number of pages17
JournalConstelaciones. Revista de teoría crítica
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Art
  • Social theory
  • Truth content
  • Critique of ideology
  • Music as a paradigm of art


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