Negative Dialectics - Deepstash

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What is Negative Dialectics?

Negative dialectics is a phrase that flouts tradition. 

As early as Plato, dialectics meant to achieve something positive by means of negation; the thought figure of a "negation of negation" later became the succinct term.


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No Object is Wholly Known

Knowledge is not supposed to prepare the phantasm of a whole. Thus, the goal of a philosophical interpretation of works of art cannot be their identification with the concept, their absorption in the concept; yet it is through such interpretation that the truth of the work unfolds.


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Even after breaking with idealism, philosophy cannot do without speculation, which was exalted by idealism and tabooed with it.


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Truth is suspended and frail, due to its temporal substance. Truth is objective, not plausible.


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State of Facts

Even the word "is", of course, has a "state of facts" corresponding to it. In every predicative judgement, "is" has its meaning, as have the subject and the predicate. But the "state of facts" is a matter of intentionality, not of being.


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Specific Thoughts

Without specific thoughts, thinking would contravene its very concept, and these thoughts instantly point to entities. Entities which absolute thinking in turn has yet to posit. 


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Identity is the primal form of ideology. We relish it as adequacy to the thing it suppresses.  Adequacy has always been subjection to dominant purposes and, in that sense, its own contradiction.

To define identity as the correspondence of the thing-in-itself to its concept is hubris; but the ideal of identity must not simply be discarded.


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For the sake of utopia, identification is reflected in the linguistic use of the word outside of logic, in which we speak, not off identifying an object, but of identifying with people and things.


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The talk of "pseudoproblems" comes from the Age of Enlightenment, when its point was to keep an unquestioned dogmatic authority from leading to considerations held to be impossible to decide for the very thought they were submitted to.


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Free Will

As soon as we ask about free will by asking about each individual decision, as soon as our question detaches these decisions from their context and the individual from society, the question will yield to the fallacy of absolute, pure being-in-itself: a limited subjective experience will usurp the dignity of the most certain of things.


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Freedom vs As If

Freedom can be defined in negation only, corresponding to the concrete form of a specific unfreedom. Positively it becomes an "as if".


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Yes or No

The question of freedom does not call for a Yes or No; it calls for theory to rise above the individuality that exists as well as above the society that exists.


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Need in Thinking

The need in thinking is what makes us think. It asks to be negated by thinking; it must disappear in thought if it is to be really satisfied; and in this negation, it survives.


73 reads



interested in psychology, philosophy, and literary📚 | INTP-T & nyctophile | welcome to Irza Fidah's place of safe haven~! hope you enjoy my curations and stashes^^.


Negative Dialectics (Theodor W. Adorno, 1973)

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