A systematic reconstruction of Adorno’s philosophy of language in the framework of contemporary linguistic philosophy.
The linguistic turn in critical theory has been routinely justified with the claim that Adorno’s philosophy is trapped within the limits of consciousness philosophy. Yet Adorno’s own philosophy of language has not yet been fully and systematically examined in its own right. Philip Hogh argues that it was in fact the linguistic turn in critical theory that prevented a thorough analysis of Adorno's philosophy of language. Here he reconstructs Adorno’s philosophy of language and presents it as a coherent theory that demands to be understood as an important contribution to contemporary linguistic philosophy. By analysing all the key concepts in Adorno’s thought (subjectivity, epistemology, social theory and aesthetics), and comparing them to Robert Brandom’s material inferentialism, John McDowell’s theory of conceptual experience and Jürgen Habermas’ theory of communicative action, this book presents Adorno’s theory as an important contribution to contemporary philosophy of language in its own right.
An elegant and erudite examination. Learned in the European and American philosophical discussions, Hogh considers the claims of Adorno’s philosophy of language with acumen and insight. But he also puts on the table the question what it means to have a philosophy of language when the on-going possibility of communication and expression is considered one of the most urgent problems of the day. Lydia Goehr, Professor, Department of Philosophy, Columbia University
In this lucid, meticulously argued, and compelling reconstruction of Adorno’s philosophy of language, Philip Hogh has but us all in his debt. Hogh not only demonstrates how the fundamental features of Adorno’s critical theory either already possess or can be given a linguistic rendering, but his account brings Adorno’s philosophy of language into critical conversation with the leading edge of contemporary work in the area. An invaluable contribution to both Adorno studies and the philosophy of language generally. J. M. Bernstein, New School for Social Research
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Philip Hogh teaches philosophy at the Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg, Germany, where he is also a member of the Adorno Research Centre.