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Problems of Moral Philosophy [Paperback]

By Theodor Wiesengrund Adorno (Author), Adorno Theodor (Author) & Thomas Schroder (Editor)
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Item description for Problems of Moral Philosophy by Theodor Wiesengrund Adorno, Adorno Theodor & Thomas Schroder...

Theodor W. Adorno (1903-1969), one of the leading social thinkers of the twentieth century, long concerned himself with the problems of moral philosophy, or "whether the good life is a genuine possibility in the present."
This book consists of a course of seventeen lectures given in May-July 1963. Captured by tape recorder (which Adorno called "the fingerprint of the living mind"), these lectures present a somewhat different, and more accessible, Adorno from the one who composed the faultlessly articulated and almost forbiddingly perfect prose of the works published in his lifetime. Here we can follow Adorno's thought in the process of formation (he spoke from brief notes), endowed with the spontaneity and energy of the spoken word.
The lectures focus largely on Kant, "a thinker in whose work the question of morality is most sharply contrasted with other spheres of existence." After discussing a number of the Kantian categories of moral philosophy, Adorno considers other, seemingly more immediate general problems, such as the nature of moral norms, the good life, and the relation of relativism and nihilism.
In the course of the lectures, Adorno addresses a wide range of topics, including: theory and practice, ethics as bad conscience, the repressive character, the problem of freedom, dialectics in Kant and Hegel, the nature of reason, the moral law as a given, psychoanalysis, the element of the Absurd, freedom and law, the Protestant tradition of morality, "Hamlet, " self-determination, phenomenology, the concept of the will, the idea of humanity, "The Wild Duck, " and Nietzsche's critique of morality.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Stanford University Press
Pages   232
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.02" Width: 6.1" Height: 0.69"
Weight:   0.75 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Sep 1, 2002
Publisher   Stanford University Press
ISBN  0804744726  
ISBN13  9780804744720  

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More About Theodor Wiesengrund Adorno, Adorno Theodor & Thomas Schroder

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Theodor W. Adorno was one of the founders of the Frankfurt School of Critical Theory, and one of the most influential thinkers of the twentieth century in the areas of social theory, philosophy, literary criticism, and aesthetics.

Theodor Wiesengrund Adorno was born in 1903 and died in 1969.

Theodor Wiesengrund Adorno has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Cultural Memory in the Present
  2. Theory & History of Literature

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > Ethics & Morality
2Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > General

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Reviews - What do customers think about Problems of Moral Philosophy?

as readable as it is honest and exciting  Feb 4, 2006
If you have heard that Adorno is difficult reading, this work, along with Critical Models, will correct your understanding of his approach to scholarship. It is very lively and pellucid.
*Sister Mary Margaret* Explains It All For You,  Jan 17, 2004
this book is all for *you*.

As part of a massive release of translations of material from postwar Europe, Stanford University has done the reading public a great service by making available translations of extremely genial 60s seminars given by the notoriously difficult Theodor Adorno; and frankly, this is the only recently printed book on moral philosophy I would encourage an interested layman to read. Adorno's "crypticisms" derived from a keen understanding of the "problems of living" facing postwar Europe, but here we have a theodicy of sorts for Adorno's legendary radio confrontation with anthropologist Arnold Gehlen presented as an extremely measured consideration of Kantian moral philosophy (Adorno studied under the neo-Kantian Hans Cornelius in the 20s, and problems deriving from Kant form the basis of a kinship between the work of the second Frankfurt school and Michel Foucault).

The exposition is extremely clear, right down to a "frankly uncritical" analysis of Adorno's relationship to the seminar participants, as is Adorno's extreme orientation towards moralism rather than ethical questions posed as observations on "conditions of possibility" for life -- Adorno's famous comment to Gehlen consisted in the claim that the residents of a technological society deserved genuine problems to work through rather than cultural pessimism amidst plenty, and here he gives every indication that he was indeed serious about this. This would be a fine book to study in an upper-level class on moral philosophy, as those looking for "conceptual analysis" are charged with the task of assembling adequate "constellations" of material (from whence confrontations between greats can emerge). Finally, Adorno is one of the few "committed intellectuals" of past eras whose work is still fully accessible in its political cast, and this book really serves as a rebuke of sorts to Benjamin's "Fate and Character", a confrontation worth scrutinizing in detail. There is *every* justification for this book.


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