Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Fleeting Promise of ArtAdorno's Aesthetic Theory Revisited$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Peter Uwe Hohendahl

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780801452369

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801452369.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM Cornell University Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.cornell.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Cornell University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in Cornell for personal use. date: 27 June 2022

The Ephemeral and the Absolute

The Ephemeral and the Absolute

The Truth Content of Art

(p.57) 2 The Ephemeral and the Absolute
The Fleeting Promise of Art

Peter Uwe Hohendahl

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines the significance of the absolute for Theodor Adorno's aesthetic theory, with particular emphasis on his interpretation of the status of art in late modernism. The point of departure is a reading of Adorno that stresses the continuity from Dialectic of Enlightenment to Aesthetic Theory with respect to the centrality of the concept of reason and its defense vis-à-vis intellectual and social reification. The chapter considers Adorno's aesthetic theory as a historically inflected theory of rationality applied to art. Going against the dominant reading of Adorno's theory that sees it as a means to rescue modern art through the use of determinate negation, it highlights Adorno's abandonment of this position in some sections of Aesthetic Theory. More specifically, it discusses Adorno's claim that aesthetic experience must lead to and become philosophy, thereby shifting the truth content of artwork to philosophy but also acknowledging the fleeting character of art.

Keywords:   absolute, Theodor Adorno, modernism, Aesthetic Theory, social reification, modern art, aesthetic experience, philosophy, artwork

Cornell Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.