Download Adorno Minima Moralia PDF

TitleAdorno Minima Moralia
TagsTypes School Work
File Size16.0 MB
Total Pages248
Table of Contents
                            0002_0002
0003_0003
0004_0003
0006_0004
0007_0005
0008_0005
0009_0006
0010_0006
0011_0007
0012_0007
0013_0008
0014_0008
0015_0009
0016_0009
0017_0010
0018_0010
0019_0011
0020_0011
0021_0012
0022_0012
0023_0013
0024_0013
0025_0014
0026_0014
0027_0015
0028_0015
0029_0016
0030_0016
0031_0017
0032_0017
0033_0018
0034_0018
0035_0019
0036_0019
0037_0020
0038_0020
0039_0021
0040_0021
0041_0022
0042_0022
0043_0023
0044_0023
0045_0024
0046_0024
0047_0025
0048_0025
0049_0026
0050_0026
0051_0027
0052_0027
0053_0028
0054_0028
0055_0029
0056_0029
0057_0030
0058_0030
0059_0031
0060_0031
0061_0032
0062_0032
0063_0033
0064_0033
0065_0034
0066_0034
0067_0035
0068_0035
0069_0036
0070_0036
0071_0037
0072_0037
0073_0038
0074_0038
0075_0039
0076_0039
0077_0040
0078_0040
0079_0041
0080_0041
0081_0042
0082_0042
0083_0043
0084_0043
0085_0044
0086_0044
0087_0045
0088_0045
0089_0046
0090_0046
0091_0047
0092_0047
0093_0048
0094_0048
0095_0049
0096_0049
0097_0050
0098_0050
0099_0051
0100_0051
0101_0052
0102_0052
0103_0053
0104_0053
0105_0054
0106_0054
0107_0055
0108_0055
0109_0056
0110_0056
0111_0057
0112_0057
0113_0058
0114_0058
0115_0059
0116_0059
0117_0060
0118_0060
0119_0061
0120_0061
0121_0062
0122_0062
0123_0063
0124_0063
0125_0064
0126_0064
0127_0065
0128_0065
0129_0066
0130_0066
0131_0067
0132_0067
0133_0068
0134_0068
0135_0069
0136_0069
0137_0070
0138_0070
0139_0071
0140_0071
0141_0072
0142_0072
0143_0073
0144_0073
0145_0074
0146_0074
0147_0075
0148_0075
0149_0076
0150_0076
0151_0077
0152_0077
0153_0078
0154_0078
0155_0079
0156_0079
0157_0080
0158_0080
0159_0081
0160_0081
0161_0082
0162_0082
0163_0083
0164_0083
0165_0084
0166_0084
0167_0085
0168_0085
0169_0086
0170_0086
0171_0087
0172_0087
0173_0088
0174_0088
0175_0089
0176_0089
0177_0090
0178_0090
0179_0091
0180_0091
0181_0092
0182_0092
0183_0093
0184_0093
0185_0094
0186_0094
0187_0095
0188_0095
0189_0096
0190_0096
0191_0097
0192_0097
0193_0098
0194_0098
0195_0099
0196_0099
0197_0100
0198_0100
0199_0101
0200_0101
0201_0102
0202_0102
0203_0103
0204_0103
0205_0104
0206_0104
0207_0105
0208_0105
0209_0106
0210_0106
0211_0107
0212_0107
0213_0108
0214_0108
0215_0109
0216_0109
0217_0110
0218_0110
0219_0111
0220_0111
0221_0112
0222_0112
0223_0113
0224_0113
0225_0114
0226_0114
0227_0115
0228_0115
0229_0116
0230_0116
0231_0117
0232_0117
0233_0118
0234_0118
0235_0119
0236_0119
0237_0120
0238_0120
0239_0121
0240_0121
0241_0122
0242_0122
0243_0123
0244_0123
0245_0124
0246_0124
0247_0125
0248_0125
0249_0126
0250_0126
                        
Document Text Contents
Page 1

MINIMA MORALIA

R[~FLECTl()NS ON A DAi\(,\GED LIFf~

Theodor Adorno
Translated from the German by E. F. N. Jephcott

VERSO

London • New York

Page 2

Originally published as Minima Mora/ill by
Suhrkamp Verlag, Frankfun am Main 1951

to Suhrkamp Verlag 1951
Translation first published by New Left Books 1974

C NLB 1974
This edition published by Verso 2005

All righ ts reserved

The moral rights of the author and translator have been asserted

1 3 5 7 9 10 8 64 2

Verso
UK 6 Meard Street, London WIF OEG

USA: t 80 Variek Street, New York NY 1 001 ~4606
www.versobooks.com

Verso is the imprint of New Left Books

ISBN 1-84467-05 t -1

British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data
A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
A catalog record for this book is available from the Library of Congress

Printed and Bound in the U oited Kingdom by Bookmarque

Page 124

being it can, at once rigorous and free, detennine it. Thus every
thought resembles play, with which Hegel no less than Nietzsche
compared the work of the mind. The unbarbaric side of philosophy
is its tacit awareness of the element of irresponsibility, of blitheness
springing from the volatility of thought, which forever escapes
what it judges. Such licence is resented by the positivistic spirit and
put down to mental disorder. Divergence from the facts becomes
mere wrongness, the moment of play a luxury in a world where
the intellecbJal functions have to account for their every moment
with a stop-watch. But as soon as thought repudiates its inviolable
distance and tries with a thousand subtle arguments to pro~e its
literal correctness, it founders. If it leaves behind the medium of
virtuality, of anticipation that cannot be wholly fulfilled by any
single ~piece of actuality; in short, if instead of interpretation it
seeks to become mer'e statement, everything it states becomes, in
fact, untrue. Its apologetics, inspired by uncertainty and a bad
conscience, can be refuted at every step by demonstrating the
non-identity which it will not acknowledge, yet which alone makes
it thought. If, on the other hand, it tried to claim its distance as a
privilege, it would act no better, but would proclaim two kinds of
truth, that of the facts and that of ideas. That would be to decom-
pose truth itself, and truly to denigrate thought. Distance is not a
safety-zone but a field of tension. It is manifested not in relaxing
the claim of ideas to truth, but in delicacy and fragility of thinking.
Vis-i-vis positivism it is fitting neither to insist on being right nor
to put on airs of distinction, but rather to prove, by criticism of
knowledge, the impossibility of a coincidence between the idea and
what fulfils it. The passion for equating the non-synonymous is
not the ever-striving toil that at last attains redemption, 1 but naive
and inexperienced. Thought has known and forgotten the reproaches
of positivism a thousand times, and only through such knowing
and forgetting did it first become thought. The distance of thought
from reality is itself nothing other than the precipitate of history
in concepts. To use them without distance is, despite all the resig-
nation it implies or perhaps because of it, a child's affair. For
thought must aim beyond its target just because it never quite
reaches it, and positivism is uncritical in its confidence of doing so,

I. Allusion to the lines of the last scene of Goethe's Faust, Part Two,
Sung by angels: W~r inurNr streIJanJ sicla h,mulu, I den Iconnen wir eriosan (He
who strives with ceaseless toil I can we redeem).

127

Page 125

imagining its tergiversations to be due to mere conscientiousness
A transcending thought takes its own inadequacy more thorOUgh)'
into account than does one guided by the control mechanisms ~
science. It extrapolates in order, by the over-exertion of the to~
much, to master, however hopelessly, the inevitable too-little. The
illegitimate absolutism, the allegedly definitive stamp of its for.
mulations, with which philosophy is reproached, derives precisely
from the abyss of relativity" The exaggerations of speculative
metaphysics are scars of reflecting reason, and the unproven alone
unmasks proof as tautology. In contrast, the immediate proviso
of relativity, the modesty that remains within whatever conceptual
area has been marked off for it, denies itself by its very caution the
experience of its limit, to think which is, according to Hegel's
superb insight, the same thing as to cross it. Thus the relativists are
the real- the bad - absolutists and, moreover, the bourgeois, who
need to make sure of their knowledge as of a possession, only to
lose it all the more thoroughly. The claim to the absolute that
overleaps its own shadow alone does justice to the relative. By
taking untruth upon itself, it leads to the threshold of truth in its
concrete awareness afthe conditionality of human knowledge.

83

Vice-President. - Advice to intellectuals: let no-one represent you.
The fungibility of all servic,es and people, and the resultant belief
that everyone must be able to do everything, prove, in the existing
order, fetters. The egalitarian ideal of interchangeability is a fraud
when not backed by the principle of revocability and responsibility
to the rank and file. The most powerful person is he who is able to
do least himself and burden others most with the things for which
he lends his name and pockets the credit. This seems like collec-
tivism, yet amounts only to a feeling of superiority, of exemption
from work by the power to control others. In material production,


admittedly, interchangeability has an objective basis. The quanti-
fication of work processes tends to diminish the difference between
the duties of managing director and petrol-pump attendant. It is8
wretched ideology which postulates that more intelligence, ex"
perience, even training is needed to run a trust under present
conditions than to read a pressure-gauge. But while this ideologY

12.8

Page 247

Hus, Jan, J 9z
Husserl, Edmund. 81n
Huxley, Aldous, 148, ~41

Ibsen, Henrik, 91 and n, 92-4, I sz,
176, 179

Jaspers, Karl, 148
lung, Carl Gustav, 41
J uvenal, 19 S n, 2.09 and n

Kafka, Franz, 13, I J I, 14f, 107, 223,
233, 239

Kant, Immanuel, ]6, 111, 13.]-4, ~26
Kierkegaard, Seren, f 8n, 7f, 90, 134,

Isz-l, If4J :aZl
Kirchhoff, Adolf, %7 and n
Klages, Ludwig, 6711
Kokoschka, Oskar, 146 and n
Kraus, Karl, S4, 7), Sf, 100, 210-1 i
Kr6ner, Alfred, ~o8
Kiimberger, Ferdinand, 19

Liliencron, Detlev von, )91 and n
Lirtdbergh, Anne Morrow, 218
Lint, Franz, t9S
Locke, John, 86, 236
Louis XVI, 1.tS
Luk4cs, Georg, 230n
Lurher, Manin, I]S

Mallarme, StiphlDe, 167fl
Malthus, Thomas Robert, 2]8
Mann, Thomas, 181
Marx, Karl, 43-4, ,], 1,6, 227tl,

221 and n, 219n, 1]4 and n
Maupassant, Guy de, I"nt 1'7 and

n, 111n
Mill, John Stuan, 72
Moli~re (Jean .. Baptiste Poquelin), 3'
Marike, Eduard, I ~n, 178n
Mozart, \Volfgang Amadeus, lon,

J72n, 198n, 21]

Napoleon, Il, 196
Nietzsche, Friedrich. 19 and n. 4]-4,

7], 74, 79, 96-8, 117, 134, 1,2-J.
188, 1J4, 126 and n

Paul, Jean aohann Paul Richter), 27,
166

p.y, Charles, 232
Pergolesi, Giovann~ 18:m
Phocion, 149
Poe, Edgar Allan, 1) S-8
Protagoras, 63
Proust, Martel, 1J, ~6, 29, 49, 73.

16'-9,. 101

Queen, Ellery, 180

Remick Robert, )011
Ribbentrop, Joachim, 106
Rickert, Heinrich, S J and n, 167
Rilke, Rainer Maria, 14f, %]3
Rousseau, Jean-Jacques, 171

Sade, Marquis de, ~8. 89, 170, 191n
Satie, Erik, 11 J
Scheler, Max, lin. 19) and ft, I,.
Schelling, Friedrich Wilhelm, 69 and n
S~hiller , Friedrich, 62, 81-9, 14]
Schmitt, Carl, 132. and n
Schnitzler, Artur, 90 and n
Schopenhauer, Artur, 151-] and 11,

IS4, 11f-6
Schonberg, Arnold, ) S I
Sch~F~,III,II~, 166n,zl)n
Schumann, Robert, 9Sn
Schuschnigg, Kurt, 211
SchUtz, Heinrich, ~ 2
Seon Moncrieff, C. K., 2#1
Simmel, Georg, 80 and n
Spengler, Oswald, 44t 107
St Augustine, 1:!2D
Stalin, J aseph, 207
Stemheim, Carl, I S7 and n
Stifter, Adalben, 22S and n
Storm, Theodor, 169 and n
Stramm, August. 146 and n
Strauss, David Friedrich, 9' and n
Strauss, Richard, I J I, 149
Sttavinksy, Igor, So
Strindberg, August, 218

Tagore, Rabindnnath, 60 and n
Taubert, Wilhelm, 199

Page 248

Tolstoy, Leo, 176
T oscanini, Arturo. S I
Trakl, Georg, 71n, 1,1 and ft, 211

Valery, Paul, 120
Van Gogh, Vincent, a07
Veblen, Thorstein, 11" 190
VerJaine, Paul, 1,1, ~J9
Voltaire (Fnn~is Marie Arouet),
", 1)0

Wagner, Richard, 1004, If,., I,.., 201,
%1 S, 2]1

Wallace, Edgar, 2)2
Waugh, Evelyn, 191
Weber, Carl Maria von, ~9n, (Sm,

169n
Weber, Max, 18S
Wedekind, Frank 91 and n, 218
Werfel, Franz, 60 and n
Wilhelm D, Kaiser, II)
Wolf, Friedrich August, 27 and n
Wolff, Pius-Alexander, Ics,n

ZUIe, Heinrich, I, I and n
Zola, Emile, 141- 2

Similer Documents