Against Epistemology: A Metacritique
March 2013, Polity
Against Epistemology is based on a manuscript Adorno originally wrote in Oxford in 1934-37 during his first years in exile and subsequently reworked in Frankfurt in 1955-56. The text was written as a critique of Husserl’s phenomenology, but the critique of phenomenology is used as the occasion for a much broader critique of epistemology. Adorno described this as a ‘metacritique’ which blends together the analysis of Husserl’s phenomenology as the most advanced instance of the decay of bourgeois idealism with an immanent critique of the tensions and contradictions internal to Husserl’s thought. The result is a powerful text which remains one of the most devastating critiques of Husserl’s work ever written and which heralded many of the ideas that have become commonplace in contemporary philosophy.
Procedure and Object Immanent Critique
Mediating the First Mathematicizaton
Concept of Method Promoting the Subject
Persistence as Truth The Elementary
Philosophy of Origins and Epistemology
System and Debit Opposing Forces in Epistemology
The Drive for System Doctrine of Antinomies
Nominalism Motivation and Tendency of Ontology
Illusory Concretization and Formalism
New and Old
1 Critique of Logical Absolutism 41
Philosophy, Metaphysics and Science
Contradiction in Scientificization
Concept of Intuition Husserl’s Scientism
Dialectic in Spite of Itself A Head-Start for Science
‘Realism’ in Logic The Logical In-Itself
Presupposition of Logical Absolutism
Essence and Development (Entfaltung)
Calculators, Logic and Mechanics
Reification of Logic The Logical 'Object'
Autosemantic and Synsemantic Expressions
Logical Laws and Laws of Thought
Aporia of Logical Absolutism
Relating Genesis and Validity Genesis and Psychology
Thinking and Psychologism
The Law of Non-Contradiction The Law of Identity
Contingency Abandoning the Empirical
Phenomenological and Eidetic Motifs
2 Species and Intention 89
Propositions in Themselves and Essences
Lived Experience (Erlebnis) and 'Sense'
Critique of Singular 'Senses'
Origin of Essential Insight (Wesensschau)
'Ideational Abstraction' Abstraction and ()
The Primacy of Meaning Analysis (Bedeutungsanalyse)
The Function of the Noema Noema and ()
Relation Between the Two Reductions Noema as Hybrid
Essence and 'Factual States of Consciousness'
Antinomy of Subjectivism and Eidetics
'Eidetic Variations' Essence as Fiction
3 Epistemological Concepts in Dialectic 124
Phenomenology as Epistemology
Positivism and Platonism Husserl's Concept of
Givenness 'Foundation' (Fundierung)
Ontologization of the Factical
Thing as Model of the Given
Givenness Mediated in Itself The Subject of Givenness
Paradoxia of Pure Intuition
Matter as Fulfilment Sensation and Perception
Antinomy of the Doctrine of Perception
Sensation and Materialism
Epistemology as Elementary Analysis 'Gestalt'
Intentionality and Constitution Enter Noesis and Noema
The Forgotten Synthesis Critique of Correlation Theory
Pure Identity and Noematic Core
The Primacy of Objectifying Acts
Thing as Clue (Leitfaden) Antinomy of the Noema
Antagonism to System
Husserl's Transition to Transcendental Idealism
Fragility of the System
4 Essence and Pure Ego 186
Husserl and his Successors Phenomenology
Attempts to Break Out Self-Revocation
Character of Immanence and the Fetishism of the Concept
'Attitude' (Einstellung) Fantasy and Body
Categorial Intuition The Paradoxical Apex
The Provenance of Logical Absolutism
Fulfilment of Unsensed Moments
'Becoming Aware' (Gewahrwerdung)
Motivation of Objectivism
Withering Away of Argument
Phenomenology as Philosophy of Reflection
The System in Ruins
Advanced and Restorative Elements
Natural History Museum Abstract Ideal of Security
Infinitization of the Temporal Origin of the Ego
Consciousness, Pure Essence, Time
Transcendental Ego and Facticity Equivocation of 'I'
Solipsism The Aporia of Transcendental Experience
The End of Idealism
Translator's Note 235
Bibliographical Note 239
German-English Lexicon 242
- This is a re-issue of a classic book by one of the leading philosophers of the twentieth century.
- While written as a critique of Husserl’s phenomenology, this book is at the same time a much broader critique of philosophy and epistemology.
- Here Adorno outlines many of the ideas that have since become central to modern philosophy, such as the critique of foundationalism, the illusions of idealism and the end of epistemology.
- Polity is Adorno’s primary publisher in English and the re-issue of this important book is a significant addition to the corpus of Adorno’s work in English.
"Against all odds, Adorno has emerged at the dawn of the twentyÐfirst century as arguably the leading theoretical inspiration of our time."—Martin Jay, University of California, Berkeley