By Fabian Freyenhagen

Adorno notoriously asserted that there's no ‘right’ lifestyles in our present social global. This statement has contributed to the common conception that his philosophy has no sensible import or coherent ethics, and he's frequently accused of being too adverse. Fabian Freyenhagen reconstructs and defends Adorno’s sensible philosophy in accordance with those fees. He argues that Adorno’s deep pessimism concerning the modern social international is coupled with a robust optimism approximately human power, and that this optimism explains his unfavorable perspectives in regards to the social global, and his call for that we face up to and alter it. He exhibits that Adorno holds a considerable ethics, albeit one who is minimalist and in line with a pluralist belief of the undesirable – a consultant for living much less wrongly. His incisive research does a lot to boost our figuring out of Adorno, and is additionally an enormous intervention into present debates in ethical philosophy.

This article used to be initially conceived as a part of Adorno’s functional Philosophy and will be regarded as vital to it.

“Fabian Freyenhagen has written an incredibly transparent, insightful, and complete remedy of Adorno’s extreme dissatisfactions with glossy societies. this can be most likely the easiest philosophical reconstruction of Adorno’s genuine, frequently unspoken and doubtful ‘moral theory’ that we'll ever get, and that definitely makes this an immense booklet. either defenders of Adorno and his critics will now have a more robust photograph of Adorno’s easy normative commitments and why he felt entitled to them.” —Robert Pippin, college of Chicago

“Freyenhagen has written a lucidly argued, sufferer, and incessant safety of Adorno’s damaging ethics that gives either an outstanding addition to the secondary literature on Adorno, and, extra importantly, a lively intervention into present debates in modern ethical philosophy. This paintings can be of curiosity to students and graduate scholars operating within the quarter of ethical philosophy, making to be had as by no means ahead of the daring constructions of Adorno’s adverse ethics, and with its transparent and direct writing and argument, this paintings will be solely appropriate for complex undergraduates.” —J. M. Bernstein, the recent university for Social examine

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The moral philosopher in search of justifications sometimes pretends that this is so, overestimating in this respect the need for a justification just as he had overestimated its effect—its effect, at least, on the practicing skeptic. ” When the philosopher raised the question of what we shall have to say to the skeptic or amoralist, he should rather have asked what we shall have to say about him. The justification he is looking for is in fact designed for the people who are largely within the ethical world, and the aim of the discourse is not to deal with someone who probably will not listen to it, but to reassure, strengthen, and give insight to those who will.

There is one motive for reductivism that does not operate simply on the ethical, or on the nonethical, but tends to reduce every consideration to one basic kind. This rests on an assumption about rationality, to the effect that two considerations cannot be rationally weighed against each other unless there is a common consideration in terms of which they can be compared. This assumption is at once very powerful and utterly baseless. Quite apart from the ethical, aesthetic considerations can be weighed against economic ones (for instance) without being an application of them, and without their both being an example of a third kind of consideration.

There are difficulties in the very idea of doing that. It is hard, for instance, to use the vocabulary of promising and at the same time to sustain the position that there is nothing decisive to be said, for or against, on the question whether one ought to keep promises. Moreover, the skeptic has to act, and if he includes himself in the world of ethical discourse at all, then what he does must be taken as expressing thoughts he has within that world. If he speaks in terms of actions being ethically all right or not, and he cheerfully does a certain action, then we must take him to regard it as all right.

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