Volume 63, Issue 2, Spring 2019
Adorno and Phenomenology
Between Hegel and Husserl
Adorno develops critiques in parallel of the phenomenologies of G. W. F. Hegel and of Edmund Husserl. While respecting their differences, he rehearses conjoined objections to their accounts of philosophy, and of progress, of history, and of nature. Critical of Hegel’s idealist dialectics, and of Husserl’s transcendental idealism, Adorno also in his readings of their texts reveals a textual materiality of their philosophical enquiries, which provides material evidence in support of his critique. This essay seeks to reveal the dynamic of this process, and show certain parallels with results supplied in the phenomenological enquiries of Michel Henry, and in the deconstructions of Jacques Derrida. If an epoch may still be captured in the concept, then the negative dialectical conceptuality developed by Adorno must capture a condition common to that epoch, and, in part, shared by other such thinkers.