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Autonomy After AuschwitzAdorno, German Idealism, and Modernity$
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Martin Shuster

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780226155487

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226155517.001.0001

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Reflections on Universal Reason: Adorno, Hegel, and the Wounds of Spirit

Reflections on Universal Reason: Adorno, Hegel, and the Wounds of Spirit

(p.134) Chapter Four Reflections on Universal Reason: Adorno, Hegel, and the Wounds of Spirit
Autonomy After Auschwitz

Martin Shuster

University of Chicago Press

In dialogue with Adorno, this chapter argues that Hegel is not a teleological thinker who is committed to seeing history as a site of theodicy. Instead, it is argue that Hegel is a historicist thinker whose view of dialectics is quite close to Adorno’s theory of negative dialectics (as presented in the 3rd chapter of this book). This is accomplished by a close reading of the Phenomenology of Spirit, where it is shown that Hegel’s method is not one committed to a progressive history, nor one that culminates in a closed dialectic. Instead, through a close reading of the transition to ‘Absolute Knowledge’ in the Phenomenology, this chapter argues that Hegel’s dialectic is entirely openended, and importantly relies on cultivating a distinct sensibility and fundamentally shows a lack of any necessity.

Keywords:   G. W. F. Hegel, Theodor W. Adorno, universal reason, philosophy of history, spirit, phenomenology of spirit, beautiful soul, sensibility, Non-Metaphysical Hegel

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