We are now approaching the 50th anniversary of Aesthetic Theory (first published posthumously in 1970), the final masterpiece of the philosopher and social theorist Theodor W. Adorno. This lecture contributes to the semester-long series of scholarly presentations that reflect on the legacy and actuality of this major work.
Aesthetic Theory. Why? By reading Aesthetic Theory against the grain, as a theory of the nature and possibility of aesthetic experience first, and as a theory about the status of the work of art second, the lecture will talk about the fundamental, though occluded, role that the idea of natural history plays in Adorno's aesthetic theory.