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Adorno's Aesthetic Theory - A Spring 2019 Lecture Series at Harvard University

On the “Spiritual” in Aesthetic and Metaphysical Experience


April 16, 2019
6:00pm - 8:00pm
Lower Level Conference Room, Adolphus Busch Hall
April 16, 2019
6:00pm - 8:00pm
Lower Level Conference Room, Adolphus Busch Hall

The bewildering expression geistige Erfahrung in Adorno’s late works and lectures has often been rendered as “intellectual experience.” What gets irredeemably lost in that seemingly most obvious among the translations one might risk here? Everything, the essential, it can be argued. Interpretations of art and philosophical experience of a dialectical and, ultimately, phenomenological nature, differentiating Adorno’s final project from that of Hegel, Husserl, and Heidegger, respectively, make this abundantly clear. Together with a brief excursion into the theory of art and of painting, notably Wassily Kandinsky’s essay On the Spiritual in Art, likewise referenced by Adorno, these analytical and material contrasts reveal a distinct philosophical exercise, whose concept and practice have lost nothing of their relevance or actuality for our understanding of -- and commitment to -- art and metaphysics today.



About

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.

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