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Adorno and Marx

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Chapter Summary

Theodor W. Adorno is highly renowned. Adorno's aim is to set fixed categories in motion, on the grounds that they fall foul of the illusion of their own immediacy, because they conceive themselves as mastering an unproblematic reality. In a 1962 seminar, Adorno was quite explicit on his relationship to Marx: he identified him as the first great theoretician of critical theory and stressed the importance of the theory of fetishism for understanding valorisation as an abstract conceptualisation of social relations. He brought out some of Marx's uncertainties, particularly in relation to Hegel, but credited him with not falling into a problematic of the revolutionary subject and class consciousness (characteristic of Western Marxism). In conclusion, he noted that Marx had left unresolved many problems, which had not been taken up by those who claimed to be his successors.

Keywords: critical theory; Marx; Theodor W. Adorno



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