Other (6): Review of ‘Dialectic of Enlightenment’ by Adorno and Horkheimer.



I think this is a very important and underrated book in the contemporary hightech world. On a more vivid way than Adorno and Horkheimer usually write, they explain how the “Enlightenment” can turn against humans in an oppressive manner. Especially the part about the culture industry is still very useful to think about our relationship with art. The book presents mainly questions about how reductionistic science divides every part of the world into a compulsive structure. This work should be read by anyone, it is an good reminder to train your autonomous thinking everyday. After reading the book, you think differently about our blind belief that science will solve everything. Although I think it is a very strong book, I do have some downsides: the way in which Adorno and Horkheimer are discussing Kant is in my point of view not really correct. They interpret Kant as a constitutive reductionist who wants to give a neurotic foundation for contemporary science. However, I think we should not take this for granted before we have a good debate about the transcendental philosophy in general and the whole philosophy of Kant in particular. Also the given equations are sometimes a little bit too vague: it is too sloppy and uncritical to throw Kant and Nietzsche in the same intellectual camp and suddenly link them with fascism. I think that is a misinterpretation, but i don’t blame Adorno and Horkheimer for this because they were logically affected by terrible world wars, that predominated their lives. I really respect these authors. They had the courage and strength to write something morally in a dark abandonedly time.


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