Theodor W. Adorno

Theodor W. Adorno

Theodor W. Adorno (September 11, 1903 – August 6, 1969) was a German philosopher, sociologist, and composer known for his critical theory of society. He was a leading member of the Frankfurt School of critical theory. He is widely regarded as one of the 20th century's foremost thinkers on aesthetics and philosophy, as well as one of its preeminent essayists.

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Once the last trace of emotion has been eradicated nothing remains of thought but absolute tautology.

The individual mirrors in his individuation the preordained social laws of exploitation however mediated.

Advice to intellectuals: let no-one represent you.

Because thought has by now been perverted into the solving of assigned problems, even what is not assigned is processed like a problem.

The specific is not exclusive: it lacks the aspiration to totality.

He who matures early lives in anticipation.

Today self-consciousness no longer means anything but reflection on the ego as embarrassment as realization of impotence: knowing that one is nothing.

In psycho-analysis nothing is true except the exaggerations.

Not only is the self entwined in society, it owes society its existence in the most literal sense.

All satire is blind to the forces liberated by decay. Which is why total decay has absorbed the forces of satire.

In the abstract conception of universal wrong all concrete responsibility vanishes.

A pencil and rubber are of more use to thought than a battalion of assistants. To happiness the same applies as to truth: one does not have it but is in it.

Normality is death.

Happiness is obsolete: uneconomic.

Work while you work play while you play - this is a basic rule of repressive self-discipline.

Domination delegates the physical violence on which it rests to the dominated.

In many people it is already an impertinence to say 'I'.

Love is the power to see similarity in the dissimilar.

The almost insoluble task is to let neither the power of others nor our own powerlessness stupefy us.

The human is indissolubly linked with imitation: a human being only becomes human at all by imitating other human beings.

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