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Suffering and social critique in Adorno's thinking

Grant number: 17/01337-0
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2017
Effective date (End): October 23, 2022
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Philosophy - History of Philosophy
Cooperation agreement: Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES)
Principal researcher:Paulo Eduardo Arantes
Grantee:Bruno Carvalho Rodrigues de Freitas
Home Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated scholarship(s):19/15085-8 - Moral philosophy and critique of society in Adorno, BE.EP.DR


This research intends to study the presence of the notion of suffering in Theodor Adorno 's project of criticism of culture and society, as well as the relations with his reading of psychoanalysis. In this sense, it will discuss the hypothesis that in this critical project one can find as axis a critical impulse of experiences of suffering. If in the texts such as the Negative Dialectic (1967) and the Aesthetic Theory (1969) the notion of suffering appears more clearly - as in the reflection on the mutilation of the bodies at Auschwitz and on the authentic art that gives voice to the historical accumulation of suffering when As the cipher of an emancipated world-in Adorno's earlier production, with the exception of Minima Moralia (1951) - a book in which suffering was the starting point for reflections on the processes of mutilation of life - the notion of suffering remained, At first glance, marginal: subjects such as the processes of rationalization of society organized by the commodity form, the discussion of cultural industry, as well as the thesis on the relapse of enlightenment in myth and a phenomenology of the genesis of modern reason received more attention. It is intended to show, however, that although not always explicitly named, this notion is present when Adorno discusses the various forms of impediment for a reconciliation of the divisions between material and intellectual work, subject and object, individual and society and manifests as mutilation Of possibilities of experience or as domination of reason over nature, or with an effect on the psyche and body of individuals as well as in society. Having then developed the possibility of apprehending the centrality of the notion of suffering in Adorno's work, since in the fields of aesthetics, the philosophy of history - including the interlocution with Benjamin and Horkheimer - through criticism of psychoanalysis and more sociological texts , We can find the impulse to elaborate theoretically the historical experiences of suffering, we intend to investigate the place of psychoanalysis in the formulation of this notion. Besides Adorno discussing with the tradition of moral philosophy (mainly Nietzsche, Kant and Schopenhauer), he includes above all Freud in the elaboration of the critique of historical configurations of suffering, since, according to his reading, this is a thinker who theorizes processes of blocking experience Subjective and social (eg in concepts such as symptom, inhibition, repression, malaise, etc.). (AU)

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