Theodor Adorno

Theodor W. Adorno (/əˈdɔːrnoʊ/; German: [aˈdɔʀno]; born Theodor Ludwig Wiesengrund; 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, whose work has come to be associated with thinkers such as Ernst Bloch, Walter Benjamin, Max Horkheimer and Herbert Marcuse, for whom the work of Freud, Marx, and Hegel were essential to a critique of modern society. 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. As a critic of both fascism and what he called the culture industry, his writings—such as Dialectic of Enlightenment (1947), Minima Moralia (1951) and Negative Dialectics (1966)—strongly influenced the European New Left. Amidst the vogue enjoyed by exist... More


Theodor Adorno Quotes

Theodor Adorno #Alone

True thoughts are those alone which do not understand themselves.
Theodor Adorno #Alone

No harm comes to man from outside alone: dumbness is the objective spirit.
Theodor Adorno #Society

He who stands aloof runs the risk of believing himself better than others and misusing his critique of society as an ideology for his private interest.
Theodor Adorno #Art #Truth

Art is magic delivered from the lie of being truth.
Theodor Adorno #Art

The task of art today is to bring chaos into order.
Theodor Adorno #Art

Art is permitted to survive only if it renounces the right to be different, and integrates itself into the omnipotent realm of the profane.
Theodor Adorno #Art

Everything that has ever been called folk art has always reflected domination.
Theodor Adorno #Best

The splinter in your eye is the best magnifying-glass.
Theodor Adorno #Art #Work

Every work of art is an uncommitted crime.
Theodor Adorno #Death

Only a humanity to whom death has become as indifferent as its members, that has itself died, can inflict it administratively on innumerable people.
Theodor Adorno #Death

Normality is death.
Theodor Adorno #Freedom

Freedom would be not to choose between black and white but to abjure such prescribed choices.
Theodor Adorno #Happiness

Happiness is obsolete: uneconomic.
Theodor Adorno #Happiness #Truth

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.
Theodor Adorno #Health

Exuberant health is always, as such, sickness also.
Theodor Adorno #History

History does not merely touch on language, but takes place in it.
Theodor Adorno #Intelligence

Intelligence is a moral category.
Theodor Adorno #Life

Wrong life cannot be lived rightly.
Theodor Adorno #Money

If time is money, it seems moral to save time, above all one's own, and such parsimony is excused by consideration for others. One is straight-forward.
Theodor Adorno #Peace

None of the abstract concepts comes closer to fulfilled utopia than that of eternal peace.
Theodor Adorno #Power

The almost insoluble task is to let neither the power of others, nor our own powerlessness, stupefy us.
Theodor Adorno #Society

An emancipated society, on the other hand, would not be a unitary state, but the realization of universality in the reconciliation of differences.
Theodor Adorno #Society

No emancipation without that of society.
Theodor Adorno #Society

Not only is the self entwined in society it owes society its existence in the most literal sense.
Theodor Adorno #Love #Strength

Love you will find only where you may show yourself weak without provoking strength.