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Wang Xiaosheng & Wei Qin:How Is Metaphysical Experience Possible?: Adorno’s Conception of Metaphysics and Its Relevance

Submit Time:19-11-2020 | Zoom In | Zoom Out

Author:Wang Xiaosheng & Wei Qin | Source:Marxism & Reality 2020(5)



   In Adorno’s view, traditional metaphysics is based on the separation between essence and phenomenon. The core of this metaphysics is the principle of self-preservation, and Adorno wanted to reconstruct a new metaphysics that can secularize metaphysics, and thereby combine essence and phenomenon, i.e. integrating the rational principle of self-preservation with the flesh experience. The metaphysical experience that Adorno put forward is the product of such a combination. Like the intellectual domain envisioned by Kant in his The Critique of Practical Reason, this kind of experience is both intuitive and transcendent, with the same antinomy embedded in the vision of God. Kant wanted to eliminate this antinomy whereas Adorno tried to save it. This is because in modern society, the logic of identity occupies a dominant position. It does not allow non-identical or specific things to be expressed. This kind of metaphysical experience is to resurrect the body, i.e. saving the spiritual body, because the flesh experience is suppressed and denied in the logic of identity. This resurrected body regains the genuine characteristics of human nature. It reveals the absoluteness in terms of a negative form, and thereby transcends the absoluteness as defined by First Philosophy. In this sense, the new metaphysics means exactly negative dialectics. Adorno’s metaphysics is similar to Heidegger’s, but it is also different from the latter.

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