Philosophy Talks 39
Sensuality as a Pathway of Transcendence in Adorno and Hegel
4/11/2018 1:00 PM
YER : AB6-6208
Asst. Prof. Umur Başdaş
Koç University, Department of International Relations and Political Science

Jay Bernstein draws an analogy between Adorno and Hegel by reading Adorno’s Dialectic of Enlightenment in light of Hegel’s slave-master dialectics. He argues that Adorno performs an "anti-idealist transposition" of Hegel by placing the sensuous nature rather than a form of consciousness in the position of the dominated "slave" in Hegel’s narrative. Even though this analogy is illuminating, I argue that it distorts the relationship between Adorno and Hegel in important ways. My goal is to go beyond this "idealist vs. materialist" dichotomy and highlight the common ground that Adorno and Hegel share in thinking of sensuality as a pathway of self-transcendence. Firstly, I offer a quite different, alternative way of drawing the aforementioned analogy. Secondly, I explain how a subtle shift in Hegel’s interpretation of Incarnation in his Lectures on Aesthetics place Adorno and Hegel on a common plane where they both can be seen as investigating the possibilities that sensuous experiences open up for transcending the bounds of the "atomistic" self.