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Theodor W Adorno was one of the most important philosophers and social critics in Germany after World War II Although less well known among anglophone philosophers than his contemporary Hans-Georg Gadamer Adorno had even greater influence on scholars and intellectuals in postwar Germany In the 1960s he was the most prominent challenger to both Sir Karl Poppers philosophy of science and Martin Heideggers philosophy of existence Jurgen Habermas Germanys foremost social philosopher after 1970 was Adornos student and assistant The scope of Adornos influence stems from the interdisciplinary character of his research and of the Frankfurt School to which he belonged It also stems from the thoroughness with which he examined Western philosophical traditions especially from Kant onward and the radicalness to his critique of contemporary Western society He was a seminal social theorist and a leading member of the first generation of Critical Theory Unreliable translations have hampered the reception of Adornos published work in English speaking countries Recently however better translations have appeared along with newly translated lectures and other posthumous works that are still being published These materials should both facilitate an emerging assessment of his work in epistemology ethics and social philosophy and strengthen an already advanced reception of his work in aesthetics and cultural theory 1 Biographical Sketch 2 Dialectic of Enlightenment 3 Critical Social Theory 4 Aesthetic Theory 5 Negative Dialectics 6 Ethics and Metaphysics after Auschwitz Bibliography Other Internet Resources Related Entries 1 Biographical Sketch Born on September 11 1903 as Theodor Ludwig Wiesengrund Adorno lived in Frankfurt am Main for the first three decades of his life and the last two He was the only son of a wealthy wine merchant of assimilated Jewish background and an accomplished musician of Italian Catholic descent Adorno studied philosophy with the neo-Kantian Hans Cornelius and music composition with Alban Berg He completed his Habilitationsschrift on Kierkegaards aesthetics in
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