Theodor W. Adorno og opplysningsbegrepet


av Geir Heivoll

This thesis offers a presentation of the German philosopher, sociologist and music theoretician Theodor W. Adorno (1903-1969) and his concept of Enlightenment (�Aufkl�rung�). The thesis gives an introduction to Adorno and his thinking, and to the concept of Enlightenment in general. Main aspects of Adorno's concept of Enlightenment are thereafter presented as they are treated in his philosophy of history and epistemology.

Adorno is by many viewed as one of the central figures in the �Frankfurt School� and as a founder of its �critical theory�. Adorno's thinking has thus tended to be reduced as Marxistic, or viewed as theory of esthetics and therefore dismissed as irrelevant for other theoretical disciplines.

Within Norwegian Legal science, the writings of Adorno have been subject to similar reductive interpretation. Adorno's name came up in the 1970s Norwegian legal literature, and was most commonly presented as a central inspiration to the Norwegian �Critical Law Movement� and its Marxistinspired legal theory. Adorno's name has after that, in Norwegian Legal science, become almost synonymous with Marxistic theory. To the extent that Marxistic inspired legal theory has been marginalized in Norwegian Legal science the past years, Adorno's thinking has in part been subject to the same.

The aim of the thesis is to give a fundamental presentation of main aspects of Adorno�s concept of Enlightenment and thereby attempt to imply some of the nuances in his writings. The thesis may be interpreted as an introduction to Adorno's thinking, but is primarily written for the area of Legal science that deals with historical issues. The thesis is based on the assumption that Adorno's thinking may offer interesting impulses for current historical-theoretical questions.