Klett-Cotta-Verlag Psychology

Musik als Gegenstand philosophischer Reflexion

Zur Aktualität und Vergänglichkeit Adornos

März 1997, 1. Jahrgang, Heft 1, pp 105-118

Music as an Object of Philosophical Reflection. On the Timeliness and Transitoriness of Adorno

A philosophy of music that wants to face the pressure of today´s problems has to be measured against the level of reflection formulated in the writings of Adorno. First the contribution criticizes various reducing formulae of previous Adorno-interpretations: the sociologistic the positivistic the aestheticizing and the historicizing reduction (I). It then outlines perspectives of a critical extension of Adorno´s music philosophy: starting from the problem of time and considering the aspects of utopia development and threedimensionality tonality and hermeneutics of the musical experience (II). The author points to Hans-Georg Gadamer´s and Walter Benjamin´s approaches as possible correctives to the speculative surplus of Entwicklungsgeschichte (»developmental history«) and Versöhnungsphilosophie (»philosophy of reconciliation«) in Adorno. Compared with »Aesthetic Theory« both prove to be more suited to elucidate the connection between the historicity of consciousness and the momentariness of aesthetic experience. Thus it becomes clear how important it is to complement Adorno´s pithily productionaesthetic approach with a hermeneutics of a finite and social reception of art. Apart from the level of his observations on musical production Adorno´s strength is above all that his train of thought does not bow to alternative stances such as modern or postmodern metaphysical or non-metaphysical phenomenological or critical.

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