A Critique on Enlightenment philosophy

A Critique on Enlightenment philosophy

In fact the process of enlightenment transforms back into what it tries to separate itself from. the myth.Theodore W. Adorno (1903-1969) was a German philosopher, sociologist and musicologist. He is recognized mostly for his critical theory of society. His work is selected for this paper as the philosopher has published books specifically focusing and critiquing the concept of enlightenment. His notable works include Dialect of Enlightenment (1947) and Negative Dialects (1966).The works of other intellects used to justify the thesis includes names like Jay M. Bernstein. In his book Adorno: Disenchantment and Ethics (2001), he gives a comprehensive view of Adorno’s aesthetics and social theory. His work is used here to understand the Adorno’s critique of enlightenment in depth.Adorno’s critique of enlightenment is not about the European Enlightenment or a specific scientific thinking. It encompasses the generalized idea of enlightenment. This way there are two fields of knowledge (thinking). before enlightenment and after it. The knowledge that existed prior to enlightenment was based on faith, intangible and uncountable aspects like myth and magic.Enlightenment is thus the opposite of mythology. the process of disenchanting and demythologizing. Most of enlightenment theories exist to negate magic and myth. The mythical way in understanding the universe involves unforeseen forces or gods. What cannot be directly comprehended by mind is left to such forces. After all, if humans cannot grasp infinity, it does not mean that it doesn’t exist.Adorno and Horkheimer give extra weightage to transcendent content, which means that what is beyond the immediate thinking (knowledge) MUST be considered. Scientific thinking relies on comprehending everything. Thus there exists an inclination of ruling out what lies beyond the immediate truth. Enlightenment does not encourage imagination for imagination can

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