The talk discussed Adorno’s reading of Hegel in order to show how it operates from within the potentialities of Hegelian thought. This meant revising the idea that negative dialectics would be something conceptually different from Hegelian dialectics. Safatle showed how Adorno’s critique of the Hegelian concept of totality leaves room for a dialectical recovery of totality. The connection between philosophical speculation and musical aesthetics in Adorno’s thought played an important role in this argument.
Vladimir Safatle is Professor at the University of São Paulo (Brazil), and Invited Professor at the Universities of Stellenbosch (South Africa), Louvain, Toulouse, Paris VII, and Paris VIII. He is responsible for the Brazilian translation of Adorno’s works, and author of books on dialectical thought, psychoanalysis, leftist politics as well as musical aesthetics, all in Portuguese, expect for La passion du négatif: Lacan et la dialectique (Georg Olms 2010).
The lecture is part of the ICI Lecture Series Constituting Wholes II, which seeked to re-examine the critical potential of notions of wholeness by exploring the double movement in constituting wholes. How are wholes and other forms of association differently constituted and how do they constitute their parts or elements? How can one maintain a critical position towards persistent wholes without making them inescapable and foreclosing the possibility of reducing violence and arriving at more benign forms of association? Conversely, how can one be attuned to heterogeneities and potentialities without participating in the reparation of existing structures of domination? Conceived within the framework of the multi-discipinary ICI Research Focus ‘Constituting Wholes’, the lecture series addressed and debated these and similar questions from a variety of perspectives.
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