Nietzsche and Adorno on Philosophical Praxis, Language, and Reconciliation: Towards an Ethics of Thinking offers a philosophical notion of an “ethics of thinking,” a kind of thinking that is receptive to the non-identical character of the world of human and non-human objects. Paolo A. Bolaños experiments with the ideas of Friedrich Nietzsche and Theodor W. Adorno, who are presented as contemporary proponents of the Frühromantik tradition. Bolaños offers a reconstruction of the respective philosophies of language of Nietzsche and Adorno, as well as a rehearsal of their critique of metaphysics and identity thinking, in order to develop a notion of philosophical praxis that is grounded in the ethical dimension of thinking. Via Nietzsche and Adorno, Bolaños argues that thinking’s performative participation in uncertainty broadens the domain of reason, thereby also broadening our conceptual capacities and our receptivity to new possibilities of thinking. As an ethical praxis, thinking guards itself from the error of solidification, thereby opening philosophy to a reconciliatory, as opposed to domineering, reception of the world.
Paolo A. Bolaños is professor of philosophy at the University of Santo Tomas.
List of Abbreviations
Appendix: Further Reading
About the Author
"This insightful and path-breaking study on the ethics of thinking sheds new light on critical theory’s indebtedness to early Romanticism and Nietzsche’s radical rethinking of language, truth, and the aesthetic experience. Bolaños’s lucid explication of Nietzsche’s and Adorno’s emancipatory projects embraces their experimental practice of thinking and actualizes with erudite aplomb the critical potential of their transformative ways of thinking. The focus on shared ethical commitments and contestations of identity thinking could hardly be more timely.”
“Bolaños mounts a brilliant defense of Adorno’s thinking based on a figurative level of meaning that is usually overlooked (especially by Habermas’s critique) in the philosophical discourse of modernity. Crucial is Adorno’s use of mimesis as an ‘enfeebled reason’ that is powerless over its object but carries an inherently ethical charge and even ‘outcry.’ Bolaños shows how Adorno’s thinking takes us beyond the limits of humanism and its representations into concrete encounter with the non-conceptualizable. These sharply focused analyses illuminate the broad and fundamental purport of Adorno’s thought for us today.”
“Paolo A. Bolaños’ Nietzsche and Adorno on Philosophical Praxis, Language, and
Reconciliation: Towards an Ethics of Thinking is a breath of fresh air in the interpretation of
Adorno’s work. His excellent study brings to life Adorno’s intellectual relation to Nietzsche’s
work, especially his ethics of thinking that looks for the nonidentical in the identical,
dissonance in the chords of harmony, and a minima moralia for oneself and others in a sea of
conformity. As Bolaños’s outstanding work attests Nietzsche’s work is as much a part of the
heritage of the Frankfurt School as are the works of Hegel and Marx.”
"The Nietzsche-Adorno relation is surely one of the most fascinating ones in the field of Adorno scholarship, but at the same time it has probably not been investigated yet with the same attention, accuracy and completeness dedicated to the relation of Adorno to Kant, Hegel, or Marx. With the present book, Bolaños offers a significant contribution to this debate, with a focus on the relation between thinking and language (that few philosophers in modern and contemporary philosophy prioritized the way Nietzsche and Adorno did) which allows Bolaños to coherently connect to each other, and then stimulatingly investigate, the different implications that the Nietzsche-Adorno relation has in such different philosophical fields as aesthetics, ethics and epistemology.”
“In his latest work, Paolo Bolaños, a Filipino scholar, takes on two major figures of Continental philosophy, Friedrich Nietzsche and Theodor Adorno. This comes at a time when not just philosophy but also thinking itself is severely challenged by the persistence of an instrumental culture which reckons philosophic praxis and, to use Bolaños’ expression, metaphorical thinking, as a surplus of effective human functioning. His proposal for an ethics of thinking is certainly an important contribution to the philosophic discourse in the Philippines beyond the constrictions of myopic nationalism and the priority of thinking for utilitarian ends.”