The Torturable Body: Adorno’s Negative Dialectic
This chapter, centered on Negative Dialectic, explores the paramount role of suffering in Adorno’s notion of the nonidentical—the suffering of the torturable body, and as its historical paroxysm, the suffering of the victims of the Shoah. A look at Adorno’s reading of Aristotle shows that for Adorno, philosophy has been marred from the very beginning by a double allegiance: to affirmativity and identity. Adorno’s negative dialectic counters philosophy’s affirmative essence and the identity thinking it is bound up with by searching for ways to give the nonidentical a voice. The chapter analyzes Adorno’s concept of the Hinzutretende and its connection to resistance, explores the relationship between his philosophy of the nonidentical and German idealism, and examines Adorno’s dialectic of theory and praxis by analyzing his relationship with the German student movement.