Thinking about Thinking in Adorno’s Minima Moralia


This article looks at several sections of Minima Moralia where Adorno talks explicitly about the need for genuine thinking and what that might consist in. First, I argue that Hegel and Nietzsche are the two guiding thinkers behind this work, and I show how they express two opposing tendencies of thinking—aphoristic and dialectical—that can inspire and enhance each other. Then, in the main part of the article, I identify four significant claims in Adorno’s critical reflections on thinking: (1) that thinking is the enemy of common sense; (2) that thinking is not the same thing as problem-solving; (3) that thinking is not inherently linear in nature; and (4) that thinking involves lingering with the particular or allowing the other to be. I conclude that Adorno’s reflection on the difficulty of thinking in modern life is a key to his account of philosophy in the contemporary world.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalEuropean Legacy
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Philosophy


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