Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Dialectic of Enlightenment” as Want to Read:
Dialectic of Enlightenment
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Dialectic of Enlightenment

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  3,562 ratings  ·  106 reviews
This work is the keystone of the thought of the Frankfurt School. It is a wide-ranging philosophical and psychological critique of the Western categories of reason and nature, from Homer to Nietzsche.
Paperback, 258 pages
Published September 1st 1997 by Verso (first published 1944)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Dialectic of Enlightenment, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Dialectic of Enlightenment

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Alex
In a world... where the geist is pure evil... and the Fasshou System lurks right around the corner... two unlikely German Jew friends dare... to frighten enlightenment/mythology back into its box.

This summer....

DIALECTIC

OF

ENLIGHTENMENT
Karl Steel
Apr 04, 2009 Karl Steel rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People able to endure an annoying prophetic, circular kind of prose
Shelves: theory
Three things I love here, above all else: a) the collaboration, and the refusal to disentangle themselves from it when others demanded that Horkorno coalesce into two identities: of course reminds me of Deleuze and Guattari, but, for a medievalist, also Marty Shichtman and Laurie Finke; b) the refusal to update the text to reflect the current moment: in this insistence on preserving the text as an intervention into a particular historical moment, Adorneimer refuse to pretend to speak from a posi ...more
Ryan
The enlightenment wasn't all that. You think science replaced magic and religion? Not so fast. Isn't science, at a certain point, based on faith just as much as religion? Horkdorno (Horkheimer and Adorno) views the achievements of the enlightenment with a gimlet eye, refusing to accept that a forward movement in history equates to positive progress. You can just as easily move forward while descending. If you believe in progress, concomitantly, you must believe in decline. Many of the things th ...more
Drenda
The Enlightenment sought to bring mankind out of the shadows of orthodox tradition and religion and into the light of reason. A step toward human freedom, right? Perhaps, no doubt in some ways. But relying on reason skewed basic civility based in tradition and replaced human and humane interaction with calculated management. It could lead to places that the Encyclopedists could never have imagined. It could lead to concentration camps.

So what's a person to do. Adorno is not known for optimistic
...more
Szplug
This translation, by John Cumming, is tough sledding - the textual equivalent of chopping onions, reducing the pungent-yet-aesthetically-Kremlinesque whole bulb into little blocky niblets that scatter and stick to the cutting board whilst still making your eyes water. Edmund Jephcott did such a lovely job with Walter Benjamin's Reflections and Adorno's Minima Moralia that I have little doubt his more recent rendering of DOE into English would be well worth spending the extra bucks.
Ashley
The most poorly written, ego-maniacal, self-important, masturbatory piece of shit that I have ever read. Horkheimer and Adorno? If you were alive, I would punch you both in the testicles.
Tomas
I think this is a very important and underrated book in the contemporary hightech world. On a more vivid way than Adorno and Horkheimer usually write, they explain how the "Enlightenment" can turn against humans in an oppressive manner. Especially the part about the culture industry is still very useful to think about our relationship with art. The book presents mainly questions about how reductionistic science divides every part of the world into a compulsive structure. This work should be read ...more
Scott
Proof that nothing gets pseudo-intellectuals salivating more quickly than non-sensical rants.
Rene Stein
Jedna z nejlepších knih o paradoxech osvícenství.
Tzv. (post)levicové myšlení má mj. základ v Adornových úvahách, a když vás neuspokojují Havlovy knížecí ekoagitky, záměrně synkretické a nevyhraněné socialisticko-liberální moralitky zhrzených členů Strany zelených, banální nebo vulgární levicoví komentátoři a různé mišuge existence v Britských listech, sáhněte přímo po nebanálním zdroji všech jejich prosťáckých úvah.

I když levici nemáte rádi, stále platí, že je dobré znát své nepřátele, anebo ale
...more
Desy Budi Utami
Welcome to the pessimist world!!! If you like pop culture or even a so-called hard working type of person I warned you to read this carefully! LOL
This book will guide you to the real "enlightenment". Written by dynamic-critical duo Max Horkheimer and Theodore Adorno, Dialectic of Enlightenment aimed to peal out the capitalistic coats in your mind. I read mostly the first chapter and the culture industry.

Divided into two term, the first chapter tells you about the essence of enlightenment. To b
...more
Joe
Comments:

Critical Theory really was always in danger of giving birth to postmodernism, thanks to its critical and close reading of -and thus being influenced by- Heidegger and Freud. No, Foucault wasn't just wishing (dreaming) when he drew parallels between himself and the Frankfurt School. But this affinity to the likes of Heidegger and Freud came at a price; the pessimism of these two thinkers became inextricably entwined within critical theory itself. Critical Theory is the greatest, but not
...more
Maryam
كل فرهنگ مابعد اشويتس، از جمله نقد فوري و فوتي ان، چيزي نيست مگر اشغال......... هر كه از حفظ اين فرهنگ
عميقا تقصيركار و نخ نما دفاع مي كند، كارگزار و همدست ان مي شود، و انكه به ان فرهنگ پشت مي كند، مستقيما
در جهت پيشبرد همان توحشي عمل مي كند كه فرهنگ ما چهره ي واقعي خود را در هيئت ان برملا ساخت
Chelsea Szendi
Don't fight it: let the dialectic carry you along, since you have no chance at pinning it down as a power point. And thank goodness.

Television, the Gesamtkunstwerk: "aims at a synthesis of radio and film, delayed only for as long as the interested parties cannot agree. Such a synthesis, with its unlimited possibilities, promises to intensify the impoverishment of the aesthetic material so radically that the identity of all industrial cultural products, still scantily disguised today, will triump
...more
Andrew
This, I feel, is a statement superlative to the Minima Moralia in the Adorno catalog. The classist overtones that damage so much of that book are less ingrained here, and we get what I feel to be a much more open philosophy. Whenever I read these old Frankfurt School dudes, there's this weird sense of tragedy, as if they were the last line of defense against the brutal forces of late capitalist alienation. And I've never felt that stronger than in here. That said, this is also the Frankfurt Scho ...more
Naomi Pattirane
"On the way from mythology to logistics thought has lost the element of self-reflection and today machinery disables men even as it nurtures them...Today the order of life allows no room for the ego to draw spiritual or intellectual conclusions. The thought which leads to knowledge is neutralized and used as a mere qualification on specific labor markets and to heighten to commodity value of the personality"

The Dialectic of Enlightenment was published in 1944 and despite the clunky long winded p
...more
Ian
Dec 12, 2007 Ian rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Pam
Shelves: philosophy
I think my favorite part of this essay is where the authors critique Homer's "Odyssey" by arguing that it is the very first historical appearance of the bourgeoisie. Odysseus is the bourgeois man and the men on his ship who stuff the wax in his ears to protect him from the song of the sirens are the proletariat. In they end, they are sacrificed for the salvation of the cunning hero. Silly, but very creative.
Raymond Thomas
Adorno and Horkheimer offer a really interesting look at culture and enlightenment. Most interestingly they talk a lot about how cultural production today is mainly aimed at continuing society's mass self-deception from the conditions of our daily lives and does so by looking at various popular media examples from Disney to Warner Brothers and others.
Naomi Pattirane
"On the way from mythology to logistics thought has lost the element of self-reflection and today machinery disables men even as it nurtures them... Today the order of life allows no room for the ego to draw spiritual or intellectual conclusions. The thought which leads to knowledge is neutralized and used as a mere qualification on specific labor markets and to heighten to commodity value of the personality"

The Dialectic of Enlightenment was published in 1944 and despite the clunky long winded
...more
Jackson Lipovich
It is a shame to say that this work was, on the whole, inaccessible to me. I was able to follow the thread of thought only on the most superficial levels, and even then, I would not venture to reiterate exactly what I learned in fear of possible misinterpretation. Perhaps it was necessary for the language to reflect the utterly murky nature of the content, with its constant twists and turns and churning and negation and double-negation, and in this, the work receives top marks.

I recognize the i
...more
Jacob
“Myth becomes enlightenment and Enlightenment becomes myth…”

In “The Dialectic of Enlightenment” Horkeimer and Adorno discuss the process of enlightenment within facism and anti-semitism and how the same tools are at work within the dominant cultural industry in the West. Highlights include a scathing critique of positivism and scientism (though the latter term is not invoked). While at times the work doesn’t seem to fit with the overall project, it is brought together in the final chapter on fac
...more
Lysergius
Although somewhat dated, it was first composed in 1944, Dialectic of Enlightenment is undoubtedly the most influential publication of the Frankfurt School of Critical Theory. "What we had set out to do," the authors write in the Preface, "was nothing less than to explain why humanity, instead of entering a truly human state, is sinking into a new kind of barbarism."

The book goes far beyond a mere critique of contemporary events, the birth of Western history and of subjectivity itself out of the
...more
Kevin
A dark book for a dark time. With a nod to Martin Jay, it appears that this classic has been absorbed by the culture industry it famously critiques. The sardonic portrait of modern society retains plenty of bite, although I wonder just how trenchant their ambitious mash-up of reductive theories (Marxist, Freudian, Darwinian) really is. For example, might the nostalgia for individuality mirror existentalism, and rather ironically (pace Adorno in Jargon), in its reliance upon the perceiving subjec ...more
Sara Salem
A classic that predicted all the social problems of the modern West just as they were materializing.
mohamadreza Armandi
تک تک جملات این کتاب در حکم شناخت انسان معاصر از مفهوم انسانیت است.
Nader Osama
One very depressing yet brilliant read.
Abolfazl
مجموعه اي از مقالات فلسفي اعضاي مكتب فرانكفورت.
Bloggerton
Not an easy read, but an amazing one.
Kyle
I really wanted to like Dialectic of Enlightenment: Philosophical Fragments...And I really wanted to write up a thoughtful review.

I'll try to keep this pointed and avoid complaining because many of you liked Dialectic of Enlightenment. Nevertheless, after giving myself some time to stew over what I've read, I have absolutely nothing substantial or useful to add. In all honesty I feel a little robbed. I take reading very seriously; it's a very critical and useful activity that I try to take the m
...more
GONZA
Letto solo il primo capitolo per il corso sul postmodernismo.
....The unity of collectivity and power now revealed itself in the generality which faulty content necessarily takes on in language,whether metaphysical or scientific. The metaphysical apologia at least betrayed the injustice of the established order through the incongruence of concept and reality. The impartiality of scientific language deprived what was powerless of the strength to make itself heard and merely provided the existing o
...more
Mike
This book struck me as very dated. Horkheimer and Adorno's description of a monolithic culture industry, for one, simply no longer holds true today (hi Internet!). Still, the book presents an interesting model of humankind's relationship to nature: from magical cultures that imitated nature, to mythic cultures that signified it, to the Enlightenment mono-culture that systematizes everything, turning every object into a sign for itself. They bring up the problems inherent in signification, and th ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: New edition created as individual book 5 160 Sep 17, 2013 05:31PM  
The Culture Industry. 1 30 Feb 02, 2010 08:01PM  
ترجمه مهرگان ؟!!!؟؟ 1 18 Nov 20, 2008 07:15AM  
  • One-Dimensional Man: Studies in the Ideology of Advanced Industrial Society
  • Eclipse of Reason
  • History and Class Consciousness: Studies in Marxist Dialectics
  • The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: An Inquiry Into a Category of Bourgeois Society
  • Specters of Marx
  • Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life
  • Lenin and Philosophy and Other Essays
  • The Dialectical Imagination: A History of the Frankfurt School & the Institute of Social Research, 1923-50
  • Difference and Repetition
  • Postmodernism, or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism
  • Illuminations: Essays and Reflections
  • Introduction to the Reading of Hegel: Lectures on the Phenomenology of Spirit
  • The Fragile Absolute: Or, Why Is the Christian Legacy Worth Fighting For?
  • Ethics: An Essay on the Understanding of Evil
94301
Theodor Wiesengrund Adorno was one of the most important philosophers and social critics in Germany after World War II. Although less well known among anglophone philosophers than his contemporary Hans-Georg Gadamer, Adorno had even greater influence on scholars and intellectuals in postwar Germany. In the 1960s he was the most prominent challenger to both Sir Karl Popper's philosophy of science a ...more
More about Theodor W. Adorno...
The Culture Industry Minima Moralia Aesthetic Theory Aesthetics and Politics Negative Dialectics

Share This Book

“As naturally as the ruled always took the morality imposed upon them more seriously than did the rulers themselves, the deceived masses are today captivated by the myth of success even more than the successful are. Immovably, they insist on the very ideology which enslaves them. The misplaced love of the common people for the wrong which is done to them is a greater force than the cunning of the authorities.” 12 likes
“Pleasure always means not to think about anything, to forget suffering even where it is shown. Basically it is helplessness. It is flight; not, as is asserted, flight from a wretched reality, but from the last remaining thought of resistance.” 9 likes
More quotes…