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Excluded WithinThe (Un)Intelligibility of Radical Political Actors$
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Sina Kramer

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190625986

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190625986.001.0001

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Adorno’s Negative Dialectics as Critical Method

Adorno’s Negative Dialectics as Critical Method

(p.89) 4 Adorno’s Negative Dialectics as Critical Method
Excluded Within

Sina Kramer

Oxford University Press

Chapter 4 turns to the method of critique, for the sake of the political epistemology of constitutive exclusion. If constitutive exclusion produces the terms of intelligible political agency, then those cast in the space of exclusion will still be within, but will be politically unintelligible. How do we listen for what we cannot hear? This chapter takes up Adorno’s negative dialectics as a model for method, through an analysis of “nonidentity” as quasi-transcendent. Like the constitutively excluded element, nonidentity can only be found within what has excluded it rather than absolutely beyond it. Two requirements thus emerge: first, our method must be dialectical, because dialectics respects that what exceeds the delimited terms of politics emerges from within those terms but is not captured by them. Second, our method must be negative, because this keeps us from determining the meaning of contestations of constitutive exclusion in advance.

Keywords:   negative dialectics, negativity, dialectics, Adorno, nonidentity, method, critique, quasi-transcendent, immanence

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