Dialectical Philosophy after Auschwitz Remaining Silent, Speaking Out, Engaging with the Victims

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Auschwitz is still the greatest challenge for philosophy and reason, rather than representing their end, as Lyotard most prominently seems to imply. The article shows how the evolution of the question of dialectics from Hegel to postmodernism must be thought in relation to Auschwitz. The critics of reason and Hegel such as Lyotard, Derrida and Foucault are highlighting the break between reason and unspeakable suffering, for which Auschwitz is the most prominent symbol, but reintroduce ‘behind’ the scene much more speculative concepts than Hegel himself (Plasma by Lyotard, khora by Derrida and power as an absolute by Foucault). Adorno for his part thought that only a negative dialectics could address the problem adequately but transferred the unity of opposites just in the realm of utopia. But there is no negative (Adorno) or positive dialectics, only dialectics which mediates and posit the positive and the negative on a higher level.
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Archival date: 2020-04-03
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