The Confusion of Marxian and Freudian Fetishism in Adorno and Benjamin

Philosophy Today 46 (4):429-443 (2002)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
Both Theodor Adorno and Walter Benjamin borrow from Freudian theory in their analyses of fetishism’s relation to the contemporary reception of cultural prod- ucts. I will argue that both authors have con- fused the Marxian and Freudian theories of fetishism, resulting in mistaken conclusions about artistic reception. By disentangling the Marxian and Freudian elements in both authors’ positions, I want to show that 1) Adorno’s characterization of regressive lis- tening implies, contrary to his intentions, that the current reception of artwork is in fact antagonistic to fetishism, and that 2) his crit- icism of Benjamin’s optimism toward “re- ception in distraction” is nevertheless justi- fied. If I am correct, it may be necessary to reassess Adorno’s demand for asceticism in advanced art. The current danger may not be “fetishism” at all, but rather the troublesome consequences of fetishism’s decline.
ISBN(s)
0031-8256
PhilPapers/Archive ID
MIOTCO-2
Upload history
Archival date: 2019-07-19
View other versions
Added to PP index
2017-02-15

Total views
317 ( #18,816 of 2,432,438 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
167 ( #3,291 of 2,432,438 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.