Criticism from within nature: The dialectic between first and second nature from McDowell to Adorno

Philosophy and Social Criticism 33 (4):473-497 (2007)
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I tackle the definition of the relation between first and second nature while examining some problems with McDowell's conception. This, in the first place, will bring out the need to extend the notion of second nature to the social dimension, understanding it not just as `inner' second nature — individual mind — but also as `outer' second nature — objective spirit. In the second place the dialectical connection between these two notions of second nature will point the way to a critical use of the concept itself, which will link up with a theory of reification. Furthermore, I shall endeavor to fit my reflection into the problematic constellation of critical theory: my analysis in fact rests on the question whether, within a critical theory, the philosophy of nature can be recaptured today, in such a way as to give meaning to the very notion of socio-philosophical criticism of reality.
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