Lambert Zuidervaart

Lambert Zuidervaart is Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at the Institute for Christian Studies in Toronto. He is the author of Adorno's Aesthetic Theory (MIT Press), Artistic Truth, Social Philosophy after Adorno, Religion, Truth, and Social Transformation, and other books.

  • Truth in Husserl, Heidegger, and the Frankfurt School

    Truth in Husserl, Heidegger, and the Frankfurt School

    Critical Retrieval

    Lambert Zuidervaart

    An innovative, ambitious, tradition-crossing study drawing on the work of Husserl, Heidegger, Horkheimer, Adorno, and Habermas to propose a new and transformative concept of truth.

    The idea of truth is a guiding theme for German continental philosophers from Husserl through Habermas. In this book, Lambert Zuidervaart examines debates surrounding the idea of truth in twentieth-century German continental philosophy. He argues that the Heideggerian and critical theory traditions have much in common—despite the miscommunication, opposition, and even outright hostility that have prevailed between them—including significant roots in the phenomenology of Edmund Husserl. Zuidervaart sees the tensions between Heideggerian thought and critical theory as potentially generative sources for a new approach to the idea of truth. He argues further that the “critical retrieval” of insights from German continental philosophy can shed light on current debates in analytic truth theory.

    Zuidervaart structures his account around three issues: the distinction between propositional truth and truth that is more than propositional (which he calls existential truth); the relationship between propositional truth and the discursive justification of propositional truth claims, framed in analytic philosophy by debates between epistemic and nonepistemic conceptions of truth; and the relationship between propositional truth and the objectivity of knowledge, often presented in analytic philosophy as a conflict between realists and antirealists over the relation between “truth bearers” and “truth makers.” In an innovative and ambitious argument, drawing on the work of Husserl, Heidegger, Horkheimer, Adorno, and Habermas, Zuidervaart proposes a new and transformative conception of truth.

    • Hardcover $40.00 £32.00
  • The Semblance of Subjectivity

    The Semblance of Subjectivity

    Essays in Adorno's Aesthetic Theory

    Tom Huhn and Lambert Zuidervaart

    Theodor W. Adorno died in 1969 and his last major work, Ästhetische Theorie, was published posthumously a year later. Few philosophers have been as well versed in contemporary art, especially music, as Adorno, and even fewer have written so much that is of interest to the social sciences. Yet only recently have his aesthetic writings begun to receive sustained attention in the English-speaking world. This collection of essays is an important contribution to the growing discussion of Adorno's aesthetics in Anglo-American scholarship.

    The essays in the volume, by many of the major Adorno scholars in the United States and Germany, are organized around the twin themes of semblance and subjectivity. Whereas the concept of semblance, or illusion, points to Adorno's links with Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud, the concept of subjectivity recalls his lifelong struggle with a philosophy of consciousness stemming from Kant, Hegel, and Lukács. Adorno's elaboration of the two concepts takes many dialecical twists. Art, despite the taint of illusion that it has carried since Plato's Republic, turns out in Adorno's account of modernism to have a sophisticated capacity to critique illusion, including its own. Adorno's aesthetics emphasizes the connection between aesthetic theory and many other aspects of social theory. The paradoxical genius of Aesthetic Theory is that it turns traditional concepts into a theoretical cutting edge.

    Studies in Contemporary German Social Thought

    • Hardcover $55.00
    • Paperback $35.00 £28.00
  • Adorno's Aesthetic Theory

    Adorno's Aesthetic Theory

    The Redemption of Illusion

    Lambert Zuidervaart

    This is the first book to put Aesthetic Theory into context and outline the main ideas and relevant debates, offering readers a valuable guide through this huge, difficult, but revelatory work.

    Theodor Adorno's Aesthetic Theory is a vast labyrinth that anyone interested in modern aesthetic theory must at some time enter. Because of his immense difficulty of the same order as Derrida - Adorno's reception has been slowed by the lack of a comprehensive and comprehensible account of the intentions of his aesthetics. This is the first book to put Aesthetic Theory into context and outline the main ideas and relevant debates, offering readers a valuable guide through this huge, difficult, but revelatory work. Its extended argument is that, despite Adorno's assumptions of autonomism, cognitivism, and aesthetic modernism, his idea of artistic truth content offers crucial insights for contemporary philosophical aesthetics.The eleven chapters are divided into three parts: Context, Content, and Critique. The first part offers a brief biography, describes Adorno's debates with Benjamin, Brecht, and Lukács, and outlines his philosophical program. The second part is an interpretation of Adorno's aesthetics, examining how he situates art in society, production, politics, and history and uncovering the social, political, and historical dimensions of his idea of artistic truth. The third part evaluates Adorno's contribution by confronting it with the critiques of Peter Bürger, Frederic Jameson, and Albrecht Wellmer.

    • Hardcover $70.00
    • Paperback $35.00 £28.00