Concept/Fact/Phantasy: Adorno

“The delusion that the ordo idearum (order of ideas) should be the ordo rerum (order of things) is based on the insinuation that the mediated is unmediated.  Just as little as a simple fact can be thought without a concept, because to think it always already means to conceptualize it, it is equally impossible to think the purest concept without reference to the factual.  Even the creations of phantasy that are supposedly independent of space and time, point towards individual existence – however far they may be removed from it.”  

Adorno, The Essay as Form
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”the life of the detail”

The ideological constitution of aesthetics (of authorized & authoritative judgments of ‘beauty’ & ‘greatness’) is located in the ‘historical charge’ carried by both the details of/within the work/text and the surrounding structure. “Without at least an intuitive grasp of the life of the detail in the structure, all love of beauty is no more than empty dreaming. In the last analysis structure and detail are always historically charged.”
Walter Benjamin, Trauerspiels, p182

The detail leads back to the society from which the text emerged and thus to the systems of relations of power and modes of domination of that society. The work-of-art (text) is thus the expression of power in society. ——————

Harnessing the Sun

The problem of the study of the social is that we are always-already within it. Even when we reduce ourselves to the study of culture (qua society’s wake) we are still dealing with that which we constitute & which constitutes us. So that the power of society (and it is a fearsome power as it makes things like The State) is near impossible to analyse. The sun (a power so great it is responsible for us) is pretty well understood by current astronomy, physics, cosmology because those sciences did not have to first harness the power of the Sun in order to study it. Society will be far more difficult to develop a good understanding of. ——————