The article focuses on an apparently secondary aspect of Adorno???s argumentation in the Positivist Debate: social physiognomy. Physiognomy forms part of what the historian Carlo Ginzburg called an ???evidential paradigm???. Based specifically on semiotics, it began to assert itself in the human sciences in the late nineteenth century. The art connoisseur Giovanni Morelli, Sherlock Holmes and Sigmund Freud showed how through its application, information considered marginal could enable understanding a deeper, otherwise unattainable reality. Benjamin and Adorno also set physiognomy at the centre of their complex, anti-reductionist theory of culture, which focuses on aspects neglected by conventional approaches. While traditional ???rationalistic??? historical and sociological approaches generally focus on overt aspects of ???culture???, such as language or words, physiognomy seeks more far-reaching significance through the conviction that mental abilities are reflected in the corporeal nature of human beings. Physiognomy thus considers those aspects of culture that are neither rational nor logical and not explicitly revealed. For this reason, physiognomic practice generally focuses on analysing myths, dream states, and covert aspects of the mind and body ??? cultural expressions that are not produced by the conscious, logical mind, but are involuntary and repressed. Today, more than half a century after the Positivist Debate, the topicality of Adorno???s sociological thinking can be seen to lie more in his efforts to unify abstract theorising, object, and aesthetic representation, than in his explanatory analysis of capitalist society.
|Titolo:||'At the Crossroads of Magic and Positivism'. The Roots of a Conjectural Paradigm Though Benjamin and Adorno|
|Anno del prodotto:||2015|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1177/1468795X14567284|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|