Autonomy After Auschwitz: Adorno, German Idealism, and Modernity

2015.04.08 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Martin Shuster, Autonomy After Auschwitz: Adorno, German Idealism, and Modernity, University of Chicago Press, 2014, 201pp.,
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2015.04.08 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Martin Shuster, Autonomy After Auschwitz: Adorno, German Idealism, and Modernity, University of Chicago Press, 2014, 201pp., $45.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780226155487. Reviewed by Owen Hulatt, University of York The ideal of autonomy -- the refusal to acquiesce to any maxim, demand, outcome, or line of argument that one has not endorsed, or could not endorse, for oneself -- combines immediate appeal with equally immediate difficulty. It poses what appear to be intense, possibly unreasonable demands on one's agency, epistemic position, and moral psychology. But, by the same token, it is -- at least in modernity -- an utterly essential part of what we take ourselves to be, and part of the normative bedrock we appeal to in order to better our lot. The ills of modernity characteristically focus around problems of power and coercion, whether these be crudely expressed (in state coercion, say) or are more elusively played. . .

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