The aesthetic purport of Edmund Husserl’s phenomenology. Theodor W. Adorno’s rethinking of the subject-object relationship


Edmund Husserl
Theodor W. Adorno


This paper draws a comparison between Theodor W. Adorno and Edmund Husserl according to a mended dialogue in the aesthetic field. In this regard, the essay does not ponder over the customary critique on the so-called idealistic phase of phenomenology, embodied by Ideas pertaining to a pure phenomenology and to a Phenomenological philosophy, and copes with the genetic stage of Husserl’s thought, signified by Formal and transcendental logic and Cartesian meditations. The relevant influence of Husserl’s philosophy on Adorno’s aesthetics springs out of the last and mature phase of transcendental phenomenology. It results, notably, from a renewed notion of intentionality whereby a critical concern with subjectivity contributes reshaping the core on which artworks detect and conceal the rational purport of intentio so that their thingly feature reconfigures the status of the aesthetic subject. As a result, Adorno’s aesthetics may earn a new perspective on the questioned relationship between subject and object through the compari-son with Husserl’s phenomenology.