Colloquium: Antonio Vázquez-Arroyo

Atlantic ocean 09

Transatlantic Concatenations: On the Historicity of "Western" Political Thought

Description: What could the dialectical legacy of critical theory contribute to understand the historicity of political thought? This talk sketches an approach to the historicity of political thought from the perspective of the dialectical legacy of critical theory as formulated by Theodor W. Adorno and Roberto Schwarz. In his lectures and literary essays Adorno addressed the historicity of philosophical categories and how critical theory needs to account for the sedimentations embedded in its received concepts. Meanwhile, Schwarz’s notion of “misplaced ideas” accounts for the historicity of political ideas, and explores how these eventuate along with the sociological, ideological and historical presuppositions acquired in their movements. By drawing from Adorno’s reflections on the historicity of philosophical problems and from Schwarz’s writings about peripheral literary traditions, the question of the historicity of political ideas and concepts could be recast beyond commonplaces about Eurocentrism and its others.

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For more information, check out Antonio Vázquez-Arroyo’s profile at Rutgers University!