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Theodor Adorno's Quotes

Theodor Adorno profile photo

Born: 1903-09-11
Profession: Philosopher
Nation: German
Biography of Theodor Adorno

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The good man is he who rules himself as he does his own property: his autonomous being is modelled on material power.

Tags: Good, Himself, Power

The task of art today is to bring chaos into order.

Tags: Art, Order, Today

Today self-consciousness no longer means anything but reflection on the ego as embarrassment, as realization of impotence: knowing that one is nothing.

Tags: Ego, Means, Today

Horror is beyond the reach of psychology.

Tags: Beyond, Horror, Reach

The hardest hit, as everywhere, are those who have no choice.

Tags: Choice, Hardest, Hit

The almost insoluble task is to let neither the power of others, nor our own powerlessness, stupefy us.

Tags: Almost, Others, Power

Estrangement shows itself precisely in the elimination of distance between people.

Tags: Between, Distance, Shows

Everything that has ever been called folk art has always reflected domination.

Tags: Art, Domination, Folk

He who stands aloof runs the risk of believing himself better than others and misusing his critique of society as an ideology for his private interest.

Tags: Himself, Others, Society

All satire is blind to the forces liberated by decay. Which is why total decay has absorbed the forces of satire.

Tags: Blind, Forces, Why

Anti-Semitism is the rumour about the Jews.

Tags: Jews, Rumour

Domination delegates the physical violence on which it rests to the dominated.

Tags: Domination, Physical, Violence

Exuberant health is always, as such, sickness also.

Tags: Exuberant, Health, Sickness

For a man who no longer has a homeland, writing becomes a place to live.

Tags: Longer, Place, Writing

In the abstract conception of universal wrong, all concrete responsibility vanishes.

Tags: Abstract, Universal, Wrong

Insane sects grow with the same rhythm as big organizations. It is the rhythm of total destruction.

Tags: Big, Grow, Insane

Lies are told only to convey to someone that one has no need either of him or his good opinion.

Tags: Good, Him, Someone

Quality is decided by the depth at which the work incorporates the alternatives within itself, and so masters them.

Tags: Quality, Within, Work

Technology is making gestures precise and brutal, and with them men.

Tags: Making, Men, Technology

The culture industry not so much adapts to the reactions of its customers as it counterfeits them.

Tags: Culture, Customers, Industry

The first and only principle of sexual ethics: the accuser is always in the wrong.

Tags: Ethics, Principle, Wrong

The poor are prevented from thinking by the discipline of others, the rich by their own.

Tags: Others, Rich, Thinking

The specific is not exclusive: it lacks the aspiration to totality.

Tags: Aspiration, Exclusive, Totality

There is no love that is not an echo.

Tags: Echo, Love

Because thought has by now been perverted into the solving of assigned problems, even what is not assigned is processed like a problem.

Tags: Problem, Problems, Thought

He who has laughter on his side has no need of proof.

Tags: Laughter, Proof, Side
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History does not merely touch on language, but takes place in it.

Tags: History, Place, Touch

If across the Atlantic the ideology was pride, here it is delivering the goods.

Tags: Here, Ideology, Pride

In his state of complete powerlessness the individual perceives the time he has left to live as a brief reprieve.

Tags: Individual, State, Time

In psycho-analysis nothing is true except the exaggerations.

Tags: Except, True

In the age of the individual's liquidation, the question of individuality must be raised anew.

Tags: Age, Individual, Question

In the end, glorification of splendid underdogs is nothing other than glorification of the splendid system that makes them so.

Tags: End, Makes, System

Modernity is a qualitative, not a chronological, category.

Tags: Category, Modernity

No emancipation without that of society.

Tags: Society

No harm comes to man from outside alone: dumbness is the objective spirit.

Tags: Alone, Outside, Spirit

None of the abstract concepts comes closer to fulfilled utopia than that of eternal peace.

Tags: Abstract, Eternal, Peace

Normality is death.

Tags: Death, Normality

Not only is the self entwined in society; it owes society its existence in the most literal sense.

Tags: Self, Sense, Society

Once the last trace of emotion has been eradicated, nothing remains of thought but absolute tautology.

Tags: Last, Once, Thought

Only a humanity to whom death has become as indifferent as its members, that has itself died, can inflict it administratively on innumerable people.

Tags: Become, Death, Humanity

Proletarian language is dictated by hunger. The poor chew words to fill their bellies.

Tags: Language, Poor, Words

The gods look in pleasure on penitent sinners.

Tags: Gods, Pleasure, Sinners

The human is indissolubly linked with imitation: a human being only becomes human at all by imitating other human beings.

Tags: Human, Imitating, Imitation

The individual mirrors in his individuation the preordained social laws of exploitation, however mediated.

Tags: However, Individual, Social

The joke of our time is the suicide of intention.

Tags: Intention, Joke, Time

The recent past always presents itself as if destroyed by catastrophes.

Tags: Destroyed, Past, Recent

The splinter in your eye is the best magnifying-glass.

Tags: Best, Eye

The whole is the false.

Tags: False, Whole

To say 'we' and mean 'I' is one of the most recondite insults.

Tags: Insults, Mean

True thoughts are those alone which do not understand themselves.

Tags: Alone, Thoughts, True

Truth is inseperable from the illusory belief that from the figures of the unreal one day, in spite of all, real deliverance will come.

Tags: Belief, Real, Truth

When all actions are mathematically calculated, they also take on a stupid quality.

Tags: Actions, Quality, Stupid

If time is money, it seems moral to save time, above all one's own, and such parsimony is excused by consideration for others. One is straight-forward.

Tags: Money, Others, Time

A pencil and rubber are of more use to thought than a battalion of assistants. To happiness the same applies as to truth: one does not have it, but is in it.

Tags: Happiness, Thought, Truth

Love is the power to see similarity in the dissimilar.

Tags: Love, Power, Similarity

Wrong life cannot be lived rightly.

Tags: Cannot, Life, Wrong

Love you will find only where you may show yourself weak without provoking strength.

Tags: Love, Strength, Yourself

The most powerful person is he who is able to do least himself and burden others most with the things for which he lends his name and pockets the credit.

Tags: Able, Others, Powerful

A German is someone who cannot tell a lie without believing it himself.

Tags: Cannot, Lie, Someone

The man for whom time stretches out painfully is one waiting in vain, disappointed at not finding tomorrow already continuing yesterday.

Tags: Time, Tomorrow, Waiting

Dialectic thought is an attempt to break through the coercion of logic by its own means.

Tags: Break, Means, Thought

Freedom would be not to choose between black and white but to abjure such prescribed choices.

Tags: Between, Black, Freedom

Every work of art is an uncommitted crime.

Tags: Art, Crime, Work

He who matures early lives in anticipation.

Tags: Early, Lives, Matures

Intelligence is a moral category.

Tags: Category, Moral

Thinking no longer means anymore than checking at each moment whether one can indeed think.

Tags: Means, Moment, Thinking

But he who dies in despair has lived his whole life in vain.

Tags: Despair, Life, Whole

In many people it is already an impertinence to say 'I'.

Tags: Far, Less, Principle

Happiness is obsolete: uneconomic.

Tags: Happiness, Obsolete

Work while you work, play while you play - this is a basic rule of repressive self-discipline.

Tags: Rule, While, Work

Advice to intellectuals: let no-one represent you.

Tags: Advice, Intelligence, Represent

Art is magic delivered from the lie of being truth.

Tags: Art, Lie, Truth

Tact is the discrimination of differences. It consists in conscious deviations.

Tags: Conscious, Consists, Tact

An emancipated society, on the other hand, would not be a unitary state, but the realization of universality in the reconciliation of differences.

Tags: Hand, Society, State

Life has become the ideology of its own absence.

Tags: Absence, Become, Life

Art is permitted to survive only if it renounces the right to be different, and integrates itself into the omnipotent realm of the profane.

Tags: Art, Realm, Survive

He who has loved and who betrays love does harm not only to the image of the past, but to the past itself.

Tags: Love, Loved, Past

He who integrates is lost.

Tags: Lost
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