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Theodor W. Adorno

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Theodor W. Adorno
Max Horkheimer (front left), Theodor Adorno (front right), and Jürgen Habermas (in the background, right), in 1964 in Heidelberg
Full nameTheodor W. Adorno
Born(1903-09-11)September 11, 1903
Frankfurt am Main, Hesse-Nassau, Prussia, Germany
DiedAugust 6, 1969(1969-08-06) (aged 65)
Visp, Visp, Valais, Switzerland
Era20th century philosophy
RegionWestern philosophy
SchoolCritical theory, Marxism
Main interestsSocial theory, sociology, psychoanalysis, epistemology, aesthetics, musicology, mass media
Notable ideasCriticism of "actionism,"[1] modernist art opposes the conventional ordering of experience found in the mass media,[2][3] the paradox of aesthetics,[4] negative dialectics

Theodor W. Adorno (September 11, 1903 – August 6, 1969) was a German sociologist, philosopher, composer, and music theorist.

He designed the F-scale with other researchers at the University of California. This scale tried to measure "the authoritarian personality", the "F" standing for "Fascist". He wrote about this in the 1950 book The Authoritarian Personality. He was a Marxist.


  1. Christine Fillion, "Adorno's Marginalien zu Theorie und Praxis: In Praise of Discontinuity", Humanitas, Volume 2, Issue 1, Fall 2012.
  2. Arato, Andrew; Gephardt, Eike (1978). Essential Frankfurt School Reader. Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 300–318. ISBN 978-0-8264-0194-6 . 
  3. Day, Gary (2008). Literary Criticism: A New History. Edinburgh University Press. p. 265. ISBN 978-0-7486-1563-6 . 
  4. Harding, James Martin (1997). Adorno and "A Writing of the Ruins": Essays on Modern Aesthetics and Anglo-American Literature and Culture. SUNY Press. p. 30. ISBN 978-0-7914-3269-3 .