Friday, November 15, 2013

Theodor Adorno: "...the most compelling of the motivations which induced me to take up sociology."


 
"Since we are concerned here with an "Introduction to Sociology", I am reminded at this point -- and this is only seemingly a digression, Ladies and Gentlemen -- of one of the motifs which, at least for me, has been decisive in attracting me to sociology and inducing me to practice the discipline.  It is the need not to operate with ready-made, thought-out concepts in isolation, but to confront the concepts with that from which they arise, from which norms also arise, and in which the relationship of norm to reality is located -- which is, precisely, the interplay of social forces.  I believe that this need to escape from mere conceptuality -- what I would call detached, self-sufficient conceptuality, as it is found in the systems of theoretical physics and, with far less legitimacy, in jurisprudence -- by reflecting on society, is the simplest and perhaps the most compelling of the motivations which induced me to take up sociology."
Theodor Adorno. Introduction to Sociology. "Lecture XIV, July 2, 1968."