A founding member of the Frankfurt School and the philosophical style known as critical theory, Theodor W. Adorno’s contributions continue to have an impact on philosophical, sociological, and aesthetic thought. This article, written by Merlin volunteer and scholar Jonathan Drake, offers an introduction to his works and influence, as well as some important clarifications about his critique of western philosophy and the enlightenment.
Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein is a ubiquitous feature of popular culture, continuously adapted and revisited. Dr. Raymond Boisvert, Professor of Philosophy Emeritus, argues that Frankenstein endures because of its sophisticated treatment of morality. Victor, a brilliant thinker who sees science as a means of transcending natural limits, creates life (Frankenstein’s “monster”) only to demean and abandon his creation. But Boisvert argues that Victor is a complex figure — neither inherently evil, nor the product of a corrupt or evil society. Instead Victor’s failings can better be understood by examining two different ethical models: Evil as Absence & Evil as Banal.
Can utopianism be salvaged? Should it be? For many, the answer is no. But there are reasons to suggest, claims philosopher Espen Hammer, that a fully modern society cannot live without a utopian consciousness. But even if we were to adopt this stance, we must do this with caution. What preoccupies our utopian imagination is of utmost importance.
We are delighted to welcome Jonathan Drake as one of the newest members to the Merlin Volunteer Crew. A Helena native, Jonathan received his B.A. in Religious Studies from the University of Montana and is volunteering while he applies to graduate school to further his study of new religious movements. As part of his volunteer work, Jonathan will be regularly contributing to the resources library of our website and assisting in several of our philosophy in the community events.