Plato, Adorno, and the Dialectic


  • Maxwell Kennel McMaster University



Plato, Adorno, Dialectic


This essay shows substantial connections between Plato’s dialectical approach in The Republic and Adorno’s 1958 lectures in An Introduction to Dialectics. Although the relationship between Adorno and Aristotle has received some attention, little work has been done either demonstrating or making connections between Plato and Adorno, especially on the topic of the dialectic. This is likely because Adorno himself has little to say about Plato’s dialectic, although he does refer often to Plato’s ideas and forms, and sometimes to his aesthetics. This essay reads against the grain to show how Plato and Adorno conceive of dialectical thinking in strikingly similar ways that run parallel with their discontinuities, and concludes with the suggestion that the figure of chiasmus is well-positioned to push the limits of dialectical thinking.




How to Cite

Kennel, M. (2021). Plato, Adorno, and the Dialectic. Identities: Journal for Politics, Gender and Culture, 18(1-2).