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Title: Antinomies of transcritique and virtue ethics : An Adornian Critique
Authors: Tassone, Giuseppe 
Affiliations: Cultural Studies Program 
Keywords: Theodor Adorno
Terry Eagleton
Kojin Karatani
Rational morality
Virtue ethics
Subjects: Critical theory
Issue Date: 2008
Part of: Journal of philosophy & social criticism
Volume: 34
Issue: 6
Start page: 665
End page: 684
In the wave of critical theory's recent turn to ethics, Karatani's transcritique and Eagleton's ethics of agape have emerged as two of the most outstanding attempts to reinstate morality at the centre of Marx's analysis of capitalist society. This article argues that, in spite of their merits in repositioning the normative generalizations of the moral discourse within the context of Marx's political economy, both theories share certain fundamental flaws which are inherent in the very meaning of the possibility of moral action in a wrong society. By taking Karatani's transcritique as a sample of what Christoph Menke names `rational morality' and Eagleton's revival of classical morality as a variant of `virtue ethics', it is shown that they are both amenable to Adorno's charge that wrong life cannot be lived rightly. Finally, it is contended that what Adorno's criticism indicates is that, when it most matters in real situations, morality always reveals its political overdetermination.
DOI: 10.1177/0191453708090333
Ezproxy URL: Link to full text
Type: Journal Article
Appears in Collections:Cultural Studies Program

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