Rodrigo Duarte Professor of Philosophy at the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG - Brazil). He holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Philosophy from the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG - 1982, 1985), and a Doctorate in Philosophy from the Universität Gesamthochschule Kassel (1990). He has held postdoctoral posts at the University of California at Berkeley (1997), at the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar (2000), and at Hochschule Mannheim (2011). He works on philosophy, with an emphasis in Ethics, Aesthetics, social philosophy, focusing primarily on the Frankfurt School, Theodor Adorno, autonomy of art, contemporary art, and mass art. Since 2006, he is president of the Brazilian Association of Aesthetics (ABRE). He has authored several books, including: Marx e o Conceito de Natureza em “O Capital” [Marx and the Concept of Nature in “Capital”] (1986), “Mímesis e Racionalidade – A concepção de domínio da Natureza em Theodor W. Adorno” [Mimesis and Reason – the Concept of Domination of Nature in Theodor W. Adorno] (1993), “Adornos. Nove ensaios sobre o filósofo frankfurtiano” [Adornos: Nine Essays on the Philosopher from Frankfurt] (1997), “Teoria Crítica da Indústria Cultural” [Critical Theory of Culture Industry] (2003), and “Indústria cultural: uma introdução” [Cultural Industry: an Introduction] (2010), “A Arte” [Art] (2012) e “Pós-história de Vilém Flusser” [Vilém Flusser’s Post-history] (2012).
Articles of Rodrigo Duarte
Auschwitz as Philosophical Device: An Adornian Heritage in Flusser’s Thought?
This essay traces the use of “Auschwitz” as a philosophical device in Vilém Flusser’s thought, from History of the Devil and The Last Judgement, to Posthistory and his later media theory. Throughout Flusser’s oeuvre, the Nazi regime and the brutality of the concentration camps (condensed in the figure of Auschwitz) articulates for Flusser the relationship between progress and Western culture. Taking a detour into Adorno’s own theorization of “Auschwitz” – and especially his maxim that “to write poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric” – the essay investigates how modern thought has interpreted Auschwitz not as a glitch in the fabric of modernity, but as a programmed step in the march of progress toward hell. After meeting Adorno, Flusser’s thought on Auschwitz matured and he developed his theory of modernity considering the event of the Holocaust as something integrated in the “program” of Western civilization. Flusser often applies an almost cybernetic conception of the operation of a computer system to understand the functioning of our present reified societies, Auschwitz being a paradigm of the transformation of institutions into “apparatuses” and the metamorphosis of human beings into “functionaries” by means of an automatically playing program.