A Sociology Class on Laughing. On Theory and Practice in Adorno’s work.
While Adorno has often been seen as a serious theorist, his call for an empirical basis of theoretical thinking is less well-known. This essay will take a look on this neglected aspect of Adorno’s work. That his way of thinking did, indeed, start from concrete experience is exemplified by his notes on a class on laughing, which Adorno offered in the mid-1960s. In this essay, some unknown documents on this class are presented for the first time. These documents show that, whereas in Adorno’s known writings this considerations about laughter appear only in some dispersed brief passages, he examined this topic quite intensively.