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Internationales Alfred-Döblin-Kolloquium Cambridge 2017

Natur, Technik und das (Post-)Humane in den Schriften Alfred Döblins

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Edited By Steffan Davies and David Midgley

Das Verhältnis Mensch – Natur und das Leben in einer technisierten Welt sind Themenbereiche, die Alfred Döblin in seinen Erzählwerken und Essays immer wieder – und in mannigfaltigen Beziehungen – erkundet hat. Die hier versammelten Beiträge bieten neue Einsichten in die Entwicklung von Döblins Natur- und Weltauffassung. Sie befassen sich mit seiner Aufarbeitung der mit der Technik verbundenen Wissenskultur und sozialer Praxis, mit den Beziehungen zwischen seiner Thematik und aktuellen Erörterungen des ‚Posthumanen’ sowie mit Aspekten seiner Erzählpraxis und ethischen Orientierung, die mit diesen Themen verbunden sind. Der Band dokumentiert das 21. Internationale Alfred-Döblin-Kolloquium, das 2017 zum Thema „Natur, Technik und das (Post-)Humane in den Schriften Alfred Döblins" in Cambridge, England, tagte.

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Sebastian Musch: Döblin’s Observations on Human Nature and Futurism in Light of Adorno and Horkheimer’s Critique of Buddhism

Döblin’s Observations on Human Nature and Futurism in Light of Adorno and Horkheimer’s Critique of Buddhism

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Sebastian Musch

Abstract: This essay examines Alfred Döblin’s notion of human nature as presented in his essay Buddho und die Natur in connection with his attack on F. T. Marinetti’s Futurism in Futuristische Worttechnik. Starting from Adorno and Horkheimer’s critique of Buddhism, I discuss Döblin’s opinion of Daoism and Buddhism and argue that Döblin favored the former over the later, because Daoism dovetailed with his understanding of nature and of man’s relation to it and society.

Keywords: religion, Futurism, Buddhism, Daoism, nature, technology

In one of the short postscripts to Dialektik der Aufklärung, entitled Verwandlung der Idee in Herrschaft, Adorno and Horkheimer discuss the dialectical movement between asceticism and materialism on the one hand, and the “formale Differenz der radikalen von den konformistischen Bewegungen in Religion und Philosophie” on the other.1 Next, in addition to several Christian and Ancient Greek schools of thought, they also discuss, even if only briefly and rather polemically, the “Sekte des Asketen Gotama” (DdA 260), i. e. Buddhism.2 They certainly did not have much expertise in the subject and seem to have relied solely on Hermann Oldenberg’s popular Buddha: Sein Leben, seine Lehre, seine Gemeinde, first published in 1881.3 However, their ←67 | 68→interest in Buddhism was certainly not unusual. Buddhism, or what was more generally called ‘Eastern wisdom’, had during the first decades of the twentieth century gained significant cultural capital in European and especially German thought.4 Still an obscure figure in the 1890s,...

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