Minima Moralia
Minima Moralia

Summary: This is an original English translation of Theodor Adorno's classic work of critical theory, Minima Moralia. I've divided the translation into three parts for easy downloading.

Translator’s notes: The existing English translation of Minima Moralia, by E.P. Jephcott, is good, but stylistically somewhat dated. The goal of this version is to render the pungency and power of the original text in contemporary prose (the alternative is teaching the intricacies of mid-20th century academic English to 21st century students). I have tried to highlight certain theoretical passages and motifs which aren’t quite as explicit in Jephcott’s version (e.g. aufgehoben is rendered as “sublation”, instead of Jephcott’s “preservation”). Where necessary, I have also changed the sexist language of the original, replacing “he” with either “they” or “one”, and added additional explanations of Latin and French terms. Above all, I have tried to do some small amount of justice to the poetry, musicality and beauty of Adorno’s language, which is inextricably interwoven with Adorno’s theoretical innovations. In the midst of the most cataclysmic war of human history, Adorno’s prose radiates the promise of a happiness beyond catastrophe – a happiness which the total system, to this day, denies its constituent members, simply because it is this catastrophe.

Students, readers, scholars and teachers should feel free to quote or cite this translation in papers, classes, or creative projects. There are no royalties to worry about – this translation is a free public service to all. (Just be sure to provide a footnote crediting me and providing the web address where the translation can be found.) Note that all text is in HTML.


Minima Moralia, Part 1 Aphorisms 1-50

Minima Moralia, Part 2 Aphorisms 51-100

Minima Moralia, Part 3 Aphorisms 101-153

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