Adorno argues that metaphysics underpins the very possibility of nonidentity thinking. This notion is developed through a radical rereading of the metaphysical enterprise. Adorno, in common with much of contemporary philosophy, rejects all existing versions of metaphysics (as he understands them). Nevertheless, he attempts, from within the perspective of historical materialism, to retrieve notions of transcendence and the absolute and to explain their truth within his own philosophy of nonidentity. He offers a number of criticisms of existing models of metaphysics,

concentrating in particular on the theories of Hegel and Heidegger.