Situating receptivity: From critique to 'reflective disclosure'

Philosophy and Social Criticism 37 (9):1033-1041 (2011)
Abstract
In Critique and Disclosure: Critical Theory between Past and Future , Nikolas Kompridis proposes a new model of critique for critical theory based on the unlikely alliance he constructs between Habermas and Heidegger while seeking to avoid the philosophical shortcomings of both. Focusing on his accounts of ‘receptivity’, arguably the central concept in his new model of critique, I argue sympathetically that although his rejection of some and appropriation of certain features of Habermas' theory serve his philosophical aims, his allegiance to Heidegger’s ontology would thwart his interest in receptivity as an alternative model of critique stressing the interpretation of meaning and learning over validity and rationality. Kompridis must be attentive to the conditions that enable or constrain receptivity, yet this is a theoretical move unavailable to him within his Heideggerian framework. To secure the work learning performs in his critical model Kompridis must relinquish ontology and cultivate an approach situating receptivity in the political and socially contingent contexts in which it is conditioned
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