Beyond the 'french Fries and the frankfurter': An agenda for critical theory

Philosophy and Social Criticism 26 (2):99-129 (2000)


Debates between Habermas and the poststructuralists - specifically, Derrida, Foucault and Lyotard - over the nature of critiques of Enlightenment rationality and modernity are investigated in order to argue for an agenda for critical theory beyond the 'French Fries and the Frankfurter'.1 Part I interrogates key elements of Habermas' theory of communicative rationality in his reconstruction of Enlightenment modernity and his critique of the poststructuralists. This orients the discussion toward an evaluation of Habermas' neo-Kantianism, theory of language (discourse ethics), and the 'critique' he employs in his bid to defend and complete the project of modernity. Key Words: critical theory • Derrida • Enlightenment modernity • Foucault • Habermas • Lyotard • Marx • postmodernism debates.

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