Modern technology is more than a neutral tool: it is the framework of our civilization and shapes our way of life. Social critics claim that we must choose between this way of life and human values. CriticalTheory of Technology challenges that pessimistic cliche. This pathbreaking book argues that the roots of the degradation of labor, education, and the environment lie not in technology per se but in the cultural values embodied in its design. Rejecting such popular solutions (...) as economic simplicity or spiritual renewal, Feenberg presents a compelling argument for broader democratic participation in technological choices. This book will be of special interest to scholars and students of philosophy, sociology, contemporary Marxism, and CriticalTheory. (shrink)
There is a “Pragmatist turn” visible in the field of organization science today, resulting from a renewed interest in the work of Pragmatist philosophers like Dewey, Mead, Peirce, James and others, and in its implications for the study of organizations. Following Wicks and Freeman, in the past decade Pragmatism has also entered the field of business ethics, which, however, has not been uniformly applauded in that field. Some scholars fear that Pragmatism may enhance already existing positivist and managerialist tendencies in (...) current business ethics, while others see more emancipatory potential in Pragmatism, arguing that it complements and supports stakeholder theory. In this paper, a comparison of the philosophical underpinnings of Pragmatist and Critical conceptions of business ethics is offered, concentrating on the Pragmatism of John Dewey and the Criticaltheory of the Frankfurt School, in particular of Axel Honneth. It is argued that these two developed along two converging lines. Along the first line, Dewey was far more skeptical and critical of capitalism than is often thought. Along the second line, the reactions to Pragmatism of Frankfurt School Critical theorists developed over time from generally hostile, to partially inclusive, to more fully integrative. At the crossroads of these converging lines a Pragmatist Critical perspective is developed and exemplified, and its implications for business ethics are outlined. (shrink)
Now in its second edition, this collection is an intelligent, accessible overview of the entire CriticalTheory Tradition, written by one of the leading experts on the subject. Filled with original insights and valuable historical narratives, this work is a contribution that furthers the idea and spirit of criticaltheory as it weaves together a narrative from a series of examinations of the thoughts of many of the most important left Western intellectuals of the twentieth century. (...) Covering the work of major philosophical thinkers such as Benjamin, Horkheimer, Adorno, Marcuse and Habermas and revisiting the contributions of lesser-known figures such as Karl Korsch and Ernst Bloch, Bronner measures the writing of these theorists against each other, postmodernist philosophers and the critical tradition reaching back to Hegel, and then connects the history of criticaltheory with important historical events and develops in the twentieth century. Of CriticalTheory and Its Theorists presents new insights useful to experienced scholars and offers clear summaries for students making this book an ideal introduction to the debates surrounding one of the most important intellectual traditions of the 20th Century. (shrink)
Thoroughly revised, this new edition of CriticalTheory of Technology rethinks the relationships between technology, rationality, and democracy, arguing that the degradation of labor--as well as of many environmental, educational, and political systems--is rooted in the social values that preside over technological development. It contains materials on political theory, but the emphasis has shifted to reflect a growing interest in the fields of technology and cultural studies.
The CriticalTheory of Axel Honneth provides a comprehensive study of the work of Axel Honneth, offering a critical reconstruction of his project in relation the themes of power, critique, and the intersubjective paradigm.
Information security can be of high moral value. It can equally be used for immoral purposes and have undesirable consequences. In this paper we suggest that criticaltheory can facilitate a better understanding of possible ethical issues and can provide support when finding ways of addressing them. The paper argues that criticaltheory has intrinsic links to ethics and that it is possible to identify concepts frequently used in criticaltheory to pinpoint ethical concerns. (...) Using the example of UK electronic medical records the paper demonstrates that a critical lens can highlight issues that traditional ethical theories tend to overlook. These are often linked to collective issues such as social and organisational structures, which philosophical ethics with its typical focus on the individual does not tend to emphasise. The paper suggests that this insight can help in developing ways of researching and innovating responsibly in the area of information security. (shrink)
CriticalTheory and Philosophy illuminates one of the most complex and influential philosophical movements of this century. After tracking CriticalTheory to its source in the works of Kant, Hegel, Marx, and Weber, David Ingram examines the four major figures of the Frankfurt School: Theodor Adorno, Max Horkheimer, Herbert Marcuse, and Jurgen Habermas. The logical structure of this text guides both novice and veteran students through specific social and political concerns toward a gradual understanding of the (...) philosophy of critical evaluation. Includes chapters on: · The Philosophical Roots of CriticalTheory · Freud and the Problem of Ideology · Weber and the Dialectic of Enlightenment · Marcuse and the New Politics of Liberation · Horkheimer and Habermas on Critical Methodology · Contemporary Trends in Social Philosophy. (shrink)
The struggle against liberalism in the totalitarian view of the state.--The concept of essence.--The affirmative character of culture.--Philosophy and criticaltheory.--On hedonism.--Industrialization and capitalism in the work of Max Weber.--Love mystified; a critique of Norman O. Brown and a reply to Herbert Marcuse by Norman O. Brown.--Aggressiveness in advanced industrial society.
CriticalTheory constitutes one of the major intellectual traditions of the twentieth century, and is centrally important for philosophy, political theory, aesthetics and theory of art, the study of modern European literatures and music, the history of ideas, sociology, psychology, and cultural studies. In this volume an international team of distinguished contributors examines the major figures in CriticalTheory, including Horkheimer, Adorno, Marcuse, Benjamin, and Habermas, as well as lesser known but important thinkers such (...) as Pollock and Neumann. The volume surveys the shared philosophical concerns that have given impetus to CriticalTheory throughout its history, while at the same time showing the diversity among its proponents that contributes so much to its richness as a philosophical school. The result is an illuminating overview of the entire history of CriticalTheory in the twentieth century, an examination of its central conceptual concerns, and an in-depth discussion of its future prospects. (shrink)
The CriticalTheory of the early Frankfurt School promised, in Adorno’s words, a ‘rational critique of reason’. Science and Technology Studies can play a role in the renewal of this approach. STS is based on a critique of the very same technocratic and scientistic assumptions against which CriticalTheory argues. Its critique of positivism and determinism has political implications. But at its origins STS took what Wiebe Bijker called the ‘detour into the academy’ in order to (...) institutionalize itself as a social science. It adopted empirical methods, developed case histories, and limited its scope, avoiding politically controversial issues. Its latent political critique has become explicit in recent years as STS has responded to the rise of technical politics by broadening its concerns. Its wide scope converges with the equally encompassing CriticalTheory. Together, STS and CriticalTheory offer a new concept of politics. (shrink)
Axel Honneth makes initial and promising steps towards what could be called a two-level account of recognition, according to which the normatively substantial forms of recognition represent various manners in which the primordial acquaintedness with others is expressed. It will be argued that Honneth's promising approach must be revised in regard to the issue of intentionality, which may be achieved by reference to earlier critical theorists such as Adorno and Arendt. With such a foundation, criticaltheory can (...) enter into new fruitful interdisciplinary dialogue. (shrink)
Historically, blatantly untrue and defamatory conspiracy theories had disastrous consequences for those who were portrayed in them as evil-doers. At the same time, conspiratorial agreements at the expense of the common good between powerful groups in society do exist and have occasionally been uncovered. Against this background, the article describes different ways in which criticaltheory has looked at conspiracies. First, an attempt is made to show that Max Horkheimer's notes on `rackets' are an ambitious but flawed attempt (...) to theorize conspiracy. It is argued that Horkheimer's theory is imbued by the very conspiracy thinking that he proposed to criticize. Second, the author suggests recovering Franz Neumann's concept of `political alienation' as a more appropriate starting point to think critically about the ethical and epistemological questions raised by conspiracy theories. (shrink)
This article offers a perspective on the criticaltheory of justice by presenting a structural and processual reconstruction of Rainer Forst’s intriguing yet somewhatopaque concept of a basic structure of justification which is central to his proposed critique of justificatory relations. It shows from a cognitive-sociological perspective what a cooperative relation between a philosophical theory of justice and a social scientific approach could mean for criticaltheory. A basic structure of justification is revealed to be (...) a cognitively available reflexive order above the order of substantive social and political relations that allows the identifi cation, explanation and transformative critique of reflexivity deficits induced by hegemonic, ideological, repressive or obfuscating means. Far from being exclusively a theoretical and methodological tool, however, it is in principle accessible to those involved and affected on whose experience, suffering and critique criticaltheory vitally depends. (shrink)
Over the last decade, Axel Honneth has established himself as one of the leading social and political philosophers in the world today. Rooted in the tradition of criticaltheory, his writings have been central to the revitalization of criticaltheory and have become increasingly influential. His theory of recognition has gained worldwide attention and is seen by some as the principal counterpart to Habermass theory of discourse ethics. In this important new volume, Honneth pursues (...) his path-breaking work on recognition by exploring the moral experiences of disrespect that underpin the conduct of social and political critique. What we might conceive of as a striving for social recognition initially appears in a negative form as the experience of humiliation or disrespect. Honneth argues that disrespect constitutes the systematic key to a comprehensive theory of recognition that seeks to clarify the sense in which institutionalized patterns of social recognition generate justified demands on the way subjects treat each other. This new book by one of the leading social and political philosophers of our time will be of particular interest to students and scholars in social and political theory and philosophy. (shrink)
A critique of contemporary criticaltheory that traces transformative shifts in the discipline during the twentieth century and argues for a reformulation of criticaltheory in order to ensure the legacy of its political project.
2. Class,. class. conflict. and. the. development. of. capitalism: critical. theory. and. political. economy. In the last ten years the work of the best- known representatives of the Frankfurt school has come to be associated with two basic concerns: ...
_The Handbook of Critical Theory_ brings together for the first time a detailed examination of the state of criticaltheory today. The fifteen essays provide analyses of the various orientations which criticaltheory has taken both historically and systematically in recent years, expositions of the new perspectives which have begun to shape the field, and reflections upon the direction of criticaltheory.
Jurgen Habermas's critical communications theory of society has excited widespread interest in recent years. The essays in this book explore the research implications of Habermas's theory for the analysis of modern problems of public life.
In this paper I take issue with Rainer Forst's claim that his account of the demand for justification that is at the core of the idea of justice provides our political thinking with a final “fundamentum inconcussum”.
Displaying an impressive command of complex materials, Seyla Benhabib reconstructs the history of theories from a systematic point of view and examines the origins and transformations of the concept of critique from the works of Hegel to Habermas. Through investigating the model of the philosophy of the subject, she pursues the question of how Hegel´s critiques might be useful for reforumulating the foundations of critical social theory.
This paper explores the sense in which modern societies can be said to be rational. Social rationality cannot be understood on the model of an idealized image of scientific method. Neither science nor society conforms to this image. Nevertheless, critique is routinely silenced by neo-liberal and technocratic arguments that appeal to social simulacra of science. This paper develops a critical strategy for addressing the resistance of rationality to rational critique. Romantic rejection of reason has proven less effective than strategies (...) that conceptualize modern artefacts, systems, and organizations as rationally underdetermined. This approach first appears in Marx's analysis of capitalist economics. Although he lacks the concept of underdetermination, Marx gets around the silencing effect of social rationality with something very much like it in his discussion of the length of the working day. Frankfurt School CriticalTheory later blended romantic elements with Marxian ones in a suggestive but ambiguous mixture. The concept of underdetermination reappears in contemporary science and technology studies, now clearly articulated and philosophically and sociologically elaborated. But somewhere along the way the critical thrust was diluted. Criticaltheory of technology attempts to recover that thrust. Here its approach is generalized to cover the three main forms of social rationality. (shrink)
Containing over 750 in-depth entries, this is the most wide-ranging and up-to-date dictionary of criticaltheory available. It covers the whole range of criticaltheory, including the Frankfurt school, cultural materialism, cultural studies, gender studies, film studies, literary theory, hermeneutics, historical materialism, internet studies, and sociopolitical criticaltheory. Entries clearly explain even the most complex of theoretical discourses, such as Marxism, psychoanalysis, structuralism, deconstruction, and postmodernism. There are biographies of important figures in the (...) field, with feature entries for those who have heavily influenced areas of the discipline, e.g. Deleuze. -/- Entries are fully cross-referenced and contain further reading where appropriate. To provide extra information this edition features an appendix of recommended web links, which are accessible via the Dictionary of CriticalTheory companion website, where they are also checked regularly and kept up to date. -/- Covering all aspects of the subject from globalization and race studies, to queer theory and feminism, this multidisciplinary A-Z is essential for students of literary and cultural studies and is useful for anyone studying a humanity subject requiring a knowledge of theory. (shrink)
This paper begins by defending the twofold relevance, political and theoretical, of the notion of social suffering. Social suffering is a notion politics cannot do without today, as it seems indispensable to describe all the aspects of contemporary injustice. As such, it has been taken up in a number of significant research programmes in different social sciences (sociology, anthropology, social psychology). The notion however poses significant conceptual problems as it challenges disciplinary boundaries traditionally set up to demarcate individual and social (...) phenomena. I argue that philosophy has a role to play in the attempt to integrate the diverging perspectives stemming from the social sciences. I attempt to show that, as it engages with the social sciences to account for the conceptual and normative issues thrown open by the question of social suffering, philosophy in fact retrieves the very idea of criticaltheory, as a conjugated critique of social reality and of its knowledge. I conclude by showing how the question of social suffering then becomes a useful criterion to distinguish between the different existing approaches in criticaltheory. (shrink)
_From Romanticism to Critical Theory_ explores the philosophical origins of literary theory via the tradition of German philosophy that began with the Romantic reaction to Kant. It traces the continuation of the Romantic tradition of Novalis, Friedrich Schlegel and Schleiermacher, in Heidegger's approaches to art and thruth, and in the CriticalTheory of Benjamin and Adorno. Andrew Bowie argues, against many current assumptions, that the key aspect of literary theory is not the demonstration of how (...) meaning can be deconstructed, but rather the relevation of how questions of language and literature change modern philosophical conceptions of thruth. He shows how the dialogue between literary theory, hermeneutics and analytical philosophy can profit from a re-examination of the understanding of language, thruth and literature in modern German philosophy. _From Romanticism to Critical Theory_ will provide a vital new introduction to central theoretical questions for students of philosophy, literature, German studies, cultural and social theory. (shrink)
In this article, I address the various objections raised by Simone Chambers, Stephen White and Lea Ypi concerning my version of a criticaltheory of politics. I explain the basic assumptions that inform my account of a critique of relations of justification, its particular method and aims.
The purpose of this article is to bridge the gap between criticaltheory as understood in the Frankfurt school tradition on the one hand, and social ontology understood as a reflection on the ontological presuppositions of social sciences and social theories on the other. What is at stake is the type of social ontology that criticaltheory needs if it wants to tackle its main social ontological issue: that of social transformation. This paper’s claim is that (...) what is required is neither a substantial social ontology, nor a relational social ontology, but a processual one. The first part of this article elaborates the distinction between substantial, relational and processual social ontologies. The second part analyzes the various ways in which this distinction can be used in social ontological discussions. Finally, the third part focuses on the various possible social ontological approaches to the issue of social transformation. (shrink)
Finland is internationally known as one of the leading centers of twentieth century analytic philosophy. This volume offers for the first time an overall survey of the Finnish analytic school. The rise of this trend is illustrated by original articles of Edward Westermarck, Eino Kaila, Georg Henrik von Wright, and Jaakko Hintikka. Contributions of Finnish philosophers are then systematically discussed in the fields of logic, philosophy of language, philosophy of science, history of philosophy, ethics and social philosophy. Metaphilosophical reflections on (...) the nature of philosophy are highlighted by the Finnish dialogue between analytic philosophy, phenomenology, pragmatism, and criticaltheory. (shrink)
Introduction : the politics of our selves -- Foucault, subjectivity, and the enlightenment : a critical reappraisal -- The impurity of practical reason : power and autonomy in Foucault -- Dependency, subordination, and recognition : Butler on subjection -- Empowering the lifeworld? autonomy and power in Habermas -- Contextualizing criticaltheory -- Engendering criticaltheory.
I propose a conception of criticaltheory that is an alternative to that of the Frankfurt School and Habermas. It is based on the assumptions that criticaltheory is not unique but started off with the 5th century BC movement of the sophists that aimed at an understanding of society free from superstition and prejudice, can be better understood by considering the history of social thinking, does not look for knowledge for knowledge’s sake but for solving (...) practical problems, distinguishes basic social problems from dependent problems, looks for and defends a value to guide it both in its research and its solutions, prefers the value of capability development to that of happiness. (shrink)
Critical thinking, considered as a version of informallogic, must consider emotions and personal attitudesin assessing assertions and conclusions in anyanalysis of discourse. It must therefore presupposesome notion of the self. Criticaltheory may be seenas providing a substantive and non-neutral positionfor the exercise of critical thinking. It thereforemust presuppose some notion of the self. This paperargues for a Foucauldean position on the self toextend criticaltheory and provide a particularposition on the self for (...) class='Hi'>critical thinking. Thisposition on the self is developed from moretraditional accounts of the self from Descartes toSchopenhauer, Nietzsche and Wittgenstein. (shrink)