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)
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.
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.
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.
Critical Theories and the Budapest Schoolbrings together new perspectives on the Budapest School in the context of contemporary developments in criticaltheory. Engaging with the work of the prominent group of figures associated with Georg Lukács, this book sheds new light on the unique and nuanced critiques of modernity offered by this school, informed as its members' insights have been by first-hand experiences of Nazism, Soviet-type societies, and the liberal-democratic West. With studies of topics central to contemporary (...)criticaltheory, such as the political and historical consciousness of modernity, the importance of bio-politics, the complexity of the human condition, and the relevance of comedy and friendship to developing critical perspectives, the authors draw on the works of Ágnes Heller, Maria Márkus, György Márkus, and Ferenc Fehér, demonstrating their enduring relevance to criticaltheory today and the ways in which these philosophers can inform new perspectives on culture and politics. An innovative reassessment of the Budapest School and the importance of its legacy, this book opens a much-needed and neglected dialogue with other schools and traditions of critical theorizing that will be of interest to scholars of sociology, philosophy, and social theory. n inform new perspectives on culture and politics. An innovative reassessment of the Budapest School and the importance of its legacy, this book opens a much-needed and neglected dialogue with other schools and traditions of critical theorizing that will be of interest to scholars of sociology, philosophy, and social theory. (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)
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: ...
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)
What is to be learned from the chaotic downfall of the Weimar Republic and the erosion of European liberal statehood in the interwar period vis-a-vis the ongoing European crisis? This book analyses and explains the recurrent emergence of crises in European societies. It asks how previous crises can inform our understanding of the present crisis. The particular perspective advanced is that these crises not only are economic and social crises, but must also be understood as crises of public power, order (...) and authority. In other words, it argues that substantial challenges to the functional and normative setup of democracy and the rule of law were central to the emergence and the unfolding of these crises. The book draws on and adds to the rich ’crises literature’ developed within the criticaltheory tradition to outline a conceptual framework for understanding what societal crises are. The central idea is that societal crises represent a discrepancy between the unfolding of social processes and the institutional frameworks that have been established to normatively stabilize such processes. The crises at issue emerged in periods characterized by strong social, economic and technological transformations as well as situations of political upheaval. As such, the crises represented moments where the existing functional and normative grid of society, as embodied in notions of public order and authority, were severely challenged and in many instances undermined. Seen in this perspective, the book reconstructs how crises unfolded, how they were experienced, and what kind of responses the specific crises in question provoked. -/- Table of Contents -/- Introduction: European Crises of Public Power: From Weimar until Today, Poul F. Kjaer & Niklas Olsen / Part I: Semantics, Notions and Narratives of Societal Crisis / 1. What Time Frame Makes Sense for Thinking About Crises?, David Runciman / 2. The Stakes of Crises, Janet Roitman / Part II: Weimar and the Interwar Period: Ideologies of Anti-Modernism and Liberalism / 3. The Crisis of Modernity – Modernity as Crisis: Towards a Typology of Crisis Discourses in Interwar East Central Europe and Beyond, Balázs Trencsényi / 4. European Legitimacy Crisis – Weimar and Today: Rational and Theocratic Authority in the Schmitt-Strauss Exchange, John P. McCormick / 5. Crisis and the Consumer: Reconstructions of Liberalism in Twentieth Century Political Thought , Niklas Olsen / Part III: The Causes of Crises: From Corporatism to Governance / 6. The Constitutionalization of Labour Law and the Crisis of National Democracy , Chris Thornhill / 7. The Crisis in Labour Law: From Weimar to Austerity Ruth Dukes / 8. From the Crisis of Corporatism to the Crisis of Governance, Poul F. Kjaer / Part IV: The Euro and the Crisis of Law and Democracy / 9. What is left of the European Economic Constitution II? From Pyrrhic Victory to Cannae Defeat Christian Joerges / 10. Reflections on Europe’s “Rule of Law Crisis”, Jan-Werner Müller. 11. Democracy under Siege: The Decay of Constitutionalisation and the Crisis of Public Law and Public Opinion, Hauke Brunkhorst/ Part V: The Consequences of Crises and the Future of Europe / 12. Crises and Extra-Legality: From Above and From Below, William E. Scheuermann / 13. “We could all go Down the Road of Lebanon” – Crisis Thinking on the Anti-Muslim Far Right, Mikkel Thorup / 14. Conclusions and Perspectives: The Re-Constitution of Europe, Poul F. Kjaer & Niklas Olsen Index . (shrink)
The writings of the Frankfurt school, in particular of Horkheimer, Adorno, Marcuse, and Jurgen Habermas, caught the imagination of the radical movements of the 1960s and 1970s and became a key element in the Marxism of the New Left. Partly due to their rise to prominence during the political turmoil of the 1960s, the work of these critical theorists has been the subject of continuing controversy in both political and academic circles. However, their ideas are frequently misunderstood. In this (...) major work, now available from Polity Press, David Held presents a much-needed introduction to, and evaluation of, criticaltheory. Some of the major themes he considers are criticaltheory's relation to Marx's critique of political economy, Freudian psychoanalysis, aesthetics and the philosophy of history. There is also an extended discussion of criticaltheory's substantive contribution to the analysis of capitalism, culture, the family, the individual, as well as its contribution to epistemology and methodology. (shrink)
An edited collection of all new work in the area of "new criticaltheory," intended to serve as a signature volume for the New CriticalTheory Series. The volume, like the series as a whole, is designed to capture the present moment in postdisciplinary theory, as the older tradition of criticaltheory in the Frankfurt School sense comes together with postmodernism and the new criticaltheory. It represents the dialogue that is (...) taking place among the various strands of theory and can serve as a survey of contemporary leftist philosophy. (shrink)
Philosophical controversies within contemporary criticaltheory arise largely from questions about the nature, scope and limits of human reason. As the linguistic turn in twentieth-century philosophy has increasingly given way to a sociocritical turn, traditional ideas of 'pure' reason have been left further and further behind. There is however considerable disagreement about what that shift entails for enlightenment ideals of self-consciousness, self-determination, and self-realization. In this book two prominent philosophers bring these disagreements into focus around a set of (...) familiar philosophical issues concerning reason and the rational subject, truth and representation, knowledge and objectivity, identity and difference, relativism and universalism, the right and the good. But these "perennial problems" are resituated within the context of criticaltheory as it has developed from the work of the Frankfurt School in the 1930's and 1940's to the multiplicity of contemporary approaches: genealogical, hermeneutic, neopragmatist, deconstructive, and reconstructive. (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)
This book provides an overview of recent debates about criticaltheory from Pierre Bourdieu via Luc Boltanski to the Frankfurt School. Robin Celikates investigates the relevance of the self-understanding of ordinary agents and of their practices of critique for the theoretical and emancipatory project of criticaltheory.
Refiguring CriticalTheory offers some thoughts about the nature of democracy and the possibilities of individual and collective self-determination. The text traces theories of the relationship between being and consciousness from Marx through Lukacs and the Frankfurt School to Habermas' recent work The Theory of Communicative Action.
Hegel's "highway of despair," introduced in his _Phenomenology of Spirit_, represents the tortured path traveled by "natural consciousness" on its way to freedom. Despair, the passionate residue of Hegelian critique, also indicates fugitive opportunities for freedom and preserves the principle of hope against all hope. Analyzing the works of an eclectic cast of thinkers, Robyn Marasco considers the dynamism of despair as a critical passion, reckoning with the forms of historical life forged along Hegel's highway. _The Highway of Despair_ (...) follows Theodor Adorno, Georges Bataille, and Frantz Fanon as they each read, resist, and reconfigure a strand of thought in Hegel's _Phenomenology of Spirit_. Confronting the twentieth-century collapse of a certain revolutionary dialectic, these thinkers struggle to revalue critical philosophy and recast Left Hegelianism within the contexts of genocidal racism, world war, and colonial domination. Each thinker also re-centers the role of passion in critique. Arguing against more recent trends in criticaltheory that promise an escape from despair, Marasco shows how passion frustrates the resolutions of reason and faith. Embracing the extremism of what Marx, in the spirit of Hegel, called the "ruthless critique of everything existing," she affirms the contemporary purchase of radical criticaltheory, resulting in a passionate approach to political thought. (shrink)
CriticalTheory traces its roots from Marxism, through the renowned Frankfurt School, to a wide array of national and cultural traditions. Raymond Morrow's book traces the history and outlines the major tenets of criticaltheory for an undergraduate audience. He exemplifies the theory through an analysis of two leading social theorists: J[um]urgen Habermas and Anthony Giddens. Unique to this volume is the emphasis on the link between CriticalTheory and empirical research and social (...) science methodology, often thought to be incompatible. (shrink)
This edited collection uses criticaltheory in order to understand the rise of the Alt-Right and the election of Donald Trump—and, in doing so, to assert the necessity and value of various disciplines within the humanities. While neoliberal mainstream culture has expressed shock at the seemingly expeditious rise of the Alt-Right movement and the outcome of the 2016 United States presidential election, a rich tradition of theory may not only explain the occurrence of this “phenomenon,” but may (...) also chart an alternative understanding of the movement, revealing the persistence of right-wing populism throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Though the humanities have seen themselves undervalued and under attack in recent years, the historical and cultural contextualization of the current moment via theory is a means of reaffirming the value of the humanities in teaching the ever-important and multifaceted skill of critical literacy. This book re-affirms the humanities, particularly the study of literature, theory, and philosophy, through questions such as how the humanities can help us understand the here and now. (shrink)
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.
While post- and decolonial theorists have thoroughly debunked the idea of historical progress as a Eurocentric, imperialist, and neocolonialist fallacy, many of the most prominent contemporary thinkers associated with the Frankfurt School--Jürgen Habermas, Axel Honneth, and Rainer Forst--have persistently defended ideas of progress, development, and modernity and have even made such ideas central to their normative claims. Can the Frankfurt School's goal of radical social change survive this critique? And what would a decolonized criticaltheory look like? Amy (...) Allen fractures criticaltheory from within by dispensing with its progressive reading of history while retaining its notion of progress as a political imperative, so eloquently defended by Adorno. Criticaltheory, according to Allen, is the best resouce we have for achieving emancipatory social goals. In reimagining a decolonized criticaltheory after the end of progress, she rescues it from oblivion and gives it a future. (shrink)
This book deals with the aftermath of the enlightenment and its legacy in the political, social, and racial context. It discusses the incomplete project of modernity in terms of social contract theory, racial justice issues, and political theology in the postcolonial context. Hermeneutical realism and cultural linguistic inquiry become substantial features in elaborating postcolonial political theology and its ethical stance against the colonization of lifeworld and its pathologies. A study of criticaltheory and political theology is of (...) a reconstructive character in seeking to relocate criticaltheory and political ethics in the context of alternative modernities at the level of postcolonial theory. (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)
Liberation philosophy and democratic struggles -- The quest for the revolutionary subject : the early Marcuse -- The retrieval of Eros and the quest for a new sensibility -- Marcuse and the problem of intersubjectivity : beyond drive theory -- One-dimensional society and the demise of dialectical thinking -- Spectres of liberation : beyond one-dimensional man -- Liberal democracy and its limits : the challenge of race, class, gender, and sexual orientation -- Marcuse and discourse ethics -- Liberation and (...) the democratic vision : educating for a new sensibility. (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.
An application of Young's Habermasian criticaltheory of education to classroom communication problems of teachers in schools, with a special focus on the question/answer cycle and its educational role. The book uses classroom transcripts extensively in the analysis.
In _Vulnerability and Critical Theory_, Estelle Ferrarese identifies contemporary developments on the theme of vulnerability within criticaltheory while also seeking to reconstruct an idea of vulnerability that enables an articulation of the political and demonstrates how it is socially produced.
Kellner writes, "As we move into the 1990s criticaltheory might help produce theoretical and political perspectives which could be part of a Left Turn that could reanimate the political hopes of the 1960s, while helping overcome and reverse the losses and regression of the 1980s.".
Taking an analytic and historical approach, this work develops and defends Althusserian criticaltheory. This theory, it is argued, produces knowledge of how a particular class of people, in a particular time, in a particular place, is dominated, oppressed, or exploited. Moreover, without relying on a general notion of human emancipation, concrete criticaltheory can suggest political means for the alleviation of these conditions. Because it puts Althusser’s ideas in dialogue with contemporary social science and (...) philosophy, the book as a whole makes contributions to Althusser studies, to Anglo-American political philosophy, and to current debates in the philosophy of the social sciences. (shrink)
Philosophy in the middle of the 20th Century, between 1920 and 1968, responded to the cataclysmic events of the time. Thinkers on the Right turned to authoritarian forms of nationalism in search of stable forms of collective identity, will, and purpose. Thinkers on the Left promoted egalitarian forms of humanism under the banner of international communism. Others saw these opposed tendencies as converging in the extinction of the individual and sought to retrieve the ideals of the Enlightenment in ways that (...) critically acknowledged the contradictions of a liberal democracy racked by class, cultural, and racial conflict. Key figures and movements discussed in this volume include Schmitt, Adorno and the Frankfurt School, Arendt, Benjamin, Bataille, French Marxism, Black Existentialism, Saussure and Structuralism, Levi Strauss, Lacan and Late Pragmatism. These individuals and schools of thought responded to this 'modernity crisis' in different ways, but largely focused on what they perceived to be liberal democracy's betrayal of its own rationalist ideals of freedom, equality, and fraternity. (shrink)
Across the Euro-Atlantic world, political leaders have been mobilizing their bases with nativism, racism, xenophobia, and paeans to “traditional values,” in brazen bids for electoral support. How are we to understand this move to the mainstream of political policies and platforms that lurked only on the far fringes through most of the postwar era? Does it herald a new wave of authoritarianism? Is liberal democracy itself in crisis? In this volume, three distinguished scholars draw on criticaltheory to (...) address our current predicament. Wendy Brown, Peter E. Gordon, and Max Pensky share a conviction that criticaltheory retains the power to illuminate the forces producing the current political constellation as well as possible paths away from it. Brown explains how “freedom” has become a rallying cry for manifestly un-emancipatory movements; Gordon dismantles the idea that fascism is rooted in the susceptible psychology of individual citizens and reflects instead on the broader cultural and historical circumstances that lend it force; and Pensky brings together the unlikely pair of Tocqueville and Adorno to explore how democracies can buckle under internal pressure. These incisive essays do not seek to smooth over the irrationality of the contemporary world, and they do not offer the false comforts of an easy return to liberal democratic values. Rather, the three authors draw on their deep engagements with nineteenth–and twentieth–century thought to investigate the historical and political contradictions that have brought about this moment, offering fiery and urgent responses to the demands of the day. (shrink)
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.
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)
This paper traces some lines of influence between post-Kantianism and CriticalTheory. In the first part of the paper, we discuss Fichte and Hegel; in the second, we discuss Horkheimer, Adorno, and Honneth.
_A beautifully written exploration of religion’s role in a secular, modern politics, by an accomplished scholar of critical theory__ “Rich in historical background, illuminating in its comparative perspective, yet focused on the question of secularization and the normative resources of modernity—a joy to read.”—Maeve Cooke, University College Dublin__ “Gordon writes with a controlled power, elegance, simplicity, and clarity that is a rare pleasure.”—Max Pensky, Binghamton University_ _Migrants in the Profane _takes its title from an intriguing remark by Theodor W. (...) Adorno, in which he summarized the meaning of Walter Benjamin’s image of a celebrated mechanical chess-playing Turk and its hidden religious animus: “Nothing of theological content will persist without being transformed; every content will have to put itself to the test of migrating in the realm of the secular, the profane.” In this masterful book, Peter Gordon reflects on Adorno’s statement and asks an urgent question: Can religion offer any normative resources for modern political life, or does the appeal to religious concepts stand in conflict with the idea of modern politics as a domain free from religion’s influence? In answering this question, he explores the work of three of the Frankfurt School’s most esteemed thinkers: Walter Benjamin, Max Horkheimer, and Theodor W. Adorno. His illuminating analysis offers a highly original account of the intertwined histories of religion and secular modernity. (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)
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)