The Idea of a Critical Theory

Author: Raymond Geuss
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521284226
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Habermas and earlier members of the Frankfurt School have presented critical theory as a radically new form of knowledge. It is differentiated from the natural sciences as essentially 'reflective': the knowledge it provides guides us towards enlightenment as to our true interests, and emancipation from often unsuspected forms of external and internal coercion. Its first paradigms are in the writings of Marx and Freud. In this book Raymond Geuss sets out these fundamental claims and asks whether they can be made good. Is a science which does not simply describe and explain social phenomena, but also criticizes? The concept of ideology plays a crucial role in this discussion. Geuss carefully analyses it here, its relation to our beliefs and interests, and the account of truth and confirmation required by its critique and the concomitant goal of self-knowledge. The book does not presuppose acquaintance with the works of the Frankfurt School and can serve as a lucid introduction to their central, distinctive theses. But in its scrupulous and incisive consideration of these, and the modified support for them that emerges, it will also interest experts on critical theory and others concerned with the methods and purposes of the social sciences in general.

Wittgenstein and the Idea of a Critical Social Theory

Author: Nigel Pleasants
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 113465734X
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This book uses the philosophy of Wittgenstein as a perspective from which to challenge the very idea of critical social theory, represented preeminently by Giddens, Habermas and Bhaskar. Renouncing the quest for an alternative Wittgensteinian theory of social and political life, the author shows that Wittgenstein nevertheless has considerable significance for critical thought and practice.

The Cambridge Companion to Critical Theory

Author: Fred Rush
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521016896
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Critical Theory 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 Critical Theory, 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 Critical Theory 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 Critical Theory in the twentieth century, an examination of its central conceptual concerns, and an in-depth discussion of its future prospects.

Against Nature

Author: Steven Vogel
Publisher: SUNY Press
ISBN: 9780791430453
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Against Nature examines the history of the concept of nature in the tradition of Critical Theory, with chapters on Lukacs, Horkheimer and Adorno, Marcuse, and Habermas. It argues that the tradition has been marked by significant difficulties with respect to that concept; that these problems are relevant to contemporary environmental philosophy as well; and that a solution to them requires taking seriously--and literally--the idea of nature as socially constructed.

Critical Theory

Author: Max Horkheimer
Publisher: A&C Black
ISBN: 0826400833
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These essays, written in the 1930s and 1940s, represent a first selection in English from the major work of the founder of the famous Institute for Social Research in Frankfurt. Horkheimer's writings are essential to an understanding of the intellectual background of the New Left and the to much current social-philosophical thought, including the work of Herbert Marcuse. Apart from their historical significance and even from their scholarly eminence, these essays contain an immediate relevance only now becoming fully recognized.

Critical Theory A Very Short Introduction

Author: Stephen Eric Bronner
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190692693
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Critical theory emerged in the 1920s from the work of the Frankfurt School, the circle of German-Jewish academics who sought to diagnose -- and, if at all possible, cure -- the ills of society, particularly fascism and capitalism. In this book, Stephen Eric Bronner provides sketches of leading representatives of the critical tradition (such as George Lukács and Ernst Bloch, Theodor Adorno and Walter Benjamin, Herbert Marcuse and Jurgen Habermas) as well as many of its seminal texts and empirical investigations. This Very Short Introduction sheds light on the cluster of concepts and themes that set critical theory apart from its more traditional philosophical competitors. Bronner explains and discusses concepts such as method and agency, alienation and reification, the culture industry and repressive tolerance, non-identity and utopia. He argues for the introduction of new categories and perspectives for illuminating the obstacles to progressive change and focusing upon hidden transformative possibilities. In this newly updated second edition, Bronner targets new academic interests, broadens his argument, and adapts it to a global society amid the resurgence of right-wing politics and neo-fascist movements.

The End of Progress

Author: Amy Allen
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231540639
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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 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 critical theory look like? Amy Allen fractures critical theory 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. Critical theory, according to Allen, is the best resource we have for achieving emancipatory social goals. In reimagining a decolonized critical theory after the end of progress, she rescues it from oblivion and gives it a future.

Introduction to Critical Theory

Author: David Held
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 074567805X
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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, critical theory. Some of the major themes he considers are critical theory's relation to Marx's critique of political economy, Freudian psychoanalysis, aesthetics and the philosophy of history. There is also an extended discussion of critical theory's substantive contribution to the analysis of capitalism, culture, the family, the individual, as well as its contribution to epistemology and methodology.

Contemporary Critical Theory and Methodology

Author: Piet Strydom
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISBN: 113599787X
Format: PDF, ePub
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Contemporary critical theory’s methodology is currently taking shape under the impact both of transformative internal develops within the discipline, and of external pressures and incentives arising from a series of international debates. In this book, Piet Strydom presents a groundbreaking treatment of critical theory’s methodology, using as a base the reconstruction of the left-Hegelian tradition, the relation between critical theory and pragmatism, and the associated metatheoretical implications. He assesses extant positions, presents a detailed yet comprehensive restatement and development of critical theory’s methodology, compares it with a wide range of current concepts of social criticism and critique, and analyzes leading critical theorists’ exemplary applications of it. Besides immanent transcendence and the sign-mediated epistemology common to the left-Hegelian tradition, special attention is given to the abductive imagination, reconstruction, normative and causal explanation, explanatory mechanisms and the communicative framework which enables critical theory to link up with its addressees and the public. Contemporary Critical Theory and Methodology is recommended reading for senior undergraduate and postgraduate students, as well as professionals working within disciplines such as sociology, philosophy, political science, critical theory and cultural studies.

Modern Culture and Critical Theory

Author: Russell A. Berman
Publisher: Univ of Wisconsin Press
ISBN: 9780299120849
Format: PDF, ePub
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Are the arguments of the Frankfurt School still relevant? Modern Culture and Critical Theory investigates this question in the context of important issues in contemporary cultural politics: neoconservatism and new social movements, discontents with modernity and debates on postmodernism, the political hegemony of Ronald Reagan, and the cultural hegemony of structuralism and poststructuralism. Russell Berman thoughtfully explores the theories of Horkheimer, Adorno, Benjamin, Lyotard, and Foucault and their relevance to both historical and contemporary issues in literature, politics, and the arts.