The Idea of a Critical Theory

Habermas and the Frankfurt School

Author: Raymond Geuss

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521284226

Category: Philosophy

Page: 100

View: 2993

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.

Critical Theory

Selected Essays

Author: Max Horkheimer

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN: 0826400833

Category: Philosophy

Page: 290

View: 3764

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.

The New Spirit of Capitalism

Author: Luc Boltanski,Eve Chiapello

Publisher: Verso Books

ISBN: 1786633272

Category: Political Science

Page: 688

View: 3276

New edition of this major work examining the development of neoliberalism In this established classic, sociologists Luc Boltanski and Eve Chiapello get to the heart of contemporary capitalism. Delving deep into the latest management texts informing the thinking of employers, the authors trace the contours of a new spirit of capitalism. They argue that beginning in the mid-1970s, capitalism abandoned the hierarchical Fordist work structure and developed a new network-based form of organization founded on employee initiative and autonomy in the workplace—a putative freedom bought at the cost of material and psychological security. This was a spirit in tune with the libertarian and romantic currents of the period (as epitomized by dressed-down, cool capitalists such as Bill Gates and Ben and Jerry) and, as the authors argue, a more successful, pernicious, and subtle form of exploitation. In this new edition, the authors reflect on the reception of the book and the debates it has stimulated.

Force Fields

Between Intellectual History and Cultural Critique

Author: Martin Jay

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1136643176

Category: Art

Page: 246

View: 2486

First Published in 1993. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.

Modernism and the Frankfurt School

Author: Tyrus Miller

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9780748640188

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 256

View: 6235

Provides a single-volume introduction to the important connection of Frankfurt School thought and modernist culture Tyrus Miller's book offers readers a focused introduction to the Frankfurt School's important attempts to relate the social, political, and philosophical conditions of modernity to innovations in twentieth-century art, literature, and culture. The book pursues this interaction of modernity and modernist aesthetics in a two-sided, dialectical approach. Not only, Miller suggests, can the Frankfurt School's penetrating critical analyses of the phenomena of modernity help us develop more nuanced, historically informed and contextually sensitive analyses of modernist culture; but also, modernist culture provides a field of problems, examples, and practices that intimately affected the formation of the Frankfurt School's theoretical ideas. The individual chapters, which include detailed discussions of Walter Benjamin, Theodor Adorno, Herbert Marcuse as well as a survey of later Frankfurt School influenced thinkers, discuss the ideas of a given figure with an emphasis on particular artistic media or contexts: Benjamin with lyric poetry and architecture as urban art forms; Adorno with music; Marcuse with the liberationist art performances and happenings of the 1960s. Key Features: Introduces well-studied major figures such as Benjamin and Adorno in a new light, while connecting their ideas with problems in modernist art and culture Offers a clear, thorough, and relevant survey of major ideas and figures Provides a revisionary view of the rigorous connection of Frankfurt School theory and modernist culture

Dialectic of Enlightenment

Author: Max Horkheimer,Theodor W. Adorno

Publisher: Stanford University Press

ISBN: 080478809X

Category: Social Science

Page: 304

View: 9716

Dialectic of Enlightenment is undoubtedly the most influential publication of the Frankfurt School of Critical Theory. Written during the Second World War and circulated privately, it appeared in a printed edition in Amsterdam in 1947. "What we had set out to do," the authors write in the Preface, "was nothing less than to explain why humanity, instead of entering a truly human state, is sinking into a new kind of barbarism." Yet the work goes far beyond a mere critique of contemporary events. Historically remote developments, indeed, the birth of Western history and of subjectivity itself out of the struggle against natural forces, as represented in myths, are connected in a wide arch to the most threatening experiences of the present. The book consists in five chapters, at first glance unconnected, together with a number of shorter notes. The various analyses concern such phenomena as the detachment of science from practical life, formalized morality, the manipulative nature of entertainment culture, and a paranoid behavioral structure, expressed in aggressive anti-Semitism, that marks the limits of enlightenment. The authors perceive a common element in these phenomena, the tendency toward self-destruction of the guiding criteria inherent in enlightenment thought from the beginning. Using historical analyses to elucidate the present, they show, against the background of a prehistory of subjectivity, why the National Socialist terror was not an aberration of modern history but was rooted deeply in the fundamental characteristics of Western civilization. Adorno and Horkheimer see the self-destruction of Western reason as grounded in a historical and fateful dialectic between the domination of external nature and society. They trace enlightenment, which split these spheres apart, back to its mythical roots. Enlightenment and myth, therefore, are not irreconcilable opposites, but dialectically mediated qualities of both real and intellectual life. "Myth is already enlightenment, and enlightenment reverts to mythology." This paradox is the fundamental thesis of the book. This new translation, based on the text in the complete edition of the works of Max Horkheimer, contains textual variants, commentary upon them, and an editorial discussion of the position of this work in the development of Critical Theory.

Ideology

Author: Terry Eagleton

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317891945

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 328

View: 3000

This collection of readings on the concept of ideology is brought together by the Marxist critic, Terry Eagleton. His introduction traces the historical evolution of ideology and examines in a more theoretical style the various meanings of the word and their significance. The readings begin with the first English translations of some of the writing of the French founder of the concept in the eighteenth century. They then move from the enlightenment to Hegel and Marxism, with particular emphasis on Marx and Engels themselves. They also look at other eighteenth-century traditions of thought such as Nietzche and Freud. All the readings are theoretical rather than examples of `ideology at work' and will be of interest to undergraduate students of cultural, political and historical studies concerned with ideology, as well as students of English literature.

Habermas, Critical Debates

Author: John B. Thompson

Publisher: Mit Press

ISBN: 9780262700238

Category: Philosophy

Page: 324

View: 2403

The essays in this book - all of them published here for the first time - provide a long-overdue critical discussion of Jürgen Habermas's cascade of ideas. These are topped off by a freshet of original Habermas: in the final essay, he replies to the criticism developed in the preceding contributions and to other recent assessments of his work, provides an important clarification of his earlier views, and reveals the direction of his current thought.Each essay probes a particular theme in Habermas's work, and each presents both an exposition and a critique. Among the subjects covered are Habermas's theory of knowledge-constitutive interests, his account of language and truth, his "overcoming" of hermeneutics, the concept of universal pragmatics, the orientation of his thought relative to the Marxist tradition, and his project of analyzing the crisis tendencies of capitalism within the context of evolutionary theory.The contributors are philosophers and social theorists of international standing, most of them affiliated with German, English, and American universities. They are Agnes Heller, Rudiger Bubner, Thomas McCarthy, Henning Ottmann, Mary Hesse, Steven Lukes, Anthony Giddens, Michael Schmid, Andrew Arato, and the editors. The editors have also contributed a substantial introduction outlining the central contours of Habermas's work and summarizing the main arguments of the essays.John B. Thompson is a Fellow of Jesus College, Cambridge, and David Held is Lecturer in Politics, University of York.

Cemetery of the Murdered Daughters

Feminism, History, and Ingeborg Bachmann

Author: Sara Lennox

Publisher: Univ of Massachusetts Press

ISBN: 9781558495524

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 387

View: 9752

Austrian writer Ingeborg Bachmann is widely regarded as one of the most important 20th century authors writing in German. This book examines her poetry and prose in historical context, arguing that the feminist interpretations of her writings are the result of shifts in theoretical emphases over a period of three decades.

The Myth of the Framework

In Defence of Science and Rationality

Author: Karl Popper

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 113597473X

Category: Philosophy

Page: 248

View: 5742

In a career spanning sixty years, Sir Karl Popper has made some of the most important contributions to the twentieth century discussion of science and rationality. The Myth of the Framework is a new collection of some of Popper's most important material on this subject. Sir Karl discusses such issues as the aims of science, the role that it plays in our civilization, the moral responsibility of the scientist, the structure of history, and the perennial choice between reason and revolution. In doing so, he attacks intellectual fashions (like positivism) that exagerrate what science and rationality have done, as well as intellectual fashions (like relativism) that denigrate what science and rationality can do. Scientific knowledge, according to Popper, is one of the most rational and creative of human achievements, but it is also inherently fallible and subject to revision. In place of intellectual fashions, Popper offers his own critical rationalism - a view that he regards both as a theory of knowlege and as an attitude towards human life, human morals and democracy. Published in cooperation with the Central European University.

The Genesis of Values

Author: Hans Joas

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 9780226400402

Category: Philosophy

Page: 250

View: 9862

Public and intellectual debates have long struggled with the concept of values and the difficulties of defining them. With The Genesis of Values, renowned theorist Hans Joas explores the nature of these difficulties in relation to some of the leading figures of twentieth-century philosophy and social theory: Friedrich Nietzsche, William James, Max Scheler, John Dewey, Georg Simmel, Charles Taylor, and Jürgen Habermas. Joas traces how these thinkers came to terms with the idea of values, and then extends beyond them with his own comprehensive theory. Values, Joas suggests, arise in experiences in self-formation and self-transcendence. Only by appreciating the creative nature of human action can we understand how our values arise.

Legitimacy and Politics

A Contribution to the Study of Political Right and Political Responsibility

Author: Jean-Marc Coicaud,David Ames Curtis

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521787826

Category: Philosophy

Page: 259

View: 9888

Recently corruption, extremism, etc. have raised questions over political legitimacy. Coicaud examines these issues.

The Dialectical Imagination

A History of the Frankfurt School and the Institute of Social Research, 1923-1950

Author: Martin Jay

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 0520917510

Category: Philosophy

Page: 382

View: 2905

Herbert Marcuse, Erich Fromm, Max Horkheimer, Franz Neumann, Theodor Adorno, Leo Lowenthal—the impact of the Frankfurt School on the sociological, political, and cultural thought of the twentieth century has been profound. The Dialectical Imagination is a major history of this monumental cultural and intellectual enterprise during its early years in Germany and in the United States. Martin Jay has provided a substantial new preface for this edition, in which he reflects on the continuing relevance of the work of the Frankfurt School.

Travelling Concepts in the Humanities

A Rough Guide

Author: Mieke Bal

Publisher: University of Toronto Press

ISBN: 1442690453

Category: Social Science

Page: 432

View: 1405

Attempting to bridge the gap between specialised scholarship in the humanistic disciplines and an interdisciplinary project of cultural analysis, Mieke Bal has written an intellectual travel guide that charts the course 'beyond' cultural studies. As with any guide, it can be used in a number of ways and the reader can follow or willfully ignore any of the paths it maps or signposts. Bal's focus for this book is the idea that interdisciplinarity in the humanities - necessary, exciting, serious - must seek its heuristic and methodological basis in concepts rather than its methods. Concepts are not grids to put over an object. The counterpart of any given concept is the cultural text or work or 'thing' that constitutes the object of analysis. No concept is meaningful for cultural analysis unless it helps us to understand the object better on its own terms. Bal offers the reader a sustained theoretical reflection on how to 'do' cultural analysis through a tentative practice of doing just that. This offers a concrete practice to theoretical constructs, and allows the proposed method more accessibility. Please note: illustrations have been removed from the ebook at the request of the rightsholder.

The Literary Theory Toolkit

A Compendium of Concepts and Methods

Author: Herman Rapaport

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 1444395688

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 312

View: 9176

The Literary Theory Toolkit offers readers a rich compendium of key terms, concepts, and arguments necessary for the study of literature in a critical-theoretical context. Includes varied examples drawn from readily available literary texts spanning all periods and genres Features a chapter on performance, something not usually covered in similar texts Covers differing theories of the public sphere, ideology, power, and the social relations necessary for the understanding of approaches to literature

Social Theory as Science (Routledge Revivals)

Author: Russell Keat,John Urry

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1136839232

Category: Social Science

Page: 316

View: 8139

This book, written by a philosopher interested in the problems of social science and scientific method, and a sociologist interested in the philosophy of science, presents a novel conception of how we should think about and carry out the scientific study of social life. This book combines an evaluation of different conceptions of the nature of science with an examination of important sociological theorists and frameworks. This second edition of the work was originally published in 1982.

Adorno's Theory of Philosophical and Aesthetic Truth

Author: Owen Hulatt

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231542208

Category: Philosophy

Page: 272

View: 5741

In Adorno's Theory of Philosophical and Aesthetic Truth, Owen Hulatt undertakes an original reading of Theodor W. Adorno's epistemology and its material underpinnings, deepening our understanding of his theories of truth, art, and the nonidentical. Hulatt's novel interpretation casts Adorno's theory of philosophical and aesthetic truth as substantially unified, supporting the thinker's claim that both philosophy and art are capable of being true. For Adorno, truth is produced when rhetorical "texture" combines with cognitive "performance," leading to the breakdown of concepts that mediate the experience of the consciousness. Both philosophy and art manifest these features, although philosophy enacts these conceptual issues directly, while art does so obliquely. Hulatt builds a robust argument for Adorno's claim that concepts ineluctably misconstrue their objects. He also puts the still influential thinker into conversation with Hegel, Husserl, Frazer, Sohn-Rethel, Benjamin, Strawson, Dahlhaus, Habermas, and Caillois, among many others.

Understanding Material Culture

Author: Ian Woodward

Publisher: SAGE

ISBN: 1848607261

Category: Social Science

Page: 200

View: 7721

"In his interdisciplinary review of material culture, Ian Woodward goes beyond synthesis to offer a theoretically innovative reconstruction of the field. It is filled with gems of conceptual insight and empirical discovery. A wonderful book." - Jeffrey C. Alexander, Yale University "A well-grounded and accessible survey of the burgeoning field of material culture studies for students in sociology and consumption studies. While situating the field within the history of intellectual thought in the broader social sciences, it offers detailed and accessible case studies. These are supplemented by very useful directions for further in-depth reading, making it an excellent undergraduate course companion." - Victor Buchli, University College London Why are i-pods and mobile phones fashion accessories? Why do people spend thousands remodelling their perfectly functional kitchen? Why do people crave shoes or handbags? Is our desire for objects unhealthy, or irrational? Objects have an inescapable hold over us, not just in consumer culture but increasingly in the disciplines that study social relations too. This book offers a systematic overview of the diverse ways of studying the material as culture. Surveying the field of material culture studies through an examination and synthesis of classical and contemporary scholarship on objects, commodities, consumption, and symbolization, this book: introduces the key concepts and approaches in the study of objects and their meanings presents the full sweep of core theory - from Marxist and critical approaches to structuralism and semiotics shows how and why people use objects to perform identity, achieve social status, and narrativize life experiences analyzes everyday domains in which objects are important shows why studying material culture is necessary for understanding the social. This book will be essential reading for students and researchers in sociology, anthropology, cultural studies, consumer behaviour studies, design and fashion studies.

The Lessons of Ranci?re

Author: Samuel A. Chambers

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0190208031

Category: Political Science

Page: 240

View: 5441

"Liberal democracy" is the name given to a regime that much of the world lives in or aspires to, and both liberal and deliberative theorists focus much of their intellectual energy on working to reshape and perfect this regime. But what if "liberal democracy" were a contradiction in terms? Taking up Jacques Ranci?re's polemical claim that democracy is not a regime, Samuel A. Chambers argues that liberalism and democracy are not complementary, but competing forces. By way of the most in-depth and rigorous treatment of Ranci?re's writings to date, The Lessons of Ranci?re seeks to disentangle democracy from liberalism. Liberalism is a logic of order and hierarchy, of the proper distribution of responsibilities and rights, whereas democratic politics follows a logic of disordering that challenges and disrupts any claims that the allocation of roles could be complete. This book mobilizes a Ranci?rean understanding of politics as leverage against the tendency to collapse democracy into the broader terms of liberalism. Chambers defends a vision of "impure" politics, showing that there is no sphere proper to politics, no protected political domain. The job of political theory is therefore not to say what is required in order for politics to occur, not to develop ideal "normative" models of politics, and not even to create new political ontologies. Instead, political theory is itself an enactment of politics in Ranci?re's sense of dissensus: politics thwarts any social order of domination. Chambers shows that the logic of politics depends on the same principle as Ranci?re's radical pedagogy: the presupposition of equality. Like traditional critical theory, traditional pedagogy relies on a model of explanation in which the student is presumed to be blind. But what if anyone can understand without additional explanation from a master? The Lessons of Ranci?re uses this pedagogy as a guide to envision a critical theory beyond blindness and to explore a democratic politics beyond liberalism.

Critical Theory Today

A User-Friendly Guide

Author: Lois Tyson

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317643232

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 488

View: 9686

This thoroughly updated third edition of Critical Theory Today offers an accessible introduction to contemporary critical theory, providing in-depth coverage of the most common approaches to literary analysis today, including: feminism; psychoanalysis; Marxism; reader-response theory; New Criticism; structuralism and semiotics; deconstruction; new historicism and cultural criticism; lesbian, gay, and queer theory; African American criticism and postcolonial criticism. This new edition features: a major expansion of the chapter on postcolonial criticism that includes topics such as Nordicism, globalization and the ‘end’ of postcolonial theory, global tourism and global conservation an extended explanation of each theory, using examples from everyday life, popular culture, and literary texts a list of specific questions critics ask about literary texts an interpretation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby through the lens of each theory a list of questions for further practice to guide readers in applying each theory to different literary works updated and expanded bibliographies Both engaging and rigorous, this is a "how-to" book for undergraduate and graduate students new to critical theory and for college professors who want to broaden their repertoire of critical approaches to literature.