Critical Theory in Critical Times

Transforming the Global Political and Economic Order

Author: Penelope Deutscher,Cristina Lafont

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 023154362X

Category: Philosophy

Page: 304

View: 3657

We live in critical times. We face a global crisis in economics and finance, a global ecological crisis, and a constant barrage of international disputes. Perhaps most dishearteningly, there seems to be little faith in our ability to address such difficult problems. However, there is also a more positive sense in which these are critical times. The world's current state of flux gives us a unique window of opportunity for shaping a new international order that will allow us to cope with current and future global crises. In Critical Theory in Critical Times, eleven of the most distinguished critical theorists offer new perspectives on recent crises and transformations of the global political and economic order. Essays from Jürgen Habermas, Seyla Benhabib, Cristina Lafont, Rainer Forst, Wendy Brown, Christoph Menke, Nancy Fraser, Rahel Jaeggi, Amy Allen, Penelope Deutscher, and Charles Mills address pressing issues including international human rights and democratic sovereignty, global neoliberalism, novel approaches to the critique of capitalism, critical theory's Eurocentric heritage, and new directions offered by critical race theory and postcolonial studies. Sharpening the conceptual tools of critical theory, the contributors to Critical Theory in Critical Times reveal new ways of expanding the diverse traditions of the Frankfurt School in response to some of the most urgent and important challenges of our times.

Critical Theory in Critical Times

Transforming the Global Political and Economic Order

Author: Penelope Deutscher,Cristina Lafont

Publisher: New Directions in Critical The

ISBN: 9780231181501

Category: Philosophy

Page: 320

View: 679

In Critical Theory in Critical Times, eleven of the most distinguished critical theorists offer new perspectives on recent crises and transformations of the global political and economic order. Essays from Jurgen Habermas, Seyla Benhabib, Cristina Lafont, Rainer Forst, Wendy Brown, Christoph Menke, Nancy Fraser, Rahel Jaeggi, Amy Allen, Penelope Deutscher, and Charles Mills address some of the most urgent and important challenges of our times, from international human rights and democratic sovereignty to the critique of critical theory's Eurocentric heritage.

The End of Progress

Decolonizing the Normative Foundations of Critical Theory

Author: Amy Allen

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231540639

Category: Philosophy

Page: 304

View: 1912

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

Horkheimer to Habermas

Author: David Held

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 074567805X

Category: Philosophy

Page: 520

View: 9962

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.

The Cambridge Companion to Critical Theory

Author: Fred Rush

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521016896

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 376

View: 7858

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.

Time, Labor, and Social Domination

A Reinterpretation of Marx's Critical Theory

Author: Moishe Postone,Louis Galambos

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521565400

Category: Social Science

Page: 273

View: 5141

Moishe Postone undertakes a fundamental reinterpretation of Karl Marx's mature critical theory. He calls into question many of the presuppositions of traditional Marxist analyses and offers new interpretations of Marx's central arguments. He does so by developing concepts aimed at grasping the essential character and historical development of modern society, and also at overcoming the familiar dichotomies of structure and action, meaning and material life. These concepts lead him to an original analysis of the nature and problems of capitalism and provide the basis for a critique of 'actually existing socialism'. According to this new interpretation, Marx identifies the core of the capitalist system with an impersonal form of social domination generated by labor and the industrial production process are characterized as expressions of domination generated by labor itself and not simply with market mechanisms and private property. Proletarian labor and the industrial production process are characterized as expressions of domination rather than as means of human emancipation. This reinterpretation entails the form of economic growth and the structure of social labor in modern society to the alienation and domination at the heart of capitalism. This reformulation, Postone argues, provides the foundation for a critical social theory that is more adequate to late twentieth-century capitalism.

Critical Theory: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Stephen Eric Bronner

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0190692693

Category: Philosophy

Page: 168

View: 6186

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.

Critical Theory and the Critique of Political Economy

On Subversion and Negative Reason

Author: Werner Bonefeld

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA

ISBN: 1623563313

Category: Political Science

Page: 256

View: 411

Subversive thought is none other than the cunning of reason when confronted with a social reality in which the poor and miserable are required to sustain the illusion of fictitious wealth. Yet, this subsidy is absolutely necessary in existing society, to prevent its implosion. The critique of political economy is a thoroughly subversive business. It rejects the appearance of economic reality as a natural thing, argues that economy has not independent existence, expounds economy as political economy, and rejects as conformist rebellion those anti-capitalist perspectives that derive their rationality from the existing conceptuality of society. Subversion focuses on human conditions. Its critical subject is society unaware of itself. This book develops Marx's critique of political economy as negative theory of society. It does not conform to the patterns of the world and demands that society rids itself of all the muck of ages and founds itself anew.

Ricoeur's Critical Theory

Author: David M. Kaplan

Publisher: SUNY Press

ISBN: 0791486982

Category: Philosophy

Page: 223

View: 5945

In Ricoeur's Critical Theory, David M. Kaplan revisits the Habermas-Gadamer debates to show how Paul Ricoeur's narrative-hermeneutics and moral-political philosophy provide a superior interpretive, normative, and critical framework. Arguing that Ricoeur's unique version of critical theory surpasses the hermeneutic philosophy of Gadamer, Kaplan adds a theory of argumentation necessary to criticize false consciousness and distorted communication. He also argues that Ricoeur develops Habermas's critical theory, adding an imaginative, creative dimension and a concern for community values and ideas of the Good Life. He then shows how Ricoeur's political philosophy steers a delicate path between liberalism, communitarianism, and socialism. Ricoeur's version of critical theory not only identifies and criticizes social pathologies, posits Kaplan, but also projects utopian alternatives for personal and social transformation that would counter and heal the effects of unjust societies. The author concludes by applying Ricoeur's critical theory to three related problems -- the politics of identity and recognition, technology, and globalization and democracy -- to show how his works add depth, complexity, and practical solutions to these problems.

Critique and Disclosure

Critical Theory Between Past and Future

Author: Nikolas Kompridis

Publisher: Mit Press

ISBN: 9780262516532

Category: Philosophy

Page: 337

View: 4297

A provocatively argued call for shifting the emphasis of critical theory from Habermasian "critique," restricted to normative clarification, to "disclosure," a possibility-enhancing approach that draws on and reinterprets ideas of Heidegger. In Critique and Disclosure, Nikolas Kompridis argues provocatively for a richer and more time-responsive critical theory. He calls for a shift in the normative and critical emphasis of critical theory from the narrow concern with rules and procedures of Jürgen Habermas's model to a change-enabling disclosure of possibility and the enlargement of meaning. Kompridis contrasts two visions of critical theory's role and purpose in the world: one that restricts itself to the normative clarification of the procedures by which moral and political questions should be settled and an alternative rendering that conceives of itself as a possibility-disclosing practice. At the center of this resituation of critical theory is a normatively reformulated interpretation of Martin Heidegger's idea of "disclosure" or "world disclosure." In this regard Kompridis reconnects critical theory to its normative and conceptual sources in the German philosophical tradition and sets it within a romantic tradition of philosophical critique. Drawing not only on his sustained critical engagement with the thought of Habermas and Heidegger but also on the work of other philosophers including Wittgenstein, Cavell, Gadamer, and Benjamin, Kompridis argues that critical theory must, in light of modernity's time-consciousness, understand itself as fully situated in its time--in an ever-shifting and open-ended horizon of possibilities, to which it must respond by disclosing alternative ways of thinking and acting. His innovative and original argument will serve to move the debate over the future of critical studies forward--beyond simple antinomies to a consideration of, as he puts it, "what critical theory should be if it is to have a future worthy of its past."

Foucault's Futures

A Critique of Reproductive Reason

Author: Penelope Deutscher

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231544553

Category: Philosophy

Page: 304

View: 5557

In Foucault's Futures, Penelope Deutscher reconsiders the role of procreation in Foucault's thought, especially its proximity to risk, mortality, and death. She brings together his work on sexuality and biopolitics to challenge our understanding of the politicization of reproduction. By analyzing Foucault's contribution to the politics of maternity and its influence on the work of thinkers such as Roberto Esposito, Giorgio Agamben, and Judith Butler, Deutscher provides new insights into the conflicted political status of reproductive conduct and what it means for feminism and critical theory.

Critical theory of technology

Author: Andrew Feenberg

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: N.A

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 235

View: 3524

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.

Alienation

Author: Rahel Jaeggi

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 023153759X

Category: Philosophy

Page: 304

View: 4080

The Hegelian-Marxist idea of alienation fell out of favor after the postmetaphysical rejection of humanism and essentialist views of human nature. In this book Rahel Jaeggi draws on the Hegelian philosophical tradition, phenomenological analyses grounded in modern conceptions of agency, and recent work in the analytical tradition to reconceive alienation as the absence of a meaningful relationship to oneself and others, which manifests in feelings of helplessness and the despondent acceptance of ossified social roles and expectations. A revived approach to alienation helps critical social theory engage with phenomena such as meaninglessness, isolation, and indifference. By severing alienation's link to a problematic conception of human essence while retaining its social-philosophical content, Jaeggi provides resources for a renewed critique of social pathologies, a much-neglected concern in contemporary liberal political philosophy. Her work revisits the arguments of Rousseau, Hegel, Kierkegaard, and Heidegger, placing them in dialogue with Thomas Nagel, Bernard Williams, and Charles Taylor.

The Handbook of Critical Theory

Author: David Rasmussen

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell

ISBN: 9780631183815

Category: Philosophy

Page: 440

View: 3619

The Handbook of Critical Theory brings together for the first time a detailed examination of the state of critical theory today. The fifteen essays provide analyses of the various orientations which critical theory 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 critical theory.

Social Acceleration

A New Theory of Modernity

Author: Hartmut Rosa

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231148348

Category: Philosophy

Page: 496

View: 710

Hartmut Rosa advances an account of the temporal structure of society from the perspective of critical theory. He identifies in particular three categories of change in the tempo of modern social life: technological acceleration, evident in transportation, communication, and production; the acceleration of social change, reflected in cultural knowledge, social institutions, and personal relationships; and acceleration in the pace of life, which happens despite the expectation that technological change should increase an individual's free time. According to Rosa, both the structural and cultural aspects of our institutions and practices are marked by the "shrinking of the present," a decreasing time period during which expectations based on past experience reliably match future results and events. When this phenomenon combines with technological acceleration and the increasing pace of life, time seems to flow ever faster, making our relationships to each other and the world fluid and problematic. It is as if we are standing on "slipping slopes," a steep social terrain that is itself in motion and in turn demands faster lives and technology. As Rosa deftly shows, this self-reinforcing feedback loop fundamentally determines the character of modern life.

The Habermas Handbook

Author: Hauke Brunkhorst,Regina Kreide,Cristina Lafont

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231535880

Category: Philosophy

Page: 660

View: 4864

Jürgen Habermas is one of the most influential philosophers of our time. His diagnoses of contemporary society and concepts such as the public sphere, communicative rationality, and cosmopolitanism have influenced virtually all academic disciplines, spurred political debates, and shaped intellectual life in Germany and beyond for more than fifty years. In The Habermas Handbook, leading Habermas scholars elucidate his thought, providing essential insight into his key concepts, the breadth of his work, and his influence across politics, law, the social sciences, and public life. This volume offers a comprehensive overview and an in-depth analysis of Habermas’s work in its entirety. After examining his intellectual biography, it goes on to illuminate the social and intellectual context of Habermasian thought, such as the Frankfurt School, speech-act theory, and contending theories of democracy. The Handbook provides an extensive account of Habermas’s texts, ranging from his dissertation on Schelling to his most recent writing about Europe. It illustrates the development of his thought and its frequently controversial reception while elaborating the central ideas of his work. The book also provides a glossary of key terms and concepts, making the complexity of Habermas’s thought accessible to a broad readership.

Critical Theory

Selected Essays

Author: Max Horkheimer

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN: 0826400833

Category: Philosophy

Page: 290

View: 2821

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.