The Frankfurt School and Its Critics

Author: The late Tom Bottomore

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1134451474

Category: Philosophy

Page: 96

View: 7859

The Institute of Social Research, from which the Frankfurt School developed, was founded in the early years of the Weimar Republic. It survived the Nazi era in exile, to become an important centre of social theory in the postwar era. Early members of the school, such as Adorno, Horkheimer and Marcuse, developed a form of Marxist theory known as Critical Theory, which became influential in the study of class, politics, culture and ideology. The work of more recent members, and in particular Habermas, has received wide attention throughout Europe and North America. Tom Bottomore's study takes a new and controversial look at the contributions of the Frankfurt School to modern sociology, examining several issues not previously discussed elsewhere. He discusses the neglect of history and political economy by the critical theorists, and considers the relationship of the later Frankfurt School to the radical movements of the 1960s and the present time. His critical analysis makes the school's writers accessible, through an assessment of their work and an exploration of the relationship of Critical Theory to other forms of sociological thought, especially positivism and structuralism.

The Frankfurt School in Exile

Author: Thomas Wheatland

Publisher: U of Minnesota Press

ISBN: 0816653674

Category: Social Science

Page: 415

View: 8523

Thomas Wheatland examines the influence of the Frankfurt School, or Horkheimer Circle, and how they influenced American social thought and postwar German sociology. He argues that, contrary to accepted belief, the members of the group, who fled oppression in Nazi Germany in 1934, had a major influence on postwar intellectual life.

Introduction to Critical Theory

Horkheimer to Habermas

Author: David Held

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 9780520041752

Category: Philosophy

Page: 511

View: 1467

"This is the first book to present clearly the thought of the Frankfurt school as a whole. . . . A major contribution to the history of social thought. . . . A splendid piece of work."--Mark Poster

Culture, Class, and Critical Theory

Between Bourdieu and the Frankfurt School

Author: David Gartman

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 0415524202

Category: Social Science

Page: 179

View: 6277

Culture, Class, and Critical Theory develops a theory of culture that explains how ideas create and legitimate class inequalities in modern society. This theory is developed through a critique and comparison of the powerful ideas on culture offered by Pierre Bourdieu and the Frankfurt School thinkers, especially Theodor Adorno. These ideas are illuminated and criticized through the development of two empirical cases on which Gartman has published extensively, automobile design and architecture. Bourdieu and the Frankfurt School postulate opposite theories of the cultural legitimation of class inequalities. Bourdieu argues that the culture of modern society is a class culture, a ranked diversity of beliefs and tastes corresponding to different classes. The cultural beliefs and practices of the dominant class are arbitrarily defined as superior, thus legitimating its greater share of social resources. By contrast, the thinkers of the Frankfurt School conceive of modern culture as a mass culture, a leveled homogeneity in which the ideas and tastes shared by all classes disguises real class inequalities. This creates the illusion of an egalitarian democracy that prevents inequalities from being contested. Through an empirical assessment of the theories against the cases, Gartman reveals that both are correct, but for different parts of modern culture. These parts combine to provide a strong legitimation of class inequalities.

Rethinking the Frankfurt School

Alternative Legacies of Cultural Critique

Author: Jeffrey T. Nealon,Caren Irr

Publisher: SUNY Press

ISBN: 0791488012

Category: POLITICAL SCIENCE

Page: 235

View: 3386

By exploring the work of the Frankfurt school today, this book helps to define the very field of cultural studies.

Critical Theory

Selected Essays

Author: Max Horkheimer

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN: 0826400833

Category: Philosophy

Page: 290

View: 6816

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.

Grand Hotel Abyss

The Lives of the Frankfurt School

Author: Stuart Jeffries

Publisher: Verso Books

ISBN: 1784785717

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 448

View: 4606

Who were the Frankfurt School—Benjamin, Adorno, Marcuse, Horkheimer—and why do they matter today? In 1923, a group of young radical German thinkers and intellectuals came together to at Victoria Alle 7, Frankfurt, determined to explain the workings of the modern world. Among the most prominent members of what became the Frankfurt School were the philosophers Walter Benjamin, Theodor Adorno, Max Horkheimer, and Herbert Marcuse. Not only would they change the way we think, but also the subjects we deem worthy of intellectual investigation. Their lives, like their ideas, profoundly, sometimes tragically, reflected and shaped the shattering events of the twentieth century. Grand Hotel Abyss combines biography, philosophy, and storytelling to reveal how the Frankfurt thinkers gathered in hopes of understanding the politics of culture during the rise of fascism. Some of them, forced to escape the horrors of Nazi Germany, later found exile in the United States. Benjamin, with his last great work—the incomplete Arcades Project—in his suitcase, was arrested in Spain and committed suicide when threatened with deportation to Nazi-occupied France. On the other side of the Atlantic, Adorno failed in his bid to become a Hollywood screenwriter, denounced jazz, and even met Charlie Chaplin in Malibu. After the war, there was a resurgence of interest in the School. From the relative comfort of sun-drenched California, Herbert Marcuse wrote the classic One Dimensional Man, which influenced the 1960s counterculture and thinkers such as Angela Davis; while in a tragic coda, Adorno died from a heart attack following confrontations with student radicals in Berlin. By taking popular culture seriously as an object of study—whether it was film, music, ideas, or consumerism—the Frankfurt School elaborated upon the nature and crisis of our mass-produced, mechanised society. Grand Hotel Abyss shows how much these ideas still tell us about our age of social media and runaway consumption.

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: 4395

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.

Dialectic of Enlightenment

Author: Max Horkheimer,Theodor W. Adorno

Publisher: Stanford University Press

ISBN: 080478809X

Category: Social Science

Page: 304

View: 2203

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.

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: 3283

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.

The Frankfurt School

The Critical Theories of Max Horkheimer and Theodor W. Adorno

Author: N.A

Publisher: Transaction Publishers

ISBN: 1412818346

Category: History

Page: 241

View: 9091

Originally published: New York: Wiley, c1977.

Critical Ecologies

The Frankfurt School and Contemporary Environmental Crises

Author: Andrew Biro

Publisher: University of Toronto Press

ISBN: 0802098401

Category: Political Science

Page: 366

View: 7528

Environmental movements are the subject of increasingly rigorous political theoretical study. Can the Frankfurt School's critical frameworks be used to address ecological issues, or do environmental conflicts remain part of the "failed promise" of this group? Critical Ecologies aims to redeem the theories of major Frankfurt thinkers--Theodor Adorno, Max Horkheimer, and Herbert Marcuse, among others--by applying them to contemporary environmental crises. Critical Ecologies argues that sustainability and critical social theory have many similar goals, including resistance to different forms of domination. Like the Frankfurt School itself, the essays in this volume reflect a spirit of interdisciplinarity and draw attention to intersections between environmental, socio-political, and philosophical issues. Offering textual analyses by leading scholars in both critical theory and environmental politics, Critical Ecologies underscores the continued relevance of the Frankfurt School's ideas for addressing contemporary issues.

Cultural Theory

Classical and Contemporary Positions

Author: Tim Edwards

Publisher: SAGE

ISBN: 1848607520

Category: Social Science

Page: 304

View: 6300

"Written by some of the leading thinkers in the field, the book is an excellent resource for longstanding and contemporary issues in cultural theory. Comprehensive and well-written." - David Oswell, Goldsmiths College This timely volume provides a framework for understanding the cultural turn in terms of the classical legacy, contemporary cultural theory and cultural analysis. It reveals the significance of Marxist humanism, Georg Simmel, the Frankfurt School, Stuart Hall and the Birmingham School, Giddens, Bauman, Foucault, Bourdieu and Baudrillard. Readers receive a dazzling, critical survey of some of the primary figures in the field. However, the book is much more than a Rough Guide tour through the 'great figures' in the field. Through an analysis of specific problems, such as transculturalism, transnationalsim, feminism, popular music and cultural citizenship, it demonstrates the relevance of cultural sociology in elucidating some of the key questions of our time.

Contemporary Critical Theory and Methodology

Author: Piet Strydom

Publisher: Taylor & Francis

ISBN: 113599787X

Category: Political Science

Page: 272

View: 4179

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.

One-Dimensional Man

Studies in the Ideology of Advanced Industrial Society

Author: Herbert Marcuse

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 113443880X

Category: Philosophy

Page: 288

View: 8029

One of the most important texts of modern times, Herbert Marcuse's analysis and image of a one-dimensional man in a one-dimensional society has shaped many young radicals' way of seeing and experiencing life. Published in 1964, it fast became an ideological bible for the emergent New Left. As Douglas Kellner notes in his introduction, Marcuse's greatest work was a 'damning indictment of contemporary Western societies, capitalist and communist.' Yet it also expressed the hopes of a radical philosopher that human freedom and happiness could be greatly expanded beyond the regimented thought and behaviour prevalent in established society. For those who held the reigns of power Marcuse's call to arms threatened civilization to its very core. For many others however, it represented a freedom hitherto unimaginable.

The Sociology of Theodor Adorno

Author: Matthias Benzer

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1139500953

Category: Social Science

Page: N.A

View: 8152

Theodor Adorno is a widely-studied figure, but most often with regard to his work on cultural theory, philosophy and aesthetics. The Sociology of Theodor Adorno provides the first thorough English-language account of Adorno's sociological thinking. Matthias Benzer reads Adorno's sociology through six major themes: the problem of conceptualising capitalist society; empirical research; theoretical analysis; social critique; the sociological text; and the question of the non-social. Benzer explains the methodological and theoretical ideas informing Adorno's reflections on sociology and illustrates Adorno's approach to examining social life, including astrology, sexual taboos and racial prejudice. Benzer clarifies Adorno's sociology in relation to his work in other disciplines and the inspiration his sociology took from social thinkers such as Marx, Weber, Durkheim, Kracauer and Benjamin. The book raises critical questions about the viability of Adorno's sociological mode of procedure and its potential contributions and challenges to current debates in social science.

The Frankfurt School

Its History, Theories, and Political Significance

Author: Rolf Wiggershaus

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 9780262731133

Category: Philosophy

Page: 787

View: 1741

The book is based on documentary and biographical materials that have only recently become available. As the narrative follows the Institute for Social Research from Frankfurt am Main to Geneva, New York, and Los Angeles, and then back to Frankfurt, Wiggershaus continually ties the evolution of the school to the changing intellectual and political contexts in which it operated.

The Philosophy Of Praxis

Marx, Lukács And The Frankfurt School

Author: Andrew Feenberg

Publisher: Verso Books

ISBN: 1781682194

Category: Philosophy

Page: 304

View: 9693

Philosophy of Praxis examines the work of four Marxist thinkers, the early Marx and Lukács, and the Frankfurt School philosophers Adorno and Marcuse. The book holds that fundamental philosophical problems are in reality social problems, abstractly conceived. This argument has two implications: on the one hand, philosophical problems are significant insofar as they reflect real social contradictions; on the other hand, philosophy cannot resolve the problems it identifies because only social revolution can eliminate their social causes. Feenberg’s Lukacs, Marx and the Sources of Critical Theory was an intellectual history of these discussions. Philosophy of Praxis is an update of that classic theoretical work, which details how the discussion has been taken up by contemporary schools of thought, including Marxist political theory and continental philosophy.

Postmodern Theory

Critical Interrogations

Author: Steven Best,Douglas Kellner

Publisher: Guilford Press

ISBN: 9780898624182

Category: Political Science

Page: 324

View: 6821

In this timely volume, the authors systematically analyze postmodern theory to evaluate its relevance for critical social theory and radical politics today. Best and Kellner provide: * An introduction and critique of the work of Foucault, Deleuze and Guattari, Baudrillard, Lyotard, Laclau and Mouffe, and Jameson, which assess the varying contributions and limitations of postmodern theory * A discussion of postmodern feminist theory and the politics of identity * A systematic study of the origin of the discourse of the postmodern in historical, sociological, cultural, and philosophical studies. The authors claim that while postmodern theory provides insights into contemporary developments, it lacks adequate methodological and political perspectives to provide a critical social theory and radical politics for the present age.