Critical Theory and the Challenge of Praxis: Beyond

This quantity explores probability of making a political end result from the idea of the early years of the Frankfurt tuition, countering the commonly-made feedback that serious conception is very speculative.

With chapters exploring the paintings of figures primary to the Frankfurt college, together with Benjamin, Adorno, Horkheimer, Marcuse, Habermas and Honneth, Critical idea and the problem of Praxis finds that it is just with a hard and fast and dogmatic version of politics that severe conception is incompatible, and that it may in truth yield a wealthy number of political types, starting from new different types of Marxism to extra modern ‘dialogical’ versions concentrated at the politics of identity.

With cognizance to new methods of contrasting alienation and reification in modern kinds of social corporation, this ebook demonstrates that the idea of the Frankfurt tuition can in truth be a useful software not just for constructing a critique of complicated capitalism, but in addition for originating substitute versions of political praxis. As such, it's going to attract students of social and political thought, with pursuits in classical sociological idea and continental philosophy.

“The Frankfurt institution, generally, and Theodor W. Adorno, particularly, have frequently been accused of leaving behind Marx’s thought of praxis. those essays show from various illuminating views that, although they rejected unreflective actionism or an uncritical id with the proletariat, they have been deeply inquisitive about the boundaries to emancipatory praxis within the current and its attainable re-emergence sooner or later. somebody attracted to the Frankfurt tuition and its important relevance to modern political and theoretical debates could be well-served via this extraordinary volume.” — John D. Abromeit, SUNY Buffalo country, united states and writer of Max Horkheimer and the rules of the Frankfurt School

“This is a well timed assortment in additional methods than one. Assembling top students within the box, the amount illustrates the Frankfurt School’s non-stop capability to make us comprehend present matters and worldwide difficulties, previous and new. in addition, the gathering profoundly demanding situations the regularly occurring assumption that severe concept has little influence on political perform. somebody drawn to the Frankfurt institution and its modern relevance will vastly make the most of this publication. A must-read.” — Lars Rensmann, John Cabot college, Italy

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Extra resources for Critical Theory and the Challenge of Praxis: Beyond Reification

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While such identification is not sustained by Adorno, Adorno as Marx’s Scholar 35 prevents the formation of a fixed outcome (an identity, a “conclusive harmony” in aesthetic terms) from the dialectical movement, the sense of the negativity of Adorno’s dialectic is expressed, at a theoretical level, in the refusal of any type of Weltanschauung. At a practical level, negative dialectics prevents as well the establishment of a fixed parameter or set of rules that would constitute a sort of “recipe” for a free and emancipated society.

From a general point of view, the fundamental contradiction is that the very basic presupposition of modern bourgeois society (the relation between free and equal individuals) clashes with the forms of domination that this society continuously reproduces. The concept of society, which is specifically bourgeois and antifeudal, implies the notion of an association of free and independent human subjects for the sake of the possibility of a better life and, consequently, the critique of natural social relations.

18 But it is exactly because of this inescapable technical and rational invariability of the productive process, that today the workers are shaped by it much more than in the past. This is the effect of what Adorno and Horkheimer call the “technological veil”: the socially produced illusion according to which certain processes obey only the neutral logic of science and technology. From these reflections, the conclusion can be drawn that the critique levelled by “bourgeois sociology” at Marxian class theory, although apologetic insofar as it conceals the class relations and the reality of exploitation behind the neutral concept of “social stratification”, has in itself a content of truth; in other words, the critique made by “bourgeois sociology” is misleading inasmuch as it does not speak of class domination, but rather of supremacy of the elites (“wherever the sociological gaze seeks the stones of class, it discovers only the bread of the elites”),19 attributing thereby a supra-historical character to a category of dubious legitimacy.

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