On the contrary, to preserve one’s identity means to find in the emancipatory force of knowledge the fundamental interest of human beings. It originated from criticism by Horkheimer of orthodox Marxism’s dichotomy between productive structures and ideological superstructure, as well as positivism’s naïve separation of social facts and social interpretation. Whereas Hegel found that Rationality had finally come to terms with Reality with the birth of the modern nation state (which in his eyes was the Prussian state), Marx insisted on the necessity of reading the development of rationality through history in terms of a class struggle. One of the core concerns of the scholars of the Frankfurt School, especially Horkheimer, Adorno, Benjamin, and Marcuse, was the rise of "mass culture. Whereas the early Frankfurt School and Habermas viewed rationality as a historical process whose unity was taken as a precondition for social criticism, later critical philosophies, influenced mainly by post-modernity, privileged a rather more fragmented notion of (ir)rationality manifested by social institutions. The Frankfurt School was a group of scholars known for developing critical theory and popularizing the dialectical method of learning by interrogating society's contradictions. Habermas described discourse theory as relying on three types of validity-claims raised by communicative action. Frankfurt School Critical Theory is a famously rich yet challenging body of work; it is also a foundational influence on social ecology. Honneth inaugurated a new research phase in Critical Theory. Accordingly, critical theorists like Fromm referred to Freud’s notions of the unconscious which contributed defining ideologies in terms of “substitute gratifications”. Two years later Horkheimer published the ideological manifesto of the School in his Traditional and Critical Theory ([1937] 1976) where he readdressed some of the previously introduced topics concerning the practical and critical turn of theory. For Critical Theory, rationality has always been a crucial theme in the analysis of modern society as well as of its pathologies. There Habermas combined a transcendental argument with an anthropological one by defending the view according to which humans have an interest in knowledge insofar as such interest is attached to the preservation of self-identity. The first officially appointed director was Carl Grünberg (1923-9), a Marxist professor at the University of Vienna. In the latter views, social criticism could not act as a self-reflective form of rationality, since rationality cannot be conceived as a process incorporated in history. The most relevant publication in this respect by the two was The Authoritarian Personality or Studies in Prejudice. In addition, in order to keep US citizenship, Adorno had to go back to California where he earned his living by conducting qualitative research analysis. Accordingly, the use of reason did not amount to formulating prescriptive models of society but aimed at achieving goals through the selection of the best possible means of action. On the other hand, Habermasian theory of communicative action and discourse ethics, while remaining sensitive to contexts, pretended to defend transcendental conditions of discourse which, if violated, were seen to lead to performative contradictions. In other words, alternative reading to the “is/ought” relation have defended either a cognitivist approach (truth-validity of moral statements) or, alternatively, a non-cognitivist approach (no truth-validity), as in the case of emotivism. Some of his significant works in this area included Philosophy of Modern Music (1949) and later Vers une Musique Informelle. It’s a system of revolution, suffering, chaos, and violence. Since the 1970s, a second generation began with Jürgen Habermas, who, among other merits, contributed to the opening of a dialogue between so-called continental and the analytic traditions. It can be said to include also scholars such as Andrew Feenberg, even if he was a direct student of Marcuse, or people such as Albrecht Wellmer who became an assistant of Habermas due to the premature death of Adorno in 1969. And like cancer, it has taken hold in our culture, media, business, politics, and even our churches. The theoretical writings of Theodor Adorno and Walter Benjamin are explored in historical and political contexts, including Marxism, socialist realism, and late capitalism. From all this, two notions of rationality result: the first attached to the dominant form of power and deprived of any normative force; the second characterized, on the contrary, by a liberating force based on a yet-to-come scenario. Critical of both capitalism and Soviet socialism, their writings pointed to … “The Politics of Critical Theory”, in Fred Rush Fred (ed.). “Philosophie und Kritische Theorie”, Rabinow, Paul (ed.). These are the primary tasks that a critical social theory must accomplish in order to be defined as “critical”. Accordingly, for the Frankfurt School, modern processes of bureaucratic administration exemplified what Weber considered as an all-encompassing domination of formal rationality over substantive values. Only later, in 1961, it appeared in the series Sociological Texts (see Wiggershaus 1995, p. 555). It was during this phase that Richard Bernstein, a philosopher and contemporary of Habermas, embraced the research agenda of Critical Theory and significantly helped its development in American universities starting from the New School for Social Research in New York. According to Wiggershaus: “The Institute disorientation in the late 1930s made the balancing acts it had always had to perform, for example in relation to its academic environment, even more difficult. The Frankfurt School is a name given to a group of Marxist researchers associated with the Institute for Social Research in Frankfurt am Main. In 1923, Felix decided to use his father’s money to found an institute specifically devoted to the study of German society in the light of a Marxist approach. Through this period, however, Honneth worked hard to shore up the infrastructure of critical theory in Frankfurt, especially as a co-founder of the biweekly "Humanwissenschaften" section of the Frankfurter Rundschau, as the moving force behind several book series in critical social theory (with publishers Campus, Akadamie, and Fischer, rather than Habermas's Suhrkamp), … As Geuss has suggested, there are two possible ways to propose such separation: “the perfect-knowledge approach” and “the optimal conditions approach” (1981, p. 48). Chambers, Simone. He thereby inaugurated a vigorous debate among Marxist … Horkheimer’s aversion towards Habermas was even more evident when he refused to supervise his Habilitation. Although this “narrow” conception of critical theory originated with the Frankfurt School, it also prevails among other recent social scientists, such as - Pierre Bourdieu, - Louis Althusser and arguably - Michel Foucault and - Bryan Reynolds, - as well as … Some months later, Arendt also crossed the same border, passing on Adorno Benjamin’s last writing: Theses on the Philosophy of History. Besides his achievements, both in academia and as an activist, the young Habermas contributed towards the construction of a critical self-awareness of the socialist student groups around the country (the so-called SDS, Sozialistischer Deutscher Studentenbund). In defining the senses to be assigned to the notion of ideology, within its descriptive-empirical sense “one might study the biological and quasi-biological properties of the group” or, alternatively, “the cultural or socio-cultural features of the group” (Geuss 1981, p. 4 ff). The Habermasian answer to the is/ought question has several important implications. The activity of the analyst in this sense is not far from the same activity of the participant: there is no objective perspective which can be defended. “What is ‘theory’?” asked Horkheimer in the opening of his essay Traditional and Critical Theory [1937]. Philosopher Herbert Marcuse in 1968 while he was a Professor of Philosophy at the University of California at San Diego. The Frankfurt School of Critical Theory . According to such a view, later abandoned by “the second” Wittgenstein, the logical form of propositions consists in showing a possible fact and in saying whether this is true or false. The problem with Marcuse’s rationalization of basic instincts was that by relying excessively on human biology, it became impossible to distinguish between the truth and the falsity of socially dependent needs (see on this Ingram 1990, p. 103). Cole, Nicki Lisa, Ph.D. "The Frankfurt School of Critical Theory." The main difference between critical theory and others, as famously outlined by Horkheimer, is its critical aim: as opposed to “traditional” theories that mainly try to understand or even explain society, critical theory wants to overcome the current state of society and help erect a more “reasonable” society without exploitation, alienation and unnecessary … There was a crucial event in the life of critical theory in August 1991 when Soviet Russia witnessed its disintegration. With the support of Gadamer he was, then, appointed professor at Heidelberg. Under several aspects, what Critical Theory wants to reject in traditional theory is precisely this “picture theory” of language and knowledge as that defined by “the first” Wittgenstein in his Tractatus. On the other hand, if one takes “ideology” according to a positive sense, then, reference is not with something empirically given, but rather with a “desideratum”, a “verité a faire” (Geuss 1981, p. 23). This study was published by Habermas in 1962 under the title of The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, just before he handed in his Habilitation. Secondly, the commitment of Critical Theory to universal validity and universal pragmatics has been widely criticized by post-structuralists and post-modernists who have instead insisted respectively on the hyper-contextualism of the forms of linguistic rationality, as well as on the substitution of a criticism of ideology with genealogical criticism. gen.lib.rus.ec/search... 10. 2 comments. The final stage of this struggle would have seen the political and economic empowerment of the proletariat. What The Authoritarian Personality was really studying was the character type of a totalitarian rather than an authoritarian society. Further, with a rather Marxist twist, Horkheimer noticed also that phenomenological objectivity is a myth because it is dependent upon “technological conditions” and the latter are sensitive to the material conditions of production. It was not a school, in the physical sense, but rather a school of thought associated with scholars at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Frankfurt in Germany. These transdisciplinary thinkers developed penetrating analyses of a wide array of topics, encompassing capitalism, fascism, modernity, reason, science and technology, nature, culture, mass media, aesthetics, the left, and more. The discussion about method has been always a constant topic for those critical theorists who have attempted since the beginning to clarify the specificity of what it means to be “critical”. This decade was crucial for the definition of the School’s research objectives. 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