- Critical theory
- Critical theory Horkheimer, Adorno, Habermas David Rasmussen HEGEL, MARX AND THE IDEA OF A CRITICAL THEORY Critical theory1 is a metaphor for a certain kind of theoretical orientation which owes its origin to Hegel and Marx, its systematization to Horkheimer and his associates at the Institute for Social Research in Frankfurt, and its development to successors, particularly to the group led by Jürgen Habermas, who have sustained it under various redefinitions to the present day. As a term, critical theory is both general and specific. In general it refers to that critical element in German philosophy which began with Hegel’s critique of Kant. More specifically it is associated with a certain orientation towards philosophy which found its twentieth-century expression in Frankfurt. What is critical theory? The term bears the stamp of the nascent optimism of the nineteenth century; a critical theory can change society. Critical theory is a tool of reason which, when properly located in a historical group, can transform the world. ‘Philosophers have always interpreted the world, the point is to change it.’ So states Marx’s famous eleventh thesis on Feuerbach. Marx got this idea from Hegel who, in his Phenomenology of Spirit,2 developed the concept of the moving subject which, through the process of self-reflection, comes to know itself at ever higher levels of consciousness. Hegel was able to combine a philosophy of action with a philosophy of reflection in such a manner that activity or action was a necessary moment in the process of reflection. This gave rise to one of the most significant discourses in German philosophy, that of the proper relationship between theory and practice. Human practical activity, praxis in the sense that classical Greek philosophy had defined it, could transform theory. There are two famous instances where Hegel attempted to demonstrate the interrelationship of thought and action in his Phenomenology of Spirit, namely, the master/ slave dialectic and the struggle between virtue and the way of the world. In the former example, which attempts to demonstrate the proposition, ‘Self-Consciousness exists in and for itself when, and by the fact that, it so exists for another: that is, it exists only in being acknowledged,’3 the slave transforms his or her identity by moulding and shaping the world and thus becomes something other than a slave. In the latter example, the modern way of the world (essentially Adam Smith’s concept of the political economy of civil society) triumphs over the ancient classical concept of virtue as a higher form of human self-knowledge oriented toward freedom. Historical development, as the institutionalization of human action, became an element in human rationality. Critical theory derives its basic insight from the idea that thought can transform itself through a process of self-reflection in history. Marx, early on in his development in a text that has come down to us under the title On the Jewish Question,4 argued from Hegel’s critical insight into the context of modern society. Having already done an analysis a few months before of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right, he turned his attention to the development of the modern state by reflecting on Bruno Bauer’s essay by the same name. Here, he would come to the conclusion that the course of human freedom culminating in the modern state (which Hegel had so brilliantly documented as leading from slavery to emancipation—the so-called course of human reason) was no emancipation at all. Indeed, the promised liberation of modern society from the shackles of the Middle Ages had not occurred. Hence, the task of social emancipation which could be carried on by critical reflection would lead the very agents of that reflection to a further task, namely, the transformation of society through revolution. Consequently, the promise of critical theory would be radical social transformation. The ancient assumption that the purpose of reflection was for knowledge itself, allied with the further assumption that pure contemplation was the proper end of the human subject, was replaced by another end of reflection also to be derived from classical thought, but with its own peculiarly modern twist; theory when allied with praxis has a proper political end, namely, social transformation. However, for Marx this was not enough. Two factors remained. First, whence was such knowledge to be derived? Second, what would be the nature of such knowledge? Between the autumn of 1843 and the summer of 1844, Marx would provide answers to both questions. The answers came in the form of a class theory in which the newly emerging ‘proletariat’ were to play the central role. For Marx, they became the concrete subject of history with the result that hopes for emancipation would be anchored in a critical theory, which would in turn be associated with the activity of a particular class. Again, Hegel had provided the groundwork for this understanding by associating the basic interest in civil society in his philosophy of law with the interest of a particular Stände. Of the three orders of society—agricultural, business and civil service—it was only the latter which could represent the universal interests of humankind. With Marx, that latter task was transferred from the civil servants, who could no longer be trusted, to the proletariat, who he somewhat confidently asserted would bring about the social revolution necessary to overcome the contradictions with modern political society. With regard to the second question, it was again Hegel, the philosopher of modernity par excellence, who taught Marx to look not to intuition per se but to the manifestation of reason in practical institutional form for an appropriate understanding of the world. Hegel had been the first philosopher both to understand and to use the work of the political economists in his work. Marx, first in a review of James Mill’s Elements of Political Economy and later in a much more elaborate fashion, would work out a thesis about the dynamics of history leading him to assert that economic activity had a certain priority in the development of history. This thesis would lead Marx to assert shortly thereafter, in The German Ideology,5 that for the first time real history could begin. The very assumption behind a book which had the audacity to put the term ‘ideology’ into the title was that thought alone was ideological. There was a higher truth which Marx, through his methodology, would be able to attain, namely the ‘productive’ activity of humankind. Human history would then be simultaneous with human production. The term for this new approach to the world of reflection and action would be ‘historical materialism’ and it would attack other more ‘idealistic’ modes of thinking as ‘ideological’. Hence, a critical theory would be able to unearth the false presumptions that had heretofore held humanity in their sway. Later, in Capital, Marx would label the kind of thinking which he had characterized as ‘ideology’ in The German Ideology as ‘fetishism’. He did so in the famous last section of the first chaper of volume 1, entitled ‘The fetishism of commodities and the secret thereof. Marx’s choice and use of metaphor is interesting, if not compelling. He uses ‘ideology’, ‘fetishism’ and ‘secret’ as if there was some ominous conspiracy against humankind which a certain kind of critical and theoretical orientation could unmask. The term ‘fetishism’ had a religious origin designating a fundamental confusion regarding perceptual orientations to the world. The very assumption that a certain theoretical orientation could unleash the ‘secret’ behind ideology as a kind of ‘fetishism’ represented a kind of confidence that would not only shape the historical development of critical theory in the future, but also unearth its problematic nature. At the risk of oversimplification, one might state that there are two basic strains in the history of German philosophy. One strain argues that thought or reason is constitutive, the other that it is transformative. The former orientation can be traced to the debate initiated by Kant over the limits of human reason, while the latter can be traced to Hegel’s philosophy of history, which attempted to locate philosophical reflection in a discourse about the history of human freedom. Critical theory could be said to ally itself with this latter theme, even though the constitutive element would play an ever more significant role. In its classical, Hegelian- Marxist, context, critical theory rests on the nascent Enlightenment assumption that reflection is emancipatory. But what is the epistemological ground for this claim? In other words, how is thought constitutive for action? Which form of action is proper, appropriate or correct? In the early writings, Marx attempted to ground the epistemological claims of transformative action in the concept of Gattungswesen, i.e., species being. This concept, taken directly from Ludwig Feuerbach, who in turn had constructed it from both Hegel and Aristotle, affirms that in contrast to the radical individuation of the subject in modern thought, the aim or purpose of a human being is to be determined through intersubjective social action. In Hegelian terms, one constitutes valid self-knowledge through social interaction defined as human labour. According to Marx, the problem with the modern productive process is that it fails to allow the worker to constitute him-or herself as a species being, i.e., as a person who can function for another human being. Hence, the labour process reduces him or her to an animal, as opposed to a human, level making him or her autonomous, competitive and inhuman— co-operating with the productive process and not with other human beings. The point of revolution would be to bring the human being to his or her full and proper capacities as a being for whom the species would be the end, object and aim. There were problems with this view. To be sure, Marx represents the culmination of a certain kind of political theory that began with Hobbes, and which was in turn critical of original anthropological assumptions that saw the human being as an autonomous agent emerging from a state of nature. However, in a certain sense, the concept of species-being was as metaphysical as the Hobbesian notion of the human being in a state of nature, a view which was so aptly and appropriately criticized by Rousseau. It is my view that Marx was aware of the essentially epistemological problem that lay at the foundation of his own thought. Does one ground a theory of emancipation on certain anthropological assumptions regarding the nature of the species, assumptions which were as metaphysical as those the theory was attempting to criticize? Marx attempted to overcome this dilemma by providing historical evidence. In this context, his later work, the volumes of Capital, represent a massive attempt to give an account of human agency which was both historical and scientific. Hence, the quest for a valid constitutive ground for critical theory began with Marx himself. Marx as a political economist would bring massive historical research to bear on the claim that capitalism is merely a phase in human development and not the be-all and end-all of history. Hence, as a true Hegelian, he would assert that like any economic system it bore the seeds of its own destruction. As a consequence, the metaphysical claims present in the notion of species-being would reemerge as a claim about the implicit but incomplete socialization present in capitalism, which, when rationalized, would transform the latter into socialism. As is well known, Marx even went beyond that to attempt to develop, on the basis of his historical investigations, a scientific, predictive formula announcing the end of capitalism on the basis of the ‘falling rate of profit’. The formula assumed that as capital advanced it would be able to generate less and less profit and so would lose its own incentive. Hence, the force of capitalism, unleashed, would lead to its own imminent self-destruction. The victor, of course, would be socialism, which would emerge from the fray, new-born and pure, the ultimate rationalization of the irrationalism implicit in capitalism. As the family would inevitably give way to the force of civil society in Hegel’s philosophy of law, so capitalism would break down and re-emerge as socialism. In 1844 the young Marx had accused his one acknowledged theoretical mentor, Hegel, of harbouring a certain ‘latent positivism’.6 There are those who would accuse the older Marx of having done the same. If capitalism is to fall of its own weight, what is the link between thought and revolutionary action that so inspired the younger Marx? Indeed, what role would the proletariat, the heretofore messianic class of underlings, play in the transformation of society? And what of critical theory? It too would be transformed into just one more scientific, predictive positivistic model. In Marx’s favour, this desire to secure the claims of a critical theory on the firm foundation of positivistic science was always in tension with the more critical claims of exhaustive historical analysis. But it was Marx himself who bequeathed to the late nineteenth century, and subsequently by implication to the twentieth century, the ambiguities of a critical theory. One could imagine the great social thinkers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries coming together to pose a single question: upon what can we ground a critical theory? Would it be the proletariat now transformed into the working class? economic scientific analysis? the critical reflection of a specific historically chosen agent (the vanguard)? informed individual praxis? Perhaps critical theory would produce a ‘dialectic of enlightenment’ so cunning that its very inauguration would produce its own destruction as certain later heirs would predict. Certainly, the late nineteenth and the early twentieth centuries saw the concretization of a particular form of Marxism in a political society, not merely in the former USSR but also in the various workers’ movements in Europe and elsewhere, as well as in the founding of the International, which would raise these questions. A kind of critical theory found its apologists from Engels to Lenin, from Bernstein to Luxemburg, from Kautsky to Plekhanov. Yet the systematization of critical theory as a model of reflection owes its life in the twentieth century to a group of academics who, originally inspired by the German workers’ movement, attempted to give to critical theory a life in the German university. FROM GRÜNBURG TO HORKHEIMER: THE FOUNDATION OF CRITICAL THEORY Although the term ‘critical theory’ in the twentieth century owes its definition primarily to an essay written in 1937 by Max Horkheimer,7 the institute which became associated with this term was founded almost two decades earlier. Certainly one of the more interesting experiments in the history of German institutional thought began when Felix Weil, the son of a German exporter of grains from Argentina, convinced his father, Hermann, to provide an endowment which would enable a yearly income of DM 120,000 to establish, in the year 1922, an Institute for Social Research in affiliation with the University of Frankfurt. Weil, inspired by the workers’ movement, and having written a thesis on socialism, wanted an institute which could deal directly with the problems of Marxism on a par equal to other established disciplines in the University. The first candidate for director, Kurt Albert Gerlach, who planned a series of inaugural lectures on socialism, anarchism and Marxism, died of diabetes before he could begin. His replacement, Karl Grünberg, a professor of law and political science from the University of Vienna, an avowed Marxist, who had begun in the year of 1909 an Archive for the History of Socialism and the Worker’s Movement, was present at the official creation of the Institute on 3 February 1922. In his opening address, he indicated that Marxism would be the guiding principle of the Institute. And so it was for a decade. To be sure, it was the kind of Marxism that was still inspired by the nineteenth century, by the idea of the proletariat, by the workers’ movement, by the example of the Soviet Union and the Marx-Engels Institute in Moscow, by the conception of Marxism as a kind of science which could penetrate heretofore unknown truths which had been obscured by so-called ‘bourgeois’ thought. Indeed, mocking Frankfurt students celebrated its orthodoxy by referring to it as ‘Café Marx’. Certainly, Marxism need not be vulgar to be orthodox. Academic problems which were standard fare for a now more or less established theoretical tradition were commonplace. Principal among them was the study of the workers’ movement. Indeed, if Marxian class theory was correct, the proletariat were to bear the distinctive role of being those who were able to interpret history and bring about the transformation that such insight would sustain. Praxis would then be associated solely with their activity. From an epistemological point of view, the problem of the relation of theory to praxis would be revealed. As Lukács would later think, there would be a certain transparent identity between Marxian social theory and the activity of the working class. Hence, academic study of the working class would be the most appropriate, indeed, the most proper, subject of study for an institute which conceived itself in Marxist terms. For the Institute for Social Research at that time, Marxism was conceived by analogy to science. Hence, the original works of the Institute were associated with capitalist accumulation and economic planning, studies of the economy in China, agricultural relations in France, imperialism and, along with this, through close collaboration with the Soviet Union, the establishment of a collection of the unpublished works of Marx and Engels. However, it wasn’t until the leadership passed from Grünberg to the more able hands of one of the young assistants at the institute, Max Horkheimer, in 1931, that the Institute was to make its mark through both productivity and scholarship. Although Horkheimer was never the believing Marxist Grünberg had been, certain events in Germany and the world would shape the Institute, distancing it from Marxian orthodoxy. The rise of fascism and the splintering of the workers’ movement as well as the Stalinization of Russia would force the Institute to stray from the conventional Marxist wisdom about both theory and science as well as shake its confidence in the workers’ movement. During the 1930s, the roster of the institute would include Theodor Adorno, Leo Lowenthal, Erich Fromm, Fredrich Pollach, Herbert Marcuse, Walter Benjamin (indirectly though, since he never became a fully-fledged member) and others. Although each figure would eventually be known for independent work, and although certain members would break with the general orientation of the Institute, in retrospect what is somewhat amazing about this illustrious group of scholars was its concern for sharing a common theoretical programme under a distinctive directorship. Indeed, the two most powerful theoretical minds, Adorno (1903–69) and Horkheimer (1895–1973), continued to collaborate for their entire lifetimes. Also, it was during this period that the distinctive perspective with which this group came to be identified began to be developed. Modern critical theory can be dated from this period. The problematic which sparked a critical theory of the modern form was the demise of the working class as an organ of appropriate revolutionary knowledge and action coupled with the rise of fascism and the emergence of Stalinization. Taken together, these events would de-couple the link between theory and revolutionary practice centred in the proletariat which had become commonplace in Marxian theory. What became apparent to Horkheimer and others at the Institute was that once this link was broken, essentially the link with a certain form of ideology, it would be necessary to forge a unique theoretical perspective in the context of modern thought in general and German thought in particular. It would not be enough either comfortably to study the workers’ movement or to define Marxist science. The road upon which the Institute embarked would have to bear its own distinctive stamp and character. In brief, not only would this de-coupling give critical theory its peculiar dynamic for the 1930s but, as the torch was passed in the 1960s to a younger generation, this same thrust would give it definition. Hence, while Grünberg’s Archive for the History of Socialism and the Workers’ Movement would define the Institute in more traditional Marxian terms, the chief organ of the Institute under Horkheimer, The Journal for Social Research, would record a different purpose, namely the movement away from Marxian materialism. Writing in 1968 Jürgen Habermas would put it this way: Since the years after World War II the idea of the growing wretchedness of the workers, out of which Marx saw rebellion and revolution emerging as a transitional step to the reign of freedom, had for long periods become abstract and illusory, and at least as out of date as the ideologies despised by the young. The living conditions of laborers and employees at the time of The Communist Manifesto were the outcome of open oppression. Today they are instead motives for trade union organization and for discussion between dominant economic and political groups. The revolutionary thrust of the proletariat has long since become realistic action within the framework of society. In the minds of men at least, the proletariat has been integrated into society. (Critical Theory [8.104], vi) Horkheimer’s 1937 essay, ‘Traditional and Critical Theory’, which attempted to systematically define critical theory, does not begin by underlining an association with the Marxist heritage which still distinguished the Institute and journal with which it was associated. Rather the essay begins by trying to answer the more general question regarding theory per se, ‘What is theory?’ (ibid., p. 188). In the traditional sense, theory is a kind of generalization based upon experience. From Descartes to Husserl theory has been so defined, argues Horkheimer. As such, however, theory traditionally defined has a peculiar kind of prejudice which favours the natural sciences. Horkheimer, reflecting the great Diltheyian distinction between Geisteswissenschaften (social sciences) and Naturwissenschaften (natural sciences) makes the appropriate criticism. Social science imitates natural science in its self-definition as theory. Put simply, the study of society must conform to the facts. But Horkheimer would argue that it is not quite so simple. Experience is said to conform to generalizations. The generalizations tend to conform to certain ideas present in the minds of the researchers. The danger is apparent: so defined, theory conforms to the ideas in the mind of the researcher and not to experience itself. The word for this phenomenon, derived from the development of the Marxist theoretical tradition following Lukács’s famous characterization in 1934, is ‘reification’. Horkheimer doesn’t hesitate to use it. Regarding the development of theory he states, ‘But the conception of theory was absolutized, as though it were grounded in the inner nature of knowledge as such, or justified in some other ahistorical way, and thus it became a reified ideological category’ (ibid., p. 194). Although various theoretical approaches would come close to breaking out of the ideological constraints which restricted them, theoretical approaches such as positivism, pragmatism, neo-Kantianism and phenomenology, Horkheimer would argue that they failed. Hence, all would be subject to the logicomathematical prejudice which separates theoretical activity from actual life. The appropriate response to this dilemma is the development of a critical theory. ‘In fact, however, the self-knowledge of present-day man is not a mathematical knowledge of nature which claims to be the eternal logos, but a critical theory of society as it is, a theory dominated at every turn by a concern for reasonable conditions of life’ (ibid., p. 199). Of course, the construction of a critical theory won’t be easy. Interestingly enough, Horkheimer defines the problem epistemologically. ‘What is needed is a radical reconsideration not of the scientist alone, but of the knowing individual as such’ (ibid.). Horkheimer’s decision to take critical theory in the direction of epistemology was not without significance. Critical theory, which had heretofore depended upon the Marxist tradition for its legitimation, would have to define itself by ever distancing itself from that tradition. Indeed, one of the peculiar ironies resulting from this particular turn is that the very tradition out of which critical theory comes, namely Marxism, would itself fall under the distinction between traditional and critical theory. Ultimately, in many ways the Marxist tradition was as traditional as all the other traditions. But, of course, the 1937 essay fails to recognize this. Indeed, this dilemma of recognition would play itself out in the post-1937 period. This is the very irony of the systematization of critical theory. Equally, this epistemological turn would change permanently the distinction and approach of critical theory. As I suggested earlier, critical theory found its foundation in the transformative tradition in German thought as inspired by Hegel and Marx. Now, having embarked upon an epistemological route, it would find it necessary to draw upon the constitutive dimension of German thought. If one could not ground critical theory in Marxian orthodoxy, certainly the assumption behind the 1937 essay, it would be necessary to find the constitutive point of departure for critical theory in an analysis of knowledge as such. Unfortunately, Horkheimer was unprepared to follow his own unique insight. Instead, the constitutive elements of knowledge to which he refers are taken in a more or less unexamined form from the Marxian heritage. The distinction between individual and society, the concept of society as bourgeois, the idea that knowledge centres in production, the critique of the so-called liberal individual as autonomous, the primacy of the concept of history over logos—these so-called elements which are constitutive of a critical theory were part of the Marxist heritage. Taken as a whole, ‘Tradition and Critical Theory’ is strongly influenced by the Hegelian-Marxist idea that the individual is alienated from society, that liberal thought obscures this alienation, and that the task of critical theory must be to overcome this alienation. Horkheimer put it this way, The separation between the individual and society in virtue of which the individual accepts as natural the limits prescribed for his activity is relativized in Critical Theory. The latter considers the overall framework which is conditioned by the blind interaction of individual activities (that is, the existent division of labour and class distinctions) to be a function which originates in human action and therefore is a possible object of painful decision and rational determination of goals. (ibid., p. 207) Horkheimer is vehement in his critique of the kind of thought that characterizes so-called ‘bourgeois’ individualism. For him, ‘bourgeois thought’ harbours a belief in an individual who is ‘autonomous’ believing that it, the autonomous ego, is the ground of reality. Horkheimer counters this view with another, reminiscent of the early Marx. ‘Critical thinking is the function neither of the isolated individual nor a sum total of individuals. Its subject is rather a definite individual in his real relation to other individuals and groups, in his conflict with a particular class, and, finally, in the resultant web of relationships with the social totality and with nature’ (ibid., pp. 201–11). Of course, this view is dangerously close to traditional Marxian class theory and Horkheimer knows it. After all, who is this ‘definite individual’ whose ‘real relation’ is to other individuals? Traditional Marxist theory answered, the proletariat. Horkheimer is suspicious. ‘But it must be added that even the situation of the proleteriat is, in this society, no guarantee of correct knowledge’ (ibid., p. 213). Horkheimer is hard pressed to find the appropriate replacement of the proletariat without falling back into what he called ‘bourgeois individualism’. He is doubtful of the proletariat’s ability somehow to ‘rise above…differentiation of social structure…imposed from above’. But if he wants to eliminate the proletariat as a source of truth or correct knowledge, he doesn’t quite do it. Indeed, the intellectual or critic can proclaim his or her identity with the proletariat. Horkheimer is not entirely without optimism. ‘The intellectual is satisfied to proclaim with relevant admiration the creative strength of the proletariat and finds satisfaction in adapting himself to it and canonizing it’ (ibid., p. 214). Indeed, Horkheimer is optimistic about this identification. If, however, the theoretician and his specific object are seen as forming a dynamic unity with the oppressed class, so that his presentation of societal contradictions is not merely the expression of the concrete historical situation but also a force within it to stimulate change, then his real function emerges’ (ibid., p. 215). Horkheimer’s reliance on Marxian doctrine as the epistemological foundation for critical theory becomes more apparent as the essay develops. Hence, a critical theory of society will show ‘how an exchange economy, given the condition of men (which, of course, changes under the very influence of such an economy), must necessarily lead to a heightening of those social tensions which in the present historical era lead in turn to wars and revolution’ (ibid., p. 266). As such, critical theory has a peculiar insight into the potential history of modern society. As Marx used political economy and the theory of the primacy of production, Horkheimer will use this model of economic determinism to predict the development of social contradictions in the modern world. Indeed, he goes as far as to state that critical theory rests upon a ‘single existential judgment’, namely, ‘the basic form of the historically given commodity economy, on which modern history rests, contains in itself the internal and external tensions of the modern era’ (ibid., p. 227). Equally, critical theory will be able to overcome the ‘Cartesian dualism’ that characterized contemporary traditional theory by linking critical with practical activity, theory and praxis. Indeed, it was this belief that critical theory was somehow related to practical activity that would distinguish this kind of theoretical endeavour. ‘The thinker must relate all the theories which are proposed to the practical attitudes and social strata which they reflect’ (ibid., p. 232). In retrospect, one may view this 1937 declaration as something of a tour de force attempting to break away from at least some of the most fundamental tenets of traditional Marxist theory, while at the same time in a curious way being caught in the very web of the system from which it was trying to escape. Hence, while dissociating itself from the assumption that truth and proper knowledge were to be rendered through the proletariat, the fundamental tenet of Marxian class theory, this treatise on critical theory celebrated concepts such as economic determinism, reification, critique of autonomy and social contradiction—assumptions derived from traditional Marxian social theory—as valid notions. Simultaneously, this position could not seek to justify itself independently of the events of the time. As the French Revolution determined Hegel’s concept of the political end of philosophy as human freedom, and as the burgeoning Industrial Revolution determined Marx’s thought, critical theory attempted to respond to the events of the time, the decline of the workers’ movement and the rise of fascism. Hence, the indelible mark of the Institute, and of the essay on critical theory in the decade of the 1930s, was the conviction that thought was linked to social justice. The thesis, as old as the German Enlightenment itself, was that thought could somehow be emancipatory. The predominance of this view gave the Institute its particular character, especially when contrasted to the other German philosophical movements of the time, phenomenology, existentialism and, to some extent, positivism. Although influenced by the same set of events as the other German philosophical movements it was critical theory that was to distinguish itself by addressing the political oppression of the day. HORKHEIMER, ADORNO, AND THE DIALECTICAL TRANSFORMATION OF CRITICAL THEORY Critical theory in the post-1937 period would be characterized by two essentially related perspectives, one which broadened its critique of modes of rationality under the heading ‘critique of instrumental reason’ and the other which attempted a grand analysis of culture and civilization under the heading ‘dialectic of enlightenment’. With the onslaught of the Second World War, Horkheimer and Adorno shared not only a deep pessimism about the future course of rationality but also a loss of hope in the potentialities of a philosophy of history for purposes of social transformation. The confidence in the great potentialities of thought as unleashed by the German Enlightenment went underground, replaced by the pessimism of the two major thinkers of critical theory who gave up not only on being thinkers in solidarity with the proletariat but also on the redemptive powers of rationality itself. In this sense, not only do they represent a critique of what is now quite fashionably called ‘modernity’, but they may be the harbingers of postmodernity as well. In the course of the development of critical theory under the ever more pessimistic vision of its principal representatives, the focus would change from Hegel and Marx to Weber. Although they were never to give up entirely on Hegel and Marx, it was Weber who would articulate the pessimistic underside of the Enlightenment which Horkheimer and Adorno would come to admire. Hegel, through his notion of reflection which made a distinction between true and false forms of externalization, between Entaüsserung and Entfremdung, always sustained the possiblity of reason being able to overcome its falsifications. Marx, although less attentive to this distinction, retained the possibility of overcoming falsification or alienation through social action. Hence, whether it was through the reconciliatory power of reason in the case of Hegel, or the transformative force of social action in the case of Marx, a certain emancipatory project was held intact. Horkheimer, and eventually Adorno, initially endorsed that project. However, when Horkheimer wrote his Critique of Instrumental Reason [8.105] it was under the influence of Weber’s brilliant, sobering vision regarding reason and action forged through a comprehensive analysis of the genesis and development of western society. Weber had speculated that in the course of western history, reason, as it secularizes, frees itself from its more mythic and religious sources and becomes ever more purposive, more oriented to means to the exclusion of ends. In order to characterize this development, Weber coined the term Zweckrationalität, purposive-rational action. Reason, devoid of its redemptive and reconciliatory possibilities, could only be purposive, useful and calculating. Weber had used the metaphor ‘iron cage’ as an appropriate way of designating the end, the deadend of modern reason. Horkheimer would take the analysis one step further. His characterization of this course was designated by the term, ‘instrumental reason’. Implied in this usage is the overwhelming force of reason for purposes of social control. The combined forces of media, bureaucracy, economy and cultural life would bear down on the modern individual with an accumulated force which could be described only as instrumental. Instrumental reason would represent the ever-expanding ability of those who were in positions of power in the modern world to dominate and control society for their own calculating purposes. So conceived, the kind of analysis which began with the great optimism inaugurated by the German Enlightenment (which sustained the belief that reason could come to comprehend the developing principle of history and therefore society) would end with the pessimistic realization that reason functions for social control, not in the name of enlightenment or emancipation. And what then of a critical theory? No doubt that question occurred to Horkheimer and Adorno, who, as exiles, now southern Californians, collaborated on what in retrospect must be said to be one of the most fascinating books of modern times, Dialectic of Enlightenment. Is enlightenment, the avowed aim of a critical theory, ‘self-destructive’? That is the question posed by the book, the thesis of which is contained in its title. Enlightenment, which harbours the very promise of human emancipation, becomes the principle of domination, domination of nature and thus, in certain hands, the basis for the domination of other human beings. In the modern world, knowledge is power. The book begins with an analysis of Bacon’s socalled ‘scientific attitude’. The relation of ‘mind’ and ‘nature’ is ‘patriarchal’ (ibid., p. 4); ‘the human mind, which overcomes superstition, is to hold sway over a disenchanted nature’ (ibid.). ‘What men want to learn from nature is how to use it in order wholly to dominate it and other men. That is the only aim’ (ibid.). Hence, ‘power and knowledge’ are the same. But the thesis is more complex. The term ‘dialectic’ is used here in a form which transcends Hegel’s quasi-logical usage. Here dialectic circles back upon itself in such a manner that its subject, enlightenment, both illuminates and destroys. Myth is transformed into enlightenment, but at the price of transforming ‘nature into mere objectivity’ (ibid., p. 9). The increment of power gained with enlightenment has as its equivalent a simultaneous alienation from nature. The circle is vicious: the greater enlightenment, the greater alienation. Magic, with its desire to control, is replaced by science in the modern world, which has not only the same end but more effective means. According to this thesis, the very inner core of myth is enlightenment. ‘The principle of immanence, the explanation of every event as repetition, that the enlightenment upholds against mythic imagination, is the principle of myth itself’ (ibid., p. 12). Indeed, they observe, in the modern obsession with the mathematization of nature (the phenomenon so accurately observed by Edmund Husserl in his famous The Crisis of European Science and Transcendental Phenomenology) they find representatives of a kind of ‘return of the mythic’ in the sense that enlightenment always ‘intends to secure itself against the return of the mythic’. But it does so by degenerating into the ‘mythic cult of positivism’. In this ‘mathematical formalism’, they claim, ‘enlightenment returns to mythology, which it never knew how to elude’ (ibid., p. 27). Such is the peculiar character of the dialectic of enlightenment, which turns upon itself in such a way that it is subsumed by the very phenomenon it wishes to overcome. Critical theory distinguishes itself in this period by ever distancing itself from the Marxian heritage with which it originally associated. Some would see this as a departure from the very sources of reason from which it was so effectively nourished. Hence, a form of rationality gone wild. Others might see it from a different perspective. Perhaps the Dialectic of Enlightenment represents the coming of age of critical theory as critical theory finally making the turn into the twentieth century. As such, the philosophy of history on which it so comfortably rested, with its secure assumptions about the place of enlightenment in the course of western history (to say nothing of the evolution of class and economy), was undercut by the authors’ curious insight into the nature of enlightenment itself. Enlightenment is not necessarily a temporal phenomenon given its claims for a particular time and place in modern historical development. Rather, for Horkheimer and Adorno, enlightenment is itself dialectical, a curious phenomenon associated with rationality itself. In this view, the dialectic of enlightenment could be traced to the dawn of human civilization. Here we encounter a form of critical theory influenced not only by Kant, Hegel, Marx and Weber but also by Nietzsche and perhaps Kierkegaard. It would follow that texts that witnessed the evolution of human history would be placed side by side with those which gave testimony to its origin. Enlightenment can then be traced not to the so-called German Enlightenment, or to the western European Enlightenment, but to the original written texts of western civilization, which, as any former Gymnasium student knows, were those of Homer. Nietzsche is credited with the insight. ‘Nietzsche was one of the few after Hegel who recognized the dialectic of enlightenment’ (ibid., p. 44). They credit him with the double insight that while enlightenment unmasks the acts of those who govern, it is also a tool they use under the name of progress to dupe the masses. ‘The revelation of these two aspects of the Enlightenment as an historic principle made it possible to trace the notion of enlightenment as progressive thought, back to the beginning of traditional history’ (ibid.). Horkheimer and Adorno do not concentrate much on the illusory character of the enlightenment in Homer, ‘the basic text of European civilization’ as they call it. That element has been over-emphasized by the so-called fascist interpreters of both Homer and Nietzsche. Rather, it is the use or interpretation of myth as an instrument of domination as evidenced in this classic text that they perceive as fundamental. Here, Weber and Nietzsche complement one another. The other side of the dialectic of enlightenment is the thesis on instrumental reason. Hence, the ‘individuation’ of self which is witnessed in the Homeric text is carried out through what seems to be the opposition of enlightenment and myth. ‘The opposition of enlightenment to myth is expressed in the opposition of the surviving individual ego to multifarious fate’ (ibid., p. 46). The Homeric narrative secularizes the mythic past in the name of the hero’s steadfast orientation to his own ‘self-preservation’. It secularizes it by learning to dominate it. Learning to dominate has to do with the ‘organization’ of the self. But the very instrumentality associated with domination has its curious reverse side; something like that which Marcuse would later call ‘the return of the repressed’. As they put it regarding Homer, ‘Like the heroes of all the true novels later on, Odysseus loses himself in order to find himself; the estrangement from nature that he brings about is realized in the process of the abandonment to nature he contends in each adventure; and, ironically, when he, inexorably, returns home, the inexorable force he commands itself triumphs as the judge and avenger of the legacy of the powers from which he has escaped’ (ibid., p. 48). There is no place where this curious double thesis is more effectively borne out than in the phenomenon of sacrifice. Influenced by Ludwig Klage’s contention regarding the universality of sacrifice, they observe that individuation undercuts the originary relation of the lunar being to nature which sacrifice implies. ‘The establishment of the self cuts through that fluctuating relation with nature that the sacrifice of the self claims to establish’ (ibid., p. 51). Sacrifice, irrational though it may be, is a kind of enabling device which allows one to tolerate life. ‘The venerable belief in sacrifice, however is probably already an impressed pattern according to which the subjected repeat upon themselves the injustice that was done them, enacting it again and again in order to endure it’ (ibid.). Sacrifice, when universalized and said to apply to the experience of all of humanity, is civilization. Its elimination would occur at enormous expense. The emergence of rationality is based on denial, the denial of the relationship between humanity and nature. ‘The very denial, the nucleus of all civilizing rationality, is the germ cell of a proliferating mythic irrationality: with the denial of nature in man not merely the telos of the outward control of nature but the telos of man’s own life is distorted and befogged’ (ibid., p. 54). The great loss is of course that the human being is no longer able to perceive its relationship to nature in its compulsive preoccupation with selfpreservation. The dialectic of enlightenment continues to play itself out. To escape from sacrifice is to sacrifice oneself. Hence the subthesis of Dialectic of Enlightenment: ‘the history of civilization is the history of the introversion of sacrifice. In other words, the history of renunciation’ (ibid., p. 55). It is this sub-thesis that they associate with the ‘prehistory of subjectivity’ (ibid., p. 54). The text to which Horkheimer and Adorno have turned their attention is written by Homer, but the story is about the prehistory of western civilization. Odysseus is the prophetic seer who in his deeds would inform the course of action to be followed by future individuals. Odysseus is the ‘self who always restrains himself, he sacrifices for the ‘abnegation of sacrifice’ and through him we witness the ‘transformation of sacrifice into subjectivity’. Above all, Odysseus ‘survives’, but ironically at the ‘concession of one’s own defeat’, an acknowledgement of death. Indeed, the rationality represented by Odysseus is that of ‘cunning’: a necessity required by having to choose the only route between Scylla and Charybdis in which each god has the ‘right’ to do its particular task. Together the gods represent ‘Olympian Justice’ characterized by an ‘equivalence between the course, the crime which expiates it, and the guilt arising from that, which in turn reproduces the curse’ (ibid., p. 58). This is the pattern of ‘all justice in history’ which Odysseus opposes. But he does so by succumbing to the power of this justice. He does not find a way to escape the route charted past the Sirens. Instead, he finds a way to outwit the curse by having himself chained to the mast. As one moves from myth to enlightenment, it is cunning with its associated renunciation which characterizes reason. The great promise held by enlightenment is now seen when perceived in retrospect from the perspective of the earlier Horkheimer and Adorno to be domination, repression and cunning. The thesis contained in Dialectic of Enlightenment can be extended beyond the origin of western civilization. As its authors attempt to show, it can be brought back to critique effectively the eighteenth-century Enlightenment as well as attempts to overcome it. As self-preservation was barely seen in Homer as the object of reason, the so-called historical Enlightenment made a fetish of it. ‘The system the Enlightenment has in mind is the form of knowledge which copes most proficiently with the facts and supports the individual most effectively in the mastery of nature. Its principles are the principles of self-preservation.’ ‘Burgher’, ‘slave owner’, ‘free entrepreneur’ and ‘adminstrator’ are its logical subjects. At its best, as represented in Kant, reason was suspended between ‘true universality’ in which ‘universal subjects’ can ‘overcome the conflict between pure and empirical reason in the conscious solidarity of the whole’ (ibid., p. 83), and calculating rationality ‘which adjusts the world for the ends of self-preservation’. In this view, Kant’s attempts to ground morality in the law of reason came to naught. In fact, Horkheimer and Adorno find more base reasons for Kant’s attempt to ground morality in the concept of ‘respect’. ‘The root of Kantian optimism’ is based in this view on the fear of a retreat of ‘barbarism’. In any case, in this view the concept of respect was linked to the bourgeois which in latter times no longer existed in the same way. Totalitarianism as represented in fascism no longer needed such concepts nor did it respect the class that harboured them. It would be happy with science as calculation under the banner of self-preservation alone. The link between Kant and Nietzsche is said to be the Marquis de Sade. In Sade’s writings, it is argued, we find the triumph of calculating reason, totally individualized, freed from the observation of ‘another person’. Here, we encounter a kind of modern reason deprived of any ‘substantial goal’, ‘wholly functionalized’, a ‘purposeless purposiveness’ totally unconcerned about effects which are dismissed as ‘purely natural’. Hence, any social arrangement is as good as any other and the ‘social necessities’ including ‘all solidarity with society duty and family’ can be dissolved. If anything, then, enlightenment means ‘mass deception’ through its fundamental medium of the ‘culture industry’ where the rationality of ‘technology’ reigns. ‘A technological rationale is the rationale of domination itself (ibid., p. 121). In film, in music, in art, in leisure this new technology has come to dominate in such a way that the totality of life and experience have been overcome. In the end, in accord with this view, the so-called enlightenment of modern civilization is ironic, total, bitter and universal. Enlightenment as self-deception manifests itself when art and advertising become fused in an idiom of a ‘style’ that fashions the modern experience as an ideology from which there is no escape. In the blur of modern images, all phenomena are exchangeable. Any object can be exchanged for any other in this ‘superstitious fusion of word and thing’ (ibid., p. 164). In such a world, fascism becomes entertainment, easily reconciled with all the other words and images and ideologies in the vast arena of modern assimilation. In the end, Dialectic of Enlightenment can be viewed as a kind of crossroads for modern philosophy and social theory. On the one hand, reason can function critically, but on the other, it cannot ground itself in any one perspective. Reason under the image of self-preservation can only function for the purpose of domination. This is critical theory twice removed; removed from its foundations in the Marxism of the nineteenth century from which it attempted to establish its own independence, and removed once again from any foundation to function as a raging power of critique without foundation. In this sense, this book, more than any other to come from the so-called Frankfurt school, hailed the end of philosophy, and did so in part to usher in the era now designated as postmodernity. Thus, it was not only to the successive reconstruction of phenomenology from Husserl through Heidegger that the harbingers of postmodernity could point as legitimate forebears of their own movement, but to the voices which rang out in the Dialectic of Enlightenment whose prophetic rage led the way. It was left to Foucault to probe the multiple meanings of the discipline of the self and the institutional repression of the subject unleashed by the Enlightenment, and to Derrick to articulate the groundlessness of a position which seeks the role of critic but cannot find the way to a privileged perspective which would make possible the proper interpretation. ADORNO AND THE AESTHETIC REHABILITATION OF CRITICAL THEORY But if critical theory was willing in the late 1940s to give up partially on the Enlightenment and the possibility of a modality of thought that harboured within it a potential for emancipation, it was not totally ready to do so. Hence, critical theory in its curious route from the early 1920s to the present would make one more turn, a turn toward aesthetics. The wager on aesthetics would keep alive, if in muted fashion, the emancipatory hypothesis with which critical theory began. Adorno, inspired in part by Benjamin, would lead the way out from the ashes left in the wake of an instrumental rationality whose end, as the end of philosophy, was almost apparent. If the general claims of the Dialectic of Enlightenment were to be sustained, the theoretical consequences for critical theory would be devastating. Hence the question regarding the manner in which a critical theory could be rehabilitated, but this time under the suspicion of a full-blown theory of rationality. In a sense, through Horkheimer’s and Adorno’s rather devastating analysis of rationality as fundamentally instrumental, and of enlightenment as fundamentally circular, it would have seemed that the very possibility for critique itself would be undermined. The aesthetic redemption of the claims of critical theory would have to be understood from the perspective of the framework of suspicion regarding the claims of cognition. Since cognition would result inevitably in instrumentality, it would be necessary to find a way in which critique could be legitimated without reference to cognition per se. Aesthetics, with which Adorno had been fascinated from the time of his earliest published work, would provide a way out. If Dialectic of Enlightenment could be read as a critique of cognition, art represents for Adorno a way of overcoming the dilemma established by cognition. Adorno sees the capacity of a non-representational theory in the potentiality of art as manifestation. The explosive power of art remains in its representing that which cannot be represented. In this sense it is the nonidentical in art that can represent society, but only as its other. Art functions then for Adorno in the context of the programme of critical theory as a kind of stand-in for a cognitive theory, which cannot be attained under the force of instrumentality. Adorno, however, was not quite ready to give up on a philosophy of history which had informed his earlier work. Hence, under the influence of Benjamin and in direct contrast to Nietzsche and Heidegger, he was able to incorporate his understanding of art within a theory of progress. At the end of his famous essay ‘The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction’,8 originally published in the Zeitschrift für Sozialforschung in 1936,9 Benjamin has postulated the thesis that with photography, ‘for the first time in world history, mechanical reproduction emancipates the work of art from its parasitical dependence on ritual’. As a consequence, art no longer needed to sustain a claim on authenticity. After photography, the work of art is ‘designed for reproducibility’. From this observation, Benjamin drew a rather astonishing conclusion: ‘But the instant the criterion of authenticity ceases to be applicable to artistic production, the total function of art is reversed. Instead of being based on ritual, it begins to be based on another practice—politics’ (ibid., p. 244). However, it should not be assumed that the politics with which modern an was to be associated was immediately emancipatory. The thesis was as positive as it was negative. ‘The logical result of Fascism is the introduction of aesthetics into political life’ (ibid., p. 241). But for Benjamin this was a form of the relationship between aesthetics and politics which would attempt to rekindle the old association between art and ritual. ‘The violation of the masses, whom Fascism, with it the Führer cult, forces to their knees, has its counterpart in the violation of an apparatus which is pressed into the production of ritual values’ (ibid.). However, the tables can be turned; while fascism ‘equals the aestheticism of politics’, Benjamin claimed, Marxist as he was, that ‘communism responds to politicizing art’ (ibid., p. 242). Adorno would use this insight into the nature of art and historical development freed of Benjamin’s somewhat materialist orientation. While he affirmed that ‘modern art is different from all previous art in that its mode of negation is different’ because modernism ‘negates tradition itself, Adorno addressed the issue of the relation of art not to fascism but to capitalist society. Beyond that, Adorno’s task was to show how art could overcome the dilemma of rationality as defined through the critique of instrumentality, while at the same time sustaining the claim that art had a kind of intelligibility. How could art be something other than a simple representation of that society? Adorno would return to the classical aesthetic idea of mimesis in order to make his point. Art has the capacity to represent, but in its very representation it can transcend that which it is representing. Art survives not by denying but by reconstructing. ‘The modernity of art lies in its mimetic relation to a petrified and alienated reality. This, and not the denial of that mute reality, is what makes art speak’ (Aesthetic Theory [8.23], 31). Art, in other words, represents the non-identical. ‘Modern art is constantly practicing the impossible trick of trying to identify the non-identical’ (ibid.). Art then can be used to make a kind of claim about rationality. ‘Art’s disavowal of magical practices—art’s own antecedents—signifies that art shares in rationality. Its ability to hold its own qua mimesis in the midst of rationality, even while using the means of that rationality, is a response to the evils and irrationality of the bureaucratic world.’ Art then is a kind of rationality that contains a certain ‘non-rational’ element that eludes the instrumental form. This would suggest that it is within the power of art to go beyond instrumental rationality. This is what art can do which cannot be done in capitalist society per se. ‘Capitalist society hides and disavows precisely this irrationality, whereas art does not.’ Art then can be related to truth. Art ‘represents truth in the twofold sense of preserving the image of an end smothered completely by rationality and of exposing the irrationality and absurdity of the status quo’ (ibid., p. 79). It is Adorno’s claim then that although art may be part and parcel of what Weber described as rationalization, that process of rationalization in which art partakes is not one which leads to domination. Thus, if art is part of what Weber called the ‘disenchantment of the world’, it leads us in a direction different from that of instrumental reason. Hence, the claim that ‘Art mobilizes technology in a different direction than domination does’ (ibid., p. 80). And it is for this reason, thinks Adorno, that we must pay attention to the ‘dialectics of mimesis and rationality that is intrinsic to art’ (ibid.). Whereas the Dialectic of Enlightenment could be conceived as a critique of cognition, Adorno uses art to rehabilitate a cognitive claim. ‘The continued existence of mimesis, understood as the non-conceptual affinity of a subjective creation with its objective and unposited other, defines art as a form of cognition and to that extent as “rational”’ (ibid.). Hence, in a time when reason has, in Adorno’s view, degenerated to the level of instrumentality, one can turn to art as the expression of the rehabilitation of a form of rationality which can overcome the limitation of reason by expressing its non-identity with itself. In this sense, the claims of critical theory would not be lost but be transformed. Indeed, the earlier emancipatory claims of critical theory would be reappropriated at another level. Here again, Adorno’s view seems to be shaped by that of his friend Walter Benjamin. Art can reconcile us to the suffering which can never be expressed in ordinary rational terms. While ‘reason can subsume suffering under concepts’ and while it can ‘furnish means to alleviate suffering’, it can never ‘express suffering in the medium of experience’. Hence, art has a unique role to play under a transformed understanding, i.e., the role of critical theory. ‘What recommends itself, then, is the idea that art may be the only remaining medium of truth in an age of incomprehensible terror and suffering’ (ibid., p. 27). In other words, art can anticipate emancipation, but only on the basis of a solidarity with the current state of human existence. ‘By cathecting the repressed, art internalizes the repressing principle, i.e. the unredeemed condition of the world, instead of merely airing futile protests against it. Art identifies and expresses that condition, thus anticipating its overcoming’ (ibid., p. 26). For Benjamin it was this view of and solidarity with suffering experienced by others in the past which has not been redeemed. For him then, happiness is not simply an empty Enlightenment term. It has a slightly messianic, theological twist. His fundamental thesis was ‘Our image of happiness is indissolubly bound up with the image of redemption’ (ibid., p. 254). Finally, if it is possible to look at Adorno’s later work on aesthetics from the perspective of the position worked out with Horkheimer in Dialectic of Enlightenment, it appears that a case can be made for the retrieval of the earlier emancipatory claims of critical theory on the basis of the non-identical character of the work of art. To be sure, Adorno, along with Horkheimer, had left little room to retrieve a critical theory in the wake of their devastating critique of the claims of reason. Indeed, the claims for art would have to be measured against this very critique. Yet, in a peculiar way, Adorno was consistent with the prior analysis. If reason would always lead to domination, then art would have to base its claim on its ability to express the non-identical. However, the task remained to articulate those claims precisely. In order to do so Adorno would often find himself falling back on a philosophy of history which, by the standards articulated in his earlier critique, he had already invalidated. HABERMAS AND THE RATIONAL RECONSTRUCTION OF CRITICAL THEORY With Jürgen Habermas, Adorno’s one-time student, the discourse over the rehabilitation of critical theory was taken to a higher level. Habermas’s initial strategy was to rehabilitate the notion of critique in critical theory. Clearly, Habermas has long-held doubts about the way in which his philosophical mentors in Frankfurt failed to ground a critical theory in a theory of rationality which would harbour an adequate notion of critique. On this he has written eloquently in both The Theory of Communicative Action (1981, [8.85]) and The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity (1985, [8.88]). What I have found interesting in studying the works of Habermas is the manner in which the argument for a critical theory of rationality began to take shape as an alternative argument to the one which Horkheimer and Adorno put forth. In this context, Habermas would avail himself of certain resources within the tradition of contemporary German philosophy which his mentors overlooked. I suggested earlier that German philosophy since Kant has been shaped by the interaction between the themes of constitution and transformation. If modern critical theory began with a relatively firm belief that the grounds for the emancipatory assumptions regarding critique were clear and given in a certain orientation toward theory, in retrospect that foundation became ever less secure. Eventually, critique, as in Dialectic of Enlightenment, became caught in a never-ending circle of internal repression and external domination. Hence, the promise of critical theory had been undermined. It was the great merit of Habermas’s early work to have seen the dilemma and to have addressed it in terms of turning not to the transformative but to the constitutive element in the German philosophical tradition. Critical theory was for Habermas, at least originally, the problem of ‘valid knowledge’, i.e., an epistemological problem. It should come as no surprise then that when Habermas first juxtaposes traditional and critical theory, following in the footsteps of Horkheimer’s 1937 article, he engages Edmund Husserl not only on the status of theory but also on the nature of science. By so doing, he appropriates two of the themes that were germane and of a piece in late transcendental phenomenology, namely, the association of the concept of theory with a more or less political notion of liberation or emancipation and the preoccupation of phenomenology with the status of science. As early as the writing of Knowledge and Human Interests (1969, [8.82]), Habermas sustained the thesis that critical theory could be legitimated on the basis of making apparent the undisclosed association between knowledge and interest. This association, however, could be specified only on the basis of the clarification of theory in its more classical form. According to Habermas theoria was a kind of mimesis in the sense that in the contemplation of the cosmos one reproduces internally what one perceives externally. Theory then, even in its traditional form, is conceived to be related to the ‘conduct of one’s life’. In fact, in this interpretation of the traditional view, the appropriation of a theoretical attitude creates a certain ethos among its practitioners. Husserl is said to have sustained this ‘traditional’ notion of theory. Hence, when Husserl approached the question of science he approached it on the basis of his prior commitment to the classical understanding of theory. In Habermas’s view, it is this commitment to theory in the classical sense which determines Husserl’s critique of science. Husserl’s attack on the objectivism of the sciences led to the claim that knowledge of the objective world has a ‘transcendental’ basis in the pre-scientific world, that sciences, because of their prior commitment to mundane knowledge of the world, are unable to free themselves from interest, and that phenomenology, through its method of transcendental self-reflection, can free this association of knowledge and mundane interest through a commitment to a theoretical attitude which has been defined traditionally. In this view, the classical conception of theory, which phenomenology borrows, frees one from interest in the ordinary world with the result that a certain ‘therapeutic power’, as well as a ‘practical efficacy’, is claimed for phenomenology. Habermas endorses Husserl’s procedure, while at the same time pointing out its error. Husserl is said to be correct in his critique of science, which, because of its ‘objectivist illusion’, embedded in a belief in a ‘reality-in-itself’, leaves the matter of the constitution of these facts undisclosed with the result that it is unaware of the connection between knowledge and interest. In Husserl’s view, phenomenology, which makes this clear, can rightfully claim for itself, against the pretensions of the sciences, the designation ‘pure theory’. Precisely here Husserl would bring the practical efficacy of phenomenology to bear. Phenomenology would be said to free one from the ordinary scientific attitude. But phenomenology is in error because of its blind acceptance of the implicit ontology present in the classical definition of theory. Theory in its classical form was thought to find in the structure of the ‘ideal world’ a prototype for the order of the human world. Habermas says in a rather insightful manner, ‘Only as cosmology was theoria also capable of orienting human action’ ([8.82], 306). If that is the case, then the phenomenological method which relied on the classical concept of theory was to have a certain ‘practical efficacy’, which was interpreted to mean that a certain ‘pseudonormative power’ could be derived from the ‘concealment of its actual interest’. In the end, phenomenology, which sought to justify itself on the basis of its freedom from interest, has instead an undisclosed interest which it derived from a classical ontology. Habermas believes classical ontology in turn can be characterized historically. In fact, the concept of theory is said to be derived from a particular stage in human emancipation where catharsis, which had been engendered heretofore by the ‘mystery cults’, was now taken into the realm of human action by means of ‘theory’. This in turn would mark a new stage, but certainly not the last stage, in the development of human ‘identity’. At this stage, individual identity could be achieved only through the indentification with the ‘abstract laws of cosmic order’. Hence, theory represents the achievements of a consciousness that is emancipated, but not totally. It is emancipated from certain ‘archaic powers’, but it still requires a certain relationship to the cosmos in order to achieve its identity. Equally, although pure theory could be characterized as an ‘illusion’, it was conceived as a ‘protection’ from ‘regression to an earlier stage’. And here we encounter the major point of Habermas’s critique, namely, the association of the contemplative attitude, which portends to dissociate itself from any interest, and the contradictory assumption that the quest for pure knowledge is conducted in the name of a certain practical interest, namely, the emancipation from an earlier stage of human development. The conclusion is that both Husserl and the sciences he critiques are wrong. Husserl is wrong because he believes that the move to pure theory is a step which frees knowledge from interest. In fact, as we have seen, the redeeming aspect of Husserl’s phenomenology is that it does in fact have a practical intent. The sciences are wrong because although they assume the purely contemplative attitude, they use that aspect of the classical concept of theory for their own purposes. In other words, the sciences use the classical concept of pure theory to sustain an insular form of positivism while they cast off the ‘practical content’ of that pure theory. As a consequence, they assume that their interest remains undisclosed. Significantly, when Habermas turns to his critique of science, he sides with Husserl. This means that Husserl has rightly critiqued the false scientific assumption that ‘theoretical propositions’ are to be correlated with ‘matters of fact’, an ‘attitude’ which assumes the ‘self-existence’ of ‘empirical variables’ as they are represented in ‘theoretical propositions’. But not only has Husserl made the proper distinction between the theoretical and the empirical, he has appropriately shown that the scientific attitude ‘suppresses the transcendental framework that is the precondition of the meaning of the validity of such propositions’ (ibid., p. 307). It would follow, then, that if the proper distinction were made between the empirical and the theoretical and if the transcendental framework were made manifest, which would expose the meaning of such propositions, then the ‘objectivist illusion’ would ‘dissolve’ and ‘knowledge constitutive’ interests would be made ‘visible’. It would follow that there is nothing wrong with the theoretical attitude as long as it is united with its practical intent and there is nothing wrong with the introduction of a transcendental framework, as long as it makes apparent the heretofore undisclosed unity of knowledge and interest. What is interesting about this analysis is that the framework for the notion of critique is not to be derived from dialectical reason as Horkheimer originally thought but from transcendental phenomenology. One must be careful here. I do not wish to claim that Habermas identifies his position with Husserl. Rather, it can be demonstrated that he derives his position on critique from a critique of transcendental phenomenology. As such, he borrows both the transcendental frame-work for critique and the emphasis on theory as distinguished from empirical fact that was established by Husserl. Therefore, at that point he argues for a ‘critical social science’ which relies on a ‘concept of selfreflection’ which can ‘determine the meaning of the validity of critical propositions’. Such a conception of critical theory borrows from the critique of traditional theory the idea of an ‘emancipatory cognitive interest’ which, when properly demythologized, is based not on an emancipation from a mystical notion of universal powers of control but rather from a more modern interest in ‘autonomy and responsibility’. This latter interest will appear later in his thought as the basis for moral theory. On the basis of this analysis, one might make some observations. Clearly, from the point of view of the development of critical theory, Habermas rightfully saw the necessity of rescuing the concept of critique. Implicit in that attempt is not only the rejection of Dialectic of Enlightenment but also Adorno’s attempt to rehabilitate critical theory on the basis of aesthetics. However—and there is considerable evidence to support this assumption—the concept of critical theory which had informed Horkheimer’s early essay on that topic had fallen on hard times. As the members of the Institute for Social Research gradually withdrew from the Marxism that had originally informed their concept of critique, so the foundations upon which critical theory was built began to crumble. Habermas’s reconceptualization of the notion of critique was obviously both innovative and original. It was also controversial. Critique would not be derived from a philosophy of history based on struggle but from a moment of self-reflection based on a theory of rationality. As Habermas’s position developed it is that self-reflective moment which would prove to be interesting. HABERMAS: CRITIQUE AND VALIDITY Critique, which was rendered through the unmasking of an emancipatory interest vis-àvis the introduction of a transcendentalized moment of self-reflection, re-emerges in the later, as opposed to the earlier, works of Habermas at the level of validity. The link between validity and critique can be established through the transcendentalized moment of self-reflection which was associated with making apparent an interest in autonomy and responsibility. Later, that moment was transformed through a theory of communicative rationality to be directed to issues of consensus. Validity refers to a certain background consensus which can be attained through a process of idealization. As critique was originally intended to dissociate truth from ideology, validity distinguished between that which can be justified and that which cannot. Hence, it readdresses the claims for autonomy and responsibility at the level of communication. It could be said that the quest for validity is superimposed upon the quest for emancipation. There are those who would argue that moral theory which finds its basis in communicative action has replaced the older critical theory with which Habermas was preoccupied in Knowledge and Human Interests. I would argue somewhat differently that Habermas’s more recent discourse theory of ethics and law is based on the reconstructed claims of a certain version of critical theory. However, before justifying this claim, I will turn to the basic paradigm shift in Habermas’s work from the philosophy of the subject to the philosophy of language involving construction of a theory of communicative action on the one hand and the justification of a philosophical postion anchored in modernity on the other. Both moves can be referenced to the debate between earlier and later critical theory. If Horkheimer’s, and later Adorno’s, concept of ‘instrumental rationality’ is but a reconstruction of Max Weber’s concept of purposiverational action, it would follow that a comprehensive critique of that view could be directed to Weber’s theory of rationalization. In Habermas’s book, The Theory of Communicative Action, it is this theory that is under investigation as seen through the paradigm of the philosophy of consciousness. Weber’s thesis can be stated quite simply: if western rationality has been reduced to its instrumental core, then it has no further prospects for regenerating itself. Habermas wants to argue that the failure of Weber’s analysis, and by implication the failure of those like Horkheimer and Adorno who accepted Weber’s thesis, was to conceive of processes of rationalization in terms of subject-object relations. In other words, Weber’s analysis cannot be dissociated from Weber’s theory of rationality. According to this analysis, his theory of rationality caused him to conceive of things in terms of subject-object relations. Habermas’s thesis, against Weber, Horkheimer and Adorno, is that a theory of rationality which conceives of things in terms of subjectobject relations cannot conceive of those phenomena in other than instrumental terms. In other words, all subject-object formulations are instrumental. Hence, if one were to construct a theory of rationalization in non-instrumental terms, it would be necessary to construct an alternative theory of rationality. The construction of a theory of communicative action based on a philosophy of language rests on this assumption. In Habermas’s view, the way out of the dilemma of instrumentality into which earlier critical theory led us is through a philosophy of language which, through a reconstructed understanding of speech-act theory, can make a distinction between strategic and communicative action. Communicative action can be understood to be non-instrumen-tal in this sense: ‘A communicatively achieved agreement has a rational basis; it cannot be imposed by either party, whether instrumentally through intervention in the situation directly or strategically through influencing decisions of the opponents’ ([8.85], p. 287). It is important to note that the question of validity, which I argued a moment ago was the place where the emancipatory interest would be sustained, emerges. A communicative action has within it a claim to validity which is in principle criticizable, meaning that the person to whom such a claim is addressed can respond with either a yes or a no based, in turn, on reasons. Beyond that, if Habermas is to sustain his claim to overcoming the dilemma of instrumental reason he must agree that communicative actions are foundational. They cannot be reducible to instrumental or strategic actions. If communicative actions were reducible to instrumental or strategic actions, one would be back in the philosophy of consciousness where it was claimed by Habermas, and a certain form of earlier critical theory as well, that all action was reducible to strategic or instrumental action.10 It is Habermas’s conviction that one can preserve the emancipatory thrust of modernity by appropriating the discursive structure of language at the level of communication. Hence, the failure of Dialectic of Enlightenment was to misread modernity in an oversimplified way influenced by those who had given up on it. Here is represented a debate between a position anchored in a philosophy of history which can no longer sustain an emancipatory hypothesis on the basis of historical interpretation, and a position which finds emancipatory claims redeemable, but on a transcendental level. Ultimately, the rehabilitation of critical theory concerns the nature and definition of philosophy. If the claims of critical theory can be rehabilitated on a transcendental level as the claims of a philosophy of language, then it would appear that philosophy as such can be defined visà- vis a theory of communicative action. Habermas’s claim that the originary mode of language is communicative presupposes a contrafactual communicative community which is by nature predisposed to refrain from instrumental forms of domination. Hence, the assertion of communicative over strategic forms of discursive interaction assumes a political form of association which is written into the nature of language as such as the guarantor of a form of progressive emancipation. In other words, if one can claim that the original form of discourse is emancipatory, then the dilemma posed by instrumental reason has been overcome and one is secure from the seductive temptation of the dialectic of enlightenment. NOTES SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY Journals of the Institute of Social Research 8.1 Archiv für die Geschichte des Sozialismus und der Arbeiterbewegung, I–XV, 1910– 30. 8.2 Zeitschrift für Sozialforschung, vols 1–8, 2, Leipzig, Paris, New York, 1932–9. 8.3 Studies in Philosophy and Social Science, New York, 1940–1. 8.4 Frankfurter Beiträge zur Soziologie, Frankfurt, 1955–74. Adorno Primary texts For Adorno’s collected works, see Gesammelte Schriften [GS] (23 volumes), ed. R.Tiedemann, Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1970–. See also Akte: Theodor Adorno 1924–1968, in the archives of the former philosophy faculty at the University of Frankfurt. For a bibliography of Adorno’s work, see René Görtzen’s ‘Theodor W. Adorno: Vorläufige Bibliographie seiner Schriften und der Sekundärliteratur’, in Adorno 1 There are three excellent works on the origin and development of critical theory. The most comprehensive is the monumental work by R.Wiggershaus [8.140]. M.Jay’s historical work [8.131] introduced a whole generation of Americans to critical theory. Helmut Dubiel [8.128] presents the development of critical theory against the backdrop of German and international politics. 2 Hegel, Phenomenology of Spirit, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1977. 3 Ibid., p. 111. 4 K.Marx, ‘On the Jewish Question’, in The Marx-Engels Reader, ed. R.Tucker, New York: Norton, 1972. 5 Ibid., pp. 110–65. 6 Ibid., pp. 83–103. 7 M.Horkheimer, ‘Traditional and Critical Theory’, in Critical Theory, New York: Herder & Herder, 1972. 8 W.Benjamin, ‘The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction’, Illuminations [8.36]. 9 Zeitschrift für Sozialforschung, 5:1 (1936). 10 For a more comprehensive analysis of the issues involved in this distinction, see my discussion in [8.96]. Konferenze 1983, ed. L.Friedeburg and J.Habermas, Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1983. 8.5 Kierkegaard: Konstruktion des ästhetischen, Tübingen, 1933. 8.6 Philosophie der neuen Musik, Tübingen: Mohr, 1949. 8.7 The Authoritarian Personality, co-authored with E.Frenkel-Brunswick, D. Levinson, and R.Sanford, New York: Harper, 1950 (2nd edn, New York: Norton, 1969). 8.8 Minima Moralia: Reflexionen aus dem beschädigten Leben, Berlin and Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1980. 8.9 Prismen: Kulturkritik und Gesellchaft, Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1955. 8.10 Noten zur Literatur I, Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1974. 8.11 Jargon der Eigentlichkeit, Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1964. 8.12 Negativ Dialektik, Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1966. 8.13 The Positivist Dispute in German Sociology, introduction and two essays by Adorno, London: Heinemann, 1969. 8.14 Ästhetische Theorie, in GS, vol. 7, 1970. 8.15 Noten zur Literatur, ed. R.Tiedemann, in GS, vol. 11, 1974. 8.16 Hegel: Three Studies, Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1993. Translations 8.17 Philosophy of Modern Music, London: Sheed & Ward, 1973. 8.18 Minima Moralia: Reflections from Damaged Life, London: New Left Books, 1974. 8.19 Prisms, London: Neville Spearman, 1967. 8.20 Jargon of Authenticity, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1973. 8.21 Negative Dialectics, New York: Seabury Press, 1973. 8.22 Against Epistemology: A Metacritique, Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1982. 8.23 Aesthetic Theory, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1984. 8.24 Notes to Literature, 2 vols, New York: Columbia University Press, 1992. Criticisms 8.25 Brunkhorst, H. Theodor W.Adorno, Dialektik der Moderne, München: Piper, 1990. 8.26 Früchtl, J. and Calloni, M., Geist gegen den Zeitgeist: Erinnern an Adorno, Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1991. 8.27 Jay, M. Adorno, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1984. 8.28 Lindner, B. and Ludke, M. (eds) Materialien zur ästhetischen Theorie Theodor W. Adorno’s: Konstruktion der Moderne, Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1980. 8.29 Wellmer, A. Zur Dialektik von Moderne und Postmoderne: Vernunftkritik nach Adorno, Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1985. Adorno and Horkheimer 8.30 Dialektik der Aufklärung, Amsterdam: Querido, 1947. 8.31 Sociologia, Frankfurt: Europäische Verlagsanstalt, 1962. Benjamin Primary texts For Benjamin’s collected works, see Gesammelte Schriften (7 vols), ed. R.Tiedemann and H.Schweppenhäuser, Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1972–89. See also Briefe (2 vols), ed. G.Scholem and T.Adorno, Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1966; Schriften (2 vols), ed. T.Adorno and G.Scholem, Frankfurt 1955. See also Habilitationakte Walter Benjamins in the archive of the former philosophy faculty at the University of Frankfurt. For a bibliography see R.Tiedemann, ‘Bibliographie der Erstdrucke von Benjamins Schriften’, in Zur Aktualität Walter Benjamins, Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1972, pp. 227–97. 8.32 Deutsche Menschen: Eine Folge von Briefen, written under pseudonym Detlef Holz, Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1977. 8.33 Zur Kritik der Gewalt and andere Aufsätze, Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1965. 8.34 Berliner Chronik, ed. G.Scholem, Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1970. 8.35 Moskauer Tagebuch, ed. G.Smith, Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1980. Translations 8.36 Illuminations, Essays and Reflections, ed. and introduced by H.Arendt, New York: Schocken, 1968. 8.37 Charles Baudelaire; A Lyric Poet in the Era of High Capitalism, London: New Left Books, 1973. 8.38 Understanding Brecht, London: New Left Books, 1973. 8.39 Communication and the Evolution of Society, Boston: Beacon Press, 1979. Criticism 8.40 Buck-Morss, S. The Dialectics of Seeing: Walter Benjamin and the Arcades Project, Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1989. 8.41 Roberts, J. Walter Benjamin, London: Macmillan Press, 1982. 8.42 Scheurmann, I. and Scheurmann, K. Für Walter Benjamin: Dokumente, Essays und ein Entwurf, Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1992. 8.43 Scholem, G. The Correspondence of Walter Benjamin and Gerschom Scholem: Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1992. Frankfurt, 1975. 8.44 Tiedemann, R. Studien zur Walter Benjamins, Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1973. Fromm For his collected works, see Gesamtausgabe (10 vols), ed. R.Funk, Stuttgart: Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, 1980–1. A bibliography is found in vol. 10. 8.45 ‘Die Entwicklung des Christusdogmas: Eine psychoanalytische Studie zur sozialpsychologischen Funktion der Religion’, Imago, 3:4 (1930). 8.46 Escape From Freedom, New York: Farrar & Rinehart, 1941. 8.47 Man for Himself: An Inquiry into the Psychology of Ethics, New York: Rinehart, 1947. 8.48 The Sane Society, New York: Rinehart, 1955. 8.49 The Art of Loving, New York: Rinehart, 1956. 8.50 Beyond the Chains of Illusion: My Encounter with Marx and Freud, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1962. 8.51 The Heart of Man, New York: Harper & Row, 1964. 8.52 The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness, New York: Holt, Rinehart, Winston, 1973. 8.53 To Have or To Be? New York: Harper & Row, 1976. Grünberg 8.54 ‘Festrede gehalten zur Einweihung des Instituts für Sozialforschung an der Universität Frankfurt a.M. am 22 Juni 1924’, Frankfurter Universitätsreden, 20 (1924). Habermas Primary texts 8.55 Das Absolute und die Geschichte: van der Zweispaltigkeit in Schellings Denken, dissertation, Universität Bonn, 1954. 8.56 Strukturwandel der Öffenlichkeit, Berlin: Luchterland, 1962. 8.57 Technik und Wissenschaft als Ideologie, Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1968. 8.58 Erkenntnis und Interesse, Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1969. 8.59 Theorie und Praxis, (2nd edn) Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1971. 8.60 Kultur und Kritik: Verstreute Aufsätze, Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1973. 8.61 Legitimationsprobleme im Spätkapitalismus, Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1973. 8.62 Zur Rekonstruktion des Historischen Materialismus, Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1976. 8.63 Communication and the Evolution of Society, Boston: Beacon Press, 1979. 8.64 Theorie des kommunikativen Handelns, 2 vols, Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1981. 8.65 Zur Logik der Sozialwissenschaften, 5th edn, Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1982. 8.66 Moralbewuβtsein und kommunikatives Handeln, Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1983. 8.67 Vorstudien und Ergänzungen zur Theorie des kommunikativen Handelns, Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1984. 8.68 Philosophische Diskurs der Moderne, Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1985. 8.69 Eine Art Schadensabwicklung, Frankfurt, Suhrkamp, 1987. 8.70 Nachmetaphysisches Denken, Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1988. 8.71 Texte und Kontexte, Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1990. 8.72 Erläuterungen zur Diskursethik, Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1991. 8.73 Vergangenheit als Zukunft, Zürich: Pendo Interview, 1991. 8.74 Faktizität und Geltung: Beiträge zur Diskurstheorie des Rechts und des demokratischen Rechtsstaats, Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1992. Translations 8.75 Structural Change of the Public Sphere, Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1989. 8.76 Toward a Rational Society, London: Heinemann, 1971. 8.77 Knowledge and Human Interests, Boston: Beacon Press, 1971. 8.78 Theory and Practice, London: Heinemann, 1974. 8.79 Legitimation Crisis, Boston: Beacon Press, 1975. 8.80 The Theory of Communicative Action, 2 vols, Boston: Beacon Press, 1984, 1987. 8.81 On the Logic of the Social Sciences, Cambridge, Mass., MIT Press, 1988. 8.82 Moral Consciousness and Communicative Action, Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1989. 8.83 The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity, Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1987. 8.84 The New Conservatism: Cultural Criticism and the Historians’ Debate, Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1989. 8.85 Post-Metaphysical Thinking, Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1992. Criticism 8.86 Arato, A. and Cohen J. (eds) Civil Society and Political Theory, Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1992. 8.87 Bernstein, R. (ed.) Habermas and Modernity, Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1985. 8.88 Calhoun, C. (ed.) Habermas and the Public Sphere, Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1992. 8.89 Dallmayr, W. (ed.) Materialen zu Habermas ‘Erkenntnis und Interesse’, Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1974. 8.90 Flynn, B. Political Philosophy at the Closure of Metaphysics, London: Humanities Press, 1992. 8.91 Held, D. and Thompson, J. (eds) Habermas: Critical Debates, Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1982. 8.92 Honneth, A. Kritik der Macht, Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1985. 8.93 Honneth, A. and Joas, H. (eds) Communicative Action: Essays on Jürgen Habermas’ Theory of Communicative Action, Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1991. 8.94 Honneth, A. et al. (eds) Zwischenbetrachtungen im Prozess der Aufklärung, Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1989. 8.95 McCarthy, T. The Critical Theory of Jürgen Habermas, Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1978. 8.96 Rasmussen, D. Reading Habermas, Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1990. Rasmussen, D. (ed.) Universalism and Communitarianism, Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1988. 8.97 Schnädelbach, H. Reflexion und Diskurs, Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1977. 8.98 Thompson, J. Critical Hermeneutics: A Study in the Thought of Paul Ricoeur and Jürgen Habermas, New York: Cambridge University Press, 1981. Horkheimer For Horkheimer’s collected works, see Gesammelte Schriften (18 vols), ed. G. Noerr and A.Schmidt, Frankfurt: Fischer, 1987–. Most of Horkheimer’s essays in the Zeitschrift für Sozialforschung are found in Kritische Theorie: Eine Dokumentation (2 vols), ed. A.Schmidt, Frankfurt: Fischer, 1968. See also Akte Max Horkheimer, 1922–65 in the archives of the former philosophy faculty at the University of Frankfurt. For a bibliography, see Horkheimer Heute, ed. A. Schmidt and N.Altwicker, Frankfurt: Fischer, 1986, pp. 372–99. 8.99 ‘Die Gegenwärtige Lage der Sozialphilosophie und die Aufgaben eines Instituts für Sozialforschung’, Frankfurter Universitätsreden, 37 (1931). 8.100 Dämmerung, written under the pseudonym Heinrich Regius, Zürich: Oprecht and Helbling, 1934. 8.101 Eclipse of Reason, New York: Oxford University Press, 1974. 8.102 ‘Zum Begriff der Vernunft’, Frankfurter Universitätsreden, 7 (1953). 8.103 Kritische Theorie: Eine Dokumentation, 2 vols, ed. A.Schmidt, Frankfurt: Fischer, 1968. 8.104 Critical Theory, New York: Herder & Herder, 1972. 8.105 Critique of Instrumental Reason, New York: Seabury Press, 1974. Criticism 8.106 Gumnior, H. and Ringguth, R. Horkheimer, Reinbeck bei Hamburg: Rowohlt, 1973. 8.107 Tar, Z. The Frankfurt School: The Critical Theories of Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno, New York: Wiley, 1977. Lowenthal For his collected works, see Schriften (4 vols), ed. H.Dubiel, Frankfurt, 1980. 8.108 Prophets of Deceit: A Study of the Techniques of the American Agitator, Palo Alto: Pacific Books, 1970. 8.109 Literature and the Image of Man, Boston: Beacon Press, 1957. 8.110 Literature, Popular Culture, and Society, Palo Alto: Pacific Books, 1968. 8.111 Critical Theory and Frankfurt Theorists: Lectures, Correspondence, Conversations, New Brunswick: Transaction Books, 1989. Marcuse For Marcuse’s collected works, see Gesammelte Schriften (9 vols), Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1978–87. For a complete bibliography of Marcuse’s works, see The Critical Spirit: Essays in Honor of Herbert Marcuse, ed. K.Wolff and B.Moore, Boston: Beacon Press, 1967. 8.112 Reason and Revolution: Hegel and the Rise of Social Theory, New York: Oxford University Press, 1941. 8.113 Eros and Civilization: A Philosophical Inquiry Into Freud, Boston: Beacon Press, 1955. 8.114 Reason and Revolution: Hegel and the Rise of Social Theory, 2nd edn, Boston: Beacon Press, 1960. 8.115 Eros and Civilization, 2nd edn, with preface, ‘Political Preface, 1966’, Boston: Beacon Press, 1966. 8.116 Negations: Essays in Critical Theory, Boston: Beacon Press, 1968. 8.117 Counterrevolution and Revolt, Boston: Beacon Press, 1972. 8.118 The Aesthetic Dimension: Towards a Critique of Marxist Aesthetics, Boston: Beacon Press, 1978. Criticism 8.119 Görlich, B. Die Wette mit Freud: Drei Studien zu Herbert Marcuse, Frankfurt: Nexus, 1991. 8.120 Institut für Sozialforschung (eds) Kritik und Utopie im Werk von Herbert Marcuse, Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1992. 8.121 Pippin, R. (ed.) Marcuse: A Critical Theory and the Promise of Utopia, South Hadley: Bergin & Garvey, 1988. Pollock 8.122 The Economic and Social Consequences of Automation, Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1957. General criticism 8.123 Benhabib, S. Critique, Norm, and Utopia: A Study of the Foundations of Critical Theory, New York: Columbia University Press, 1986. 8.124 Benhabib, S. and Dallmayr, F. (eds) The Communicative Ethics Controversy, Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1990. 8.125 Bubner, R. Essays in Hermeneutics and Critical Theory, New York: Columbia University Press, 1988. 8.126 Dallmayr. F. Between Freiberg and Frankfurt: Toward a Critical Ontology, Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1991. 8.127 Dubiel, H. Kritische Theorie der Gesellschaft, München: Juventa, 1988. 8.128 Dubiel, H. Theory and Politics, Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1985. 8.129 Guess, R. The Idea of Critical Theory, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981. 8.130 Held, D. An Introduction to Critical Theory, London: Hutchinson, 1980. 8.131 Jay, M. The Dialectical Imagination: A History of the Frankfurt School and the Institute of Social Research, 1923–1950, Boston: Little Brown, 1973. 8.132 Kearney, R. Modern Movements in European Philosophy, Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1987. 8.133 Kellner, D. Critical Theory, Marxism and Modernity, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1989. 8.134 McCarthy, T. Ideal and Illusions: On Reconstruction and Reconstruction in Contemporary Critical Theory, Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1991. 8.135 Marcus, J. and Tar, Z. (eds) Foundations of the Frankfurt School of Social Research, London: Transaction Books, 1984. 8.136 Norris, C. What’s Wrong with Postmodernism: Critical Theory and the Ends of Philosophy, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1990. 8.137 O’Neill, J. (ed.) On Critical Theory, New York: Seabury Press, 1976. 8.138 Schmidt, A. Zur Idee der Kritischen Theorie, München: Hanser, 1974. 8.139 Wellmer, A. Critical Theory of Society, New York: Seabury Press, 1974. 8.140 Wiggershaus, R. Die Frankfurter Schule, Mun_chen: Hanser, 1986. I wish to thank James Swindal for his assistance in the preparation of the bibliography.
Routledge History of Philosophy. Taylor & Francis e-Library. 2005.
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