The Cambridge Companion to Critical Theory (Cambridge Companions to Philosophy)
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Distinguished international contributors examine the major figures in Critical Theory, including Adorno, Benjamin, and Habermas, as well as lesser known but important thinkers. They survey the shared philosophical concerns that have given impetus to Critical Theory throughout its history, and reveal the diversity among its proponents that contributes so much to its richness as a philosophical school.
constraints upon Critical Theory emerge, having to do with reflexivity of social theory, its open-ended nature, and its views on the prospects for systematicity. There are of course many questions, both philosophical and social-scientific, about the internal workings of such a program. To Cambridge Companions Online © Cambridge University Press, 2006 26 fred rush conclude this section on Horkheimer, I turn briefly to one of these: the degree to which Horkheimer’s formulation of Critical
not specifically forbidden. In most systems there are “grey areas” which are neither forbidden nor precisely endorsed, and since change is a regular feature of most European societies in the modern period, it is not surprising that the legal and political system does not always keep pace with reality, and simply overlooks the existence of certain forces and agents. Thus, for a long time political parties had no recognized status; they were the objects of a certain suspicion and disapprobation,
were a mere “indeterminate potential,” then the limit case of the monochrome, which appears to be an empty vehicle licensing an indefinite explosion of possible meanings, would be the norm for art. It is just this that the great modern colorists seek to refute: the claim of Matisse’s The Red Studio is precisely that its red is not reducible, as are the other elements in the painting, to artistic intention; and hence that the claim of the red, as the normative substance of the painting, instigates
beauty and natural beauty, art’s beauty as the enlightened and so disenchanted version of natural beauty, and art as the attempt to make the mute language of nature eloquent: Only what had escaped nature as fate would help nature to its restitution. The more that art is thoroughly organized as object by the subject and divested of the subject’s intentions, the more articulately does it speak according to the model of a nonconceptual, nonrigidified significative language; this would perhaps be the
problems of administration have replaced economic ones of exchange (SPSS 9: 217). This transition, according to Pollock, has broad social implications. Under liberal capitalism the market determined social relations; people and classes confronted one another in the public sphere as quasi-autonomous agents. However unjust and inefficient the system may have been, the rules governing the public sphere were mutually binding. This impersonal legal realm was constitutive of the separation of the