Questions tagged [critical-theory]

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According to Horkheimer and Adorno, how is the Enlightenment Dialectical?

In 1947 the Frankfurt School philosophers Max Horkheimer and Theodor W. Adorno published their seminal work "Dialektik der Aufklärung", first translated to English in 1972 as "Dialectic ...
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Does Critical Theories (CRT, Queer Studies etc.) come from the Frankfurt school or post-modernism?

I know post colonial studies which is a critical theory began with Orientalism which uses Foucault's concept of discourse. But also Frankfurt School is widely credited with finding critical theory ...
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What does this mean about critical theory?

In the introduction of her recent book "Between Gaia and Ground", Elizabeth Povinelli says: This book examines four axioms of existence that have emerged in recent years across a ...
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Can Autopoietic systems be nested?

I've been reading about Cybernetics, specifically the ideas of Stafford Beer and Luhmann. Beer states in what he calls "the principle of Cybernetic Isomorphism" that autopoietic systems are ...
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Need help with this paper on epistemic justice

What form must a theory of epistemic injustice take in order to successfully illuminate the epistemic dimensions of struggles that are primarily political? How can such struggles be understood as ...
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Use of the term "diabolism" in philosophy or critical/systems theory

This is mainly just a reference question. I seem to recall long ago encountering the term "diabolism" in some social theoretical writings, used not in any theological sense but in its ...
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What does the term "critical realism" mean in 2021

I cannot help but notice the increasing tendency of late to ambiguate the term “critical,” ostensibly in the service of rhetorical ends. My concern here is with the sense of that term in the concept ...
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What is meant by 'interdiscursivity' in discursive practice by Fairclough?

I am conducting a Critical Discourse Analysis on Chinese newspapers, such as the Global Times, to investigate how ethnicity became a securitized threat in the media. However, Fairclough's second ...
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What does 'language' mean in Political Philosophy?

This practical and critical objective is achieved in two steps. The first is a critical survey of the languages and practices in which the struggles arise, and various theoretical solutions are ...
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What does “Objective Tendency” mean as used by Adorno?

I am beginning Minima Moralia and have found the dedication difficult to get through, but it seems like it contains important information. When discussing Hegel’s “relation to the subject,” and his ...
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What does "democratization of function" (Marcuse) mean?

"This is the one point at which the technological and the critical rationality seem to converge, for the technological process implies a democratization of functions." "... possible ...
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Are There Other "Cave Allegories" in Ancient Greek Philosophy or Drama?

We are all familiar with the famous, incomparably suggestive cave allegory in Plato's Republic. From the cave paintings at Lascaux to modern movies, TV, and social media, this allegory seems to retain ...
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What did Judith Butler mean by "differential axis of domination" in Gender Trouble?

Can anyone explain the meaning of the following from Judith Butler's Gender Trouble: Juridical notions of power appear to regulate political life in purely negative terms—that is, through the ...
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What is the intellectual import of a work of art (geistiger Gehalt) for Hegel?

What is the intellectual import of a work of art (geistiger Gehalt) for Hegel? I've not read much Hegel, and feel very unfamiliar with his ideas, but it comes up in discussions of critical theory.
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How to start to understand Walter Benjamin's work?

How should I go about starting to understand Walter Benjamin's work? I don't have any special goal, but want to get to grips with The Arcades Project. How? Just a quote from something I've not read, ...
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Do Nietzscheans think not lying to yourself has intrinsic value?

Do Nietzscheans think not lying to yourself has intrinsic value? It's just a guess, that they might, even though Nitezsche claimed "everything is permitted". I don't think it works completely in the ...
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Which Philosopher would you recommend for learning about the implied philosophy of gifted education?

I'm searching for a philosopher who either commented on gifted education or someone whose writings would critique/applaud gifted education in America. Someone who might be (or have been) a vocal ...
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What exactly is the relation betweeen artworks and communism, for Adorno?

What exactly is the relation betweeen artworks and communism, for Adorno? I have read the beginning of Negative Dialectics, and some of Aesthetic Theory, as well as a analysis of the latter, and ...
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Prerequisites to study aesthetics

So, I plan to begin to self study aesthetics, and was wondering whether a working knowledge of art history would be helpful for the same? If so, would Gardner's History of Art be sufficient? Also, on ...
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What are the accomplishments of critical theory vs. logical positivism

Coming from a natural science viewpoint, I find that logical positivism is much more important for scientific research than is critical theory. I've read the critics/flaws of logical positivism, and ...
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What did Adorno think of Nietzsche's critique of morality?

What did Adorno think of Nietzsche's critique of morality? I've not read much of either. But seems a bit like Adorno's theory of modernist art, however influenced by Nietzsche, wants to be moral, is ...
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Does Habermas' 'performative contradiction' have more bite after Adorno gave up Marxism?

Does Habermas' 'performative contradiction' have more bite after Adorno gave up Marxism? I took Habermas to be wrong because: > The claim that seeking truth is socially necessary may be granted, ...
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Is the value of art always contextual, or can it ever be inherent?

A few years back, I was in a modern art museum and saw this painting by Russian Suprematist artist Kazimir Malevich: It seems to me that the value of this painting lies completely in the identity of ...
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Is there a philosophical basis for the conflation of the cultural left and the economic/fiscal left?

In the U.S and most of the West, the cultural left (used loosely to include movements like feminism, secularism, being pro-diversity and pro minority-rights, the LGBTQ movement, being pro-immigration, ...
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In what sense does philosophy, especially aesthetics, live on, for Adorno?

The introduction to Negative Dialectics begins Philosophy, which once seemed outmoded, remains alive because the moment of its realization was missed. The summary judgement that it had merely ...
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Has any philosopher argued that the point of life is to extract art from it?

The painter poet Lewis claimed “Just Life” or soi-disant “Reality” is a fourth quantity, made up of the Past, the Future and Art. This impure Present our Vortex despises and ignores. ...
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What did Frankfurt School offer as alternative to rationality?

Many in the Frankfurt School, notably Adorno and Horkheimer, regarded rationality with criticism as, in their view, led to dehumanization and enslavement. But what did they offer as an alternative ...
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What is Benjamin saying in thesis VI in On the Concept of History?

What is Benjamin saying in thesis VI in On the Concept of History? I quote it in full from here, having annotated the key points I'm struggling with in bold To articulate what is past does not ...
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What are some resources on the roots of critical/cultural theory?

Who was the first philosopher to write seriously on the topic of movies, cinema, video games and other modern artifacts of popular culture? Is there a good reference covering the birth of this branch ...
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What would Adorno and Horkheimer say about modern pornography?

In the "Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception", Theodore Adorno and Max Horkheimer write that pop culture and mass media are tools of deception, used to manipulate the masses into ...
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Does Benjamin claim that revolution is a corporeal meaninglessness?

Breton notes: 'Quietly. I want to pass where no one yet has passed, quietly! ' After you, dearest language.' Language takes precedence. Not only before meaning. Also before the self... the writings of ...
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From a critical theory point of view, can philosophy itself be absorbed into the culture industry?

In the "Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception", Adorno and Horkheimer state that: Anyone who resists can only survive by fitting in. Once his particular brand of deviation from the ...
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What are the origins of "The Other" and "The Gaze" in critical theory?

These two terms were for a time ubiquitous--one is tempted to say boilerplate--in critical theory. My own vague understanding is that Levinas is first to explicitly focus on "The Other" and Sartre ...
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Like newspaper and television, how internet can become a massive tool of information manipulation and control over the people? [closed]

As per the trend we see, any type of system in this world, ultimately gets corrupted. Leading to a final particular state, where power remains on top and rest on the bottom. No matter it's religious ...
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What is the philosophical value of cultural diversity?

A personal question: As an Arab-American, I try to maintain my children's ties to Arab culture and the Arabic language, going out of my way to make sure that they speak Arabic fluently, and sending ...
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Critical Realism and Social Science

Recently a new philosophical topic came to my attention: Roy Bhaskar's critical realism. I find it a very strange philosophy of science, and I'm having trouble with understanding all of its tenets. As ...
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Is there a philosophy of responsibility in terms of complacency

I was wondering, and I'm especially interested in either contemporary philosophers or critical theorists, if there was a (I assume existentialist) philosophy of complacency. Especially: I am doing ...
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Can photography or film have its own new type of aura?

Can photography or film, according to Benjamin, have its own new type of aura, a uniqueness which allows for reproduction? This author, Silliman, suggests they cannot, because photography as art is ...
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Does Art require an Audience?

Nietzsche consistently throughout his writings argues for a monological conception of art--art that does not seek "witnesses" or an audience. Not only did the episode with Wagner force Nietzsche to ...
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Is it possible to use Wittgenstein's family resemblance approach to universals to separate high art from commercial art?

In a previous post, I asked whether it is possible to objectively compare the quality and validity of different pieces and forms of art. In the responses I got the overall response is that there is no ...
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Dialectics of Enlightenment - Why is Enlightenment Myth and vice versa?

I've tried several times reading The Dialectics of Enlightenment, it is simply to dense for me and my grounding in philosophy is really not that strong. I've looked at the summary in SEP, and need ...
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What is the enigma of art?

I've always been fascinated by the following constellated section of Adorno's Aesthetic Theory, probably because phenomenology is intuitively easier to get to grips with than a drawn out critical ...
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Can the meaning of "negative dialectics" be paraphrased?

At the very beginning of his book Negative Dialectics, Adorno writes As early as Plato, dialectics meant to achieve something positive by means of negation; the thought figure of a “negation of ...
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Did Adorno retain anything from Heidegger's Being and Time?

I've read a little of Adorno, it's particularly slow work though. I had a look at (the poet) Rilke's elegies, which Wikipedia added the following to [from Adorno's book The Jargon of Authenticity] ...
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Why, according to Adorno, were Schoenberg's innovations progressive?

I think that Zuidervaart, in his book Adorno's aesthetic theory, says that Adorno makes two claims for artworks: They develop the productive forces of the artform The artist has a cognition of the ...
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What is critical rationalism?

In the philosophy of science classical rationalism equates rationality with proof and proof with Truth. What is the meaning of rather 'critical rationalism'? Is it the view advocated by Popper by ...
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Minima Moralia.127: "Intelligence is a moral category"

Minima Moralia is a collection of aphorisms by the (individualist) Marxist inspired philosophy Theodor Adorno, who was probably most famous (outside philosophy) for strident attacks on the culture ...
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How to effectively undertake the study of a philosophical work?

I feel like this question gets posed a lot in different ways and was curious if it might be possible to formulate it narrowly enough to get answered here. For the most part I think the answer is ...
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How many words for snow do the Inuits have?

I first heard that the Inuits had a cornocupia of words to describe snow; and then I heard that they had just the usual number. Both of these cannot be true. One must be a myth. Which one? The first ...
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Is Schadenfreude a way out of amorality?

Theodor Adorno, defined Schadenfreude as "largely unanticipated delight in the suffering of another which is cognized as trivial and/or appropriate." Nietzsche comments that Schadenfreude ...
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