Critical Theory traces its roots from Marxism, through the renowned Frankfurt School, to a wide array of national and cultural traditions. Raymond Morrow's book traces the history and outlines the major tenets of critical theory for an undergraduate audience. He exemplifies the theory through an analysis of two leading social theorists: J[um]urgen Habermas and Anthony Giddens. Unique to this volume is the emphasis on the link between Critical Theory and empirical research and social science methodology, often thought to be incompatible.
Chapter 2: Foundations of Metatheory: Between Subjectivism and Objectivism
Foundations of Metatheory: Between Subjectivism and Objectivism
What is “theory”? The question seems a rather easy one for contemporary science. … Theory for most researchers is the summary of propositions about a subject, the propositions being so linked to one another that a few are basic and the rest derive from these. … The real validity of the theory depends on the derived propositions being consonant with the actual facts. … Theory is stored-up knowledge, put in a form that makes it useful for the closest possible description of facts. (Horkheimer  1972a, p. 188)
The preceding chapter made a number of claims about a particular kind of sociological theory defined as critical theory. Why should such claims be taken ...