The SAGE Handbook of Frankfurt School Critical Theory expounds the development of critical theory from its founding thinkers to its contemporary formulations in an interdisciplinary setting. It maps the terrain of a critical social theory, expounding its distinctive character vis-a-vis alternative theoretical perspectives, exploring its theoretical foundations and developments, conceptualising its subject matters both past and present, and signalling its possible future in a time of great uncertainty. Taking a distinctively theoretical, interdisciplinary, international and contemporary perspective on the topic, this wide-ranging collection of chapters is arranged thematically over three volumes: Volume I: Key Texts and Contributions to a Critical Theory of Society Volume II: Themes Volume III: Contexts This Handbook is essential reading for scholars and students in the field, showcasing the scholarly rigor, intellectual acuteness and negative force of critical social theory, past and present.

Critical Theory and the Philosophy of Language1

Critical Theory and the Philosophy of Language1

Critical Theory and the Philosophy of Language
Philip Hogh Adrian Wilding


From its beginnings up to the present day, language has played a central role in critical theory. Walter Benjamin’s early essay ‘On Language as Such and on the Language of Man’ and Jürgen Habermas’s Theory of Communicative Action differ widely in both methodological and thematic terms, yet both explore the resources through which language can offer an emancipatory critique of capitalist society. The differences in philosophical approach of the respective critical theorists can be traced to the philosophy of language which each confronted in their day. If Benjamin’s reflections engage with motifs from the Kabbalah, with Karl Kraus’s language criticism2 and, ...

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