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 Epistemological and Social-Economical Critique

Critical Theory and Epistemological and Social-Economical Critique

Critical Theory and Epistemological and Social-Economical Critique
Frank Engster

Spiegel:‘Professor, two weeks ago the world seemed still to be ok…’

Adorno: ‘Not for me!’

The understanding of the socio-historical conditions of consciousness was at the core of early Critical Theory’s1 attempt to combine social-economic and epistemological critique. Since Max Horkheimer and Theodor W. Adorno primarily developed this approach, the chapter focuses on their accounts.

First, I look at their understanding of the socio-economic and epistemological critique of society. I then discuss how their notion of mediation – which materially socializes the German idealist notions of subject and object by drawing on the critique of political economy – is formulated in regard to this notion of critique. Finally, I ...

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