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Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Philosophy > History & Surveys > 0521284228
  1. The Idea of a Critical Theory: Habermas and the Frankfurt School (Modern European Philosophy)
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  2. The Idea of a Critical Theory: Habermas and the Frankfurt School (Modern European Philosophy)

    Delivery: 10-20 Working Days
    Customer Ratings (3 reviews)
    Price R946.00

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Habermas and earlier members of the Frankfurt School have presented critical theory as a radically new form of knowledge. It is differentiated from the natural sciences as essentially 'reflective': the knowledge it provides guides us towards enlightenment as to our true interests, and emancipation from often unsuspected forms of external and internal coercion. Its first paradigms are in the writings of Marx and Freud. In this book Raymond Geuss sets out these fundamental claims and asks whether they can be made good. Is a science which does not simply describe and explain social phenomena, but also criticizes? The concept of ideology plays a crucial role in this discussion. Geuss carefully analyses it here, its relation to our beliefs and interests, and the account of truth and confirmation required by its critique and the concomitant goal of self-knowledge. The book does not presuppose acquaintance with the works of the Frankfurt School and can serve as a lucid introduction to their central, distinctive theses. But in its scrupulous and incisive consideration of these, and the modified support for them that emerges, it will also interest experts on critical theory and others concerned with the methods and purposes of the social sciences in general.

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Raymond Geuss
Brand: Broché
Used Book in Good Condition
Cambridge University Press
Cambridge University Press
Cambridge University Press
Cambridge University Press
Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Written in deceptively simple and lucid prose (despite an annoying habit of sprinkling the text with untranslated bits of Greek and, more naturally, German), this absolutely brilliant, extremely profound, very dense little volume belongs on the short shelf of anyone of any political persuasion who cares about politics, political consciousness, ideology, and needless to say, left politics. It's somewhat misadvertised. Despite a good many unelaborated references to Frankfurt school writers (citations to pages in German texts without comment), this is only in the most nominal sense a book about the Frankfurt school. For that, read Thomas McCarthy or Martin Jay, not Guess's intellectual equals but more informative on what Habermas, Adorno, or Horkheimer actually said. It's an original exercise in critical theory inspired, somewhat distantly IMHO, by someone deeply steeped in the Frankfurt School and Marxian theory. To my way of thinking it is vastly superior to any of its nominal models... Read more
Certainly, this is not an introduction to the Frankfurt School, although some seem to believe as much. It should be read alongside Horkheimer's essay, 'Traditional and Critical Theory,' Habermas' essay 'Between Philosophy and Science: Marxism as Critique,' and Adorno's 'Why Still Philosophy?'
Like those essays, this book is programmatic: what *would* a critical theory do? And is such a theory possible? So there is not a lot in here about the actual substance of any given critical theory. Nothing much about 'communicative rationality,' not much about 'negative dialectics,' not much about the 'one-dimensional society.' Rather, this book tries to explain what those projects are meant to achieve.
Given this aim, Geuss succeeds admirably. The book is clear and precise. It doesn't have that kick of rebellion that you can find in Zizek or Badiou's popular works, or the slightly mystifying air of Adorno's worst work, or the hipness of Marcuse's. Some people will say this is a bad... Read more
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