Horkheimer in Heidelberg in 1964
|Died||July 7, 1973 78) (aged|
|Era||20th century philosophy|
|School||Continental philosophy, Frankfurt School critical theory, Western Marxism|
|Critical theory as opposed to traditional theory, culture industry, authoritarian personality, eclipse of reason, critique of instrumental reason|
Max Horkheimer ( // ; German: [ˈhɔɐ̯kˌhaɪmɐ] ; February 14, 1895 – July 7, 1973) was a German philosopher and sociologist who was famous for his work in critical theory as a member of the 'Frankfurt School' of social research. Horkheimer addressed authoritarianism, militarism, economic disruption, environmental crisis, and the poverty of mass culture using the philosophy of history as a framework. This became the foundation of critical theory. His most important works include Eclipse of Reason (1947), Between Philosophy and Social Science (1930–1938) and, in collaboration with Theodor Adorno, Dialectic of Enlightenment (1947). Through the Frankfurt School, Horkheimer planned, supported and made other significant works possible.
A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy. The term "philosopher" comes from the Ancient Greek, φιλόσοφος (philosophos), meaning "lover of wisdom". The coining of the term has been attributed to the Greek thinker Pythagoras.
Critical theory is the reflective assessment and critique of society and culture by applying knowledge from the social sciences and the humanities. Critical theory has origins in sociology and also in literary criticism. The sociologist Max Horkheimer described a theory as critical insofar as it seeks "to liberate human beings from the circumstances that enslave them."
The Frankfurt School is a school of social theory and critical philosophy associated with the Institute for Social Research, at Goethe University Frankfurt. Founded in the Weimar Republic (1918–33), during the European interwar period (1918–39), the Frankfurt School comprised intellectuals, academics, and political dissidents who were ill-fitted to the contemporary socio-economic systems of the 1930s. The Frankfurt theorists proposed that social theory was inadequate for explaining the turbulent political factionalism and reactionary politics occurring in ostensibly liberal capitalist societies in the 20th century. Critical of both capitalism and Marxism–Leninism as philosophically inflexible systems of social organisation, the School's critical theory research indicated alternative paths to realising the social development of a society and a nation.
On February 14, 1895, Horkheimer was born the only son of Moritz and Babetta Horkheimer. Horkheimer was born into a conservative, wealthy Orthodox Jewish family. His father was a successful businessman who owned several textile factories in the Zuffenhausen district of Stuttgart, where Max was born.Moritz expected his son to follow in his footsteps and own the family business. Max was taken out of school in 1910 to work in the family business, where he eventually became a junior manager. During this period he would begin two relationships that would last for the rest of his life. First, he met Friedrich Pollock, who would later become a close academic colleague, and who would remain Max's closest friend. He also met Rose Riekher, who was his father's personal secretary. Eight years Max's senior, a gentile, and of an economically lower class, Riekher (whom Max called "Maidon") was not considered a suitable match by Moritz Horkheimer. Despite this, Max and Maidon would marry in 1926 and remain together until her death in 1969. In 1917, his manufacturing career ended and his chances of taking over his family business were interrupted when he was drafted into World War I. However, Horkheimer was denied service on medical grounds.
Stuttgart is the capital and largest city of the German state of Baden-Württemberg. Stuttgart is located on the Neckar river in a fertile valley known locally as the "Stuttgart Cauldron". It lies an hour from the Swabian Jura and the Black Forest. Its urban area has a population of 634,830, making it the sixth largest city in Germany. 2.8 million people live in the city's administrative region and 5.3 million people in its metropolitan area, making it the fourth largest metropolitan area in Germany. The city and metropolitan area are consistently ranked among the top 20 European metropolitan areas by GDP; Mercer listed Stuttgart as 21st on its 2015 list of cities by quality of living, innovation agency 2thinknow ranked the city 24th globally out of 442 cities and the Globalization and World Cities Research Network ranked the city as a Beta-status world city in their 2014 survey.
World War I, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as "the war to end all wars", it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history. It is also one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the resulting 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide.
In the spring of 1919, after failing an army physical,Horkheimer enrolled at Munich University. While living in Munich, he was mistaken for the revolutionary playwright Ernst Toller and arrested and imprisoned. After being released, Horkheimer moved to Frankfurt am Main, where he studied philosophy and psychology under the respectable Hans Cornelius. There, he met Theodor Adorno, several years his junior, with whom he would strike a lasting friendship and a collaborative relationship. After an abortive attempt at writing a dissertation on gestalt psychology, Horkheimer, with Cornelius's direction, completed his doctorate in philosophy with a 78-page dissertation titled The Antinomy of Teleological Judgment (Zur Antinomie der teleologischen Urteilskraft). In 1925, Horkheimer was habilitated with a dissertation entitled Kant's Critique of Judgement as Mediation between Practical and Theoretical Philosophy (Über Kants Kritik der Urteilskraft als Bindeglied zwischen theoretischer und praktischer Philosophie). Here, he met Friedrich Pollock who would be his colleague at the Institute of Social Research. The following year, Max was appointed Privatdozent. Shortly after, in 1926, Horkheimer married Rose Riekher.
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental questions about existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Such questions are often posed as problems to be studied or resolved. The term was probably coined by Pythagoras. Philosophical methods include questioning, critical discussion, rational argument, and systematic presentation. Classic philosophical questions include: Is it possible to know anything and to prove it? What is most real? Philosophers also pose more practical and concrete questions such as: Is there a best way to live? Is it better to be just or unjust? Do humans have free will?
Psychology is the science of behavior and mind. Psychology includes the study of conscious and unconscious phenomena, as well as feeling and thought. It is an academic discipline of immense scope. Psychologists seek an understanding of the emergent properties of brains, and all the variety of phenomena linked to those emergent properties, joining this way the broader neuroscientific group of researchers. As a social science it aims to understand individuals and groups by establishing general principles and researching specific cases.
Johannes Wilhelm Cornelius was a German neo-Kantian philosopher.
In 1926 Horkheimer was an "unsalaried lecturer in Frankfurt." Shortly after, in 1930, he was promoted to professor of philosophy at Frankfurt University. In the same year, when the Institute for Social Research's (now known as Frankfurt School of Critical Theory) directorship became vacant, after the departure of Carl Grünberg, Horkheimer was elected to the position "by means of an endowment from a wealthy businessman".The Institute had had its beginnings in a Marxist study group started by Felix Weil, a one-time student of political science at Frankfurt who used his inheritance to fund the group as a way to support his leftist academic aims. Pollock and Horkheimer were partners with Weil in the early activities of the Institute.
Goethe University Frankfurt is a university located in Frankfurt, Germany. It was founded in 1914 as a citizens' university, which means it was founded and funded by the wealthy and active liberal citizenry of Frankfurt. The original name was Universität Frankfurt am Main. In 1932, the university's name was extended in honour of one of the most famous native sons of Frankfurt, the poet, philosopher and writer/dramatist Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. The university currently has around 45,000 students, distributed across four major campuses within the city.
Carl Grünberg was a German Marxist philosopher of law and history.
Félix José Weil was a Jewish German-Argentine Marxist, who provided the funds to found the Institute for Social Research in Frankfurt am Main, Germany.
Horkheimer worked to make the Institute a purely academic enterprise.As director, he changed Frankfurt from an orthodox Marxist school to a heterodox school for critical social research . The following year publication of the Institute's Zeitschrift für Sozialforschung began, with Horkheimer as its editor. Horkheimer intellectually reoriented the Institute, proposing a programme of collective research aimed at specific social groups (specifically the working class) that would highlight the problem of the relationship of history and reason. The Institute focused on integrating the views of Karl Marx and Sigmund Freud. The Frankfurt School attempted this by systematically hitching together the different conceptual structures of historical materialism and psychoanalysis.
Karl Marx was a German philosopher, economist, historian, sociologist, political theorist, journalist and socialist revolutionary.
Sigmund Freud was an Austrian neurologist and the founder of psychoanalysis, a clinical method for treating psychopathology through dialogue between a patient and a psychoanalyst.
During the time between Horkheimer's being named Professor of Social Philosophy and director of the Institute in 1930, the Nazis became the second largest party in the Reichstag. In the midst of the violence surrounding the Nazis' rise, Horkheimer and his associates began to prepare for the possibility of moving the Institute out of Germany.Horkheimer's venia legendi was revoked by the new Nazi government because of the Marxian nature of the Institute's ideas as well as its prominent Jewish association. When Hitler was named the Chancellor in 1933, the Institute was thus forced to close its location in Germany. He emigrated to Geneva, Switzerland and then to New York City the following year, where Horkheimer met with the president of Columbia University to discuss hosting the Institute. To Horkheimer's surprise, the president agreed to host the Institute in exile as well as offer Horkheimer a building for the Institute. In July 1934 Horkheimer accepted an offer from Columbia to relocate the Institute to one of their buildings.
The City of New York, usually called either New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2018 population of 8,398,748 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 19,979,477 people in its 2018 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 22,679,948 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.
Columbia University is a private Ivy League research university in New York City. Established in 1754 near the Upper West Side region of Manhattan, Columbia is the oldest institution of higher education in New York and the fifth-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. It is one of nine colonial colleges founded prior to the Declaration of Independence, seven of which belong to the Ivy League. It has been ranked by numerous major education publications as among the top ten universities in the world.
In 1940, Horkheimer received American citizenship and moved to the Pacific Palisades district of Los Angeles, California, where his collaboration with Adorno would yield the Dialectic of Enlightenment. In 1942, Horkheimer assumed the directorship of the Scientific Division of the American Jewish Committee. In this capacity, he helped launch and organize a series of five Studies in Prejudice, which were published in 1949 and 1950. The most important of these was the pioneering study in social psychology entitled The Authoritarian Personality, itself a methodologically advanced reworking of some of the themes treated in a collective project produced by the Institute in its first years of exile, Studies in Authority and Family.In the years that followed, Horkheimer did not publish much, although he continued to edit Studies in Philosophy and Social Science as a continuation of the Zeitschrift. In 1949, he returned to Frankfurt where the Institute for Social Research reopened in 1950. Between 1951 and 1953 Horkheimer was rector of the University of Frankfurt. In 1953, Horkheimer stepped down from director of the Institute and took on a smaller role in the Institute, while Adorno became director. Horkheimer and Adorno were seen as the fathers of the Institute.
Horkheimer continued to teach at the University until his retirement in the mid-1960s. In 1953, he was awarded the Goethe Plaque of the City of Frankfurt, and was later named honorary citizen of Frankfurt for life.He returned to America in 1954 and 1959 to lecture as a frequent visiting professor at the University of Chicago.
He remained an important figure until his death in Nuremberg in 1973. Max Horkheimer with the help of Theodor Adorno, Herbert Marcuse, Walter Benjamin, Leo Lowenthal, Otto Kirchheimer, Frederick Pollock and Neumann developed "Critical Theory". According to Larry Ray "Critical Theory" has "become one of the most influential social theories of the twentieth century".
|Part of a series on the|
| Reason and Revolution |
Eclipse of Reason
Escape from Freedom
Eros and Civilization
The Theory of Communicative Action
Dialectic of Enlightenment
| Herbert Marcuse · Theodor Adorno |
Max Horkheimer · Walter Benjamin
Erich Fromm · Friedrich Pollock
Leo Löwenthal · Jürgen Habermas
Alfred Schmidt · Axel Honneth Siegfried Kracauer · Otto Kirchheimer
| Critical theory · Dialectic · Praxis |
Psychoanalysis · Antipositivism
Popular culture · Culture industry
Privatism · Non-identity
|Freudo-Marxism · Marxist humanism · Social alienation|
Horkheimer's work is marked by a concern to show the relation between affect (especially suffering) and concepts (understood as action-guiding expressions of reason). In this, he responded critically to what he saw as the one-sidedness of both neo-Kantianism (with its focus on concepts) and Lebensphilosophie (with its focus on expression and world-disclosure). Horkheimer did not think either was wrong, but insisted that the insights of each school on their own could not adequately contribute to the repair of social problems. Horkheimer focused on the connections between social structures, networks/subcultures, and individual realities, concluding that we are affected and shaped by the proliferation of products on the market place. It is also important to note that Horkheimer collaborated with Herbert Marcuse, Erich Fromm, Theodor Adorno and Walter Benjamin.
Through critical theory (a social theory focusing on critiquing and changing society), Horkheimer "attempted to revitalize radical social, and cultural criticism" and discussed authoritarianism, militarism, economic disruption, environmental crisis and the poverty of mass culture.Horkheimer helped to create Critical Theory through a mix of radical and conservative lenses that stem from radical Marxism and end up in "pessimistic Jewish transcendentalism". Horkheimer developed his critical theory by examining his own wealth while witnessing the juxtaposition of the bourgeois and the impoverished. This critical theory embraced the future possibilities of society and was preoccupied with forces which moved society toward rational institutions that would ensure a true, free, and just life. He was convinced of the need to "examine the entire material and spiritual culture of mankind" in order to transform society as a whole. Horkheimer sought to enable the working class to reclaim their power in order to resist the lure of fascism. Horkheimer stated himself that "the rationally organized society that regulates its own existence" was necessary along with a society that could "satisfy common needs". To satisfy these needs, it would need to engage with the social conditions within which people lived and in which their concepts and actions were formed. It reached out for a total understanding of history and knowledge. Through this, critical theory develops a "critique of bourgeois society through which 'ideology critique' attempted to locate the 'utopian content' of dominant systems of thought". Above all, critical theory sought to develop a critical perspective in the discussion of all social practices.
"Between Philosophy and Social Science" appeared between 1930 and 1938, during the time the Frankfurt school moved from Frankfurt to Geneva to Columbia University. It included: "Materialism and Morality", "The Present Situation of Moral Philosophy and the Tasks of an Institute for Social Research", "On the Problem of Truth", "Egoism and the Freedom Movement", "History and Psychology", "A New Concept of Ideology", "Remarks on Philosophical Anthropology", and "The Rationalism Debate in Contemporary Philosophy". It also included "The Present Situation of Social Philosophy and the Tasks for an Institute of Social Research", "Egoism and Freedom Movements" and "Beginnings of the Bourgeois Philosophy of History". The essays within "Between Philosophy and Social Science" were Horkheimer's attempts to "remove the individual from mass culture, a function for philosophy from the commodification of everything".Horkheimer was extremely invested in the individual. In one of his writings, he states, "When we speak of an individual as a historical entity, we mean not merely the space-time and the sense existence of a particular member of the human race, but in addition, his awareness of his own individuality as a conscious human being, including recognition of his own identity.". Horkheimer was a strong believer in individuals becoming aware of themselves and their conscious as human beings. This is important to Horkheimer because for workers, he is aware of individuals losing their identity in products, which affects the power an individual may have of him/herself.
"The Present Situation of Social Philosophy and the Tasks for an Institute of Social Research" was not only included in this volume, but it was also used as Horkheimer's inaugural speech as director of the Frankfurt School. In this speech he related economic groups to the struggles and challenges of real life. Horkheimer often referenced human struggle and used this example in his speech because it was a topic he understood well.
"Egoism and Freedom Movements" and "Beginnings of the Bourgeois Philosophy of History" are the longest of the essays. The first is an evaluation of Machiavelli, Hobbes and Vico; the latter discusses the bourgeois control. In Beginnings of the Bourgeois Philosophy of History, Horkheimer explained "what he learned from the bourgeois rise to power and what of the bourgeois he thought was worth preserving.
The volume also looks at the individual as the "troubled center of philosophy." Horkheimer expressed that "there is no formula that defines the relationship among individuals, society and nature for all time".To understand the problem of the individual further, Horkheimer included two case studies on the individual: one on Montaigne and one on himself.
Horkheimer's book, Eclipse of Reason, started in 1941 and published in 1947, is broken into five sections: Means and Ends, Conflicting Panaceas, The Revolt of Nature, The Rise and Decline of the Individual, and On the Concept of Philosophy.The 'Eclipse of Reason focuses on the concept of reason within the history of western philosophy, which can only be fostered in an environment of free, critical thinking while also linking positivist and instrumental reason with the rise of fascism. He distinguishes between objective, subjective and instrumental reason, and states that we have moved from the former through the center and into the latter (though subjective and instrumental reason are closely connected). Objective reason deals with universal truths that dictate that an action is either right or wrong. It is a concrete concept and a force in the world that requires specific modes of behavior. The focus in the objective faculty of reason is on the ends, rather than the means. Subjective reason is an abstract concept of reason, and focuses primarily on means. Specifically, the reasonable nature of the purpose of action is irrelevant – the ends only serve the purpose of the subject (generally self-advancement or preservation). To be "reasonable" in this context is to be suited to a particular purpose, to be "good for something else". This aspect of reason is universally conforming, and easily furnishes ideology. In instrumental reason, the sole criterion of reason is its operational value or purposefulness, and with this, the idea of truth becomes contingent on mere subjective preference (hence the relation with subjective reason). Because subjective/instrumental reason rules, the ideals of a society, for example democratic ideals, become dependent on the "interests" of the people instead of being dependent on objective truths. In his writing Horkheimer states, "Social power is today more than ever mediated by power over things. The more intense an individual's concern with power over things, the more will things dominate him, the more will he lack any genuine individual traits, and the more will his mind be transformed into an automation of formalized reason." Nevertheless, Horkheimer admits that objective reason has its roots in Reason ("Logos" in Greek) of the subject. He concludes, "If by enlightenment and intellectual progress we mean the freeing of man from superstitious belief in evil forces, in demons and fairies, in blind fate – in short, the emancipation from fear – then denunciation of what is currently called reason is the greatest service we can render."
In 1941, Horkheimer outlined how the Nazis had been able to make their agenda appear "reasonable", but also issued a warning about the possibility of a similar occurrence happening again. Horkheimer believed that the illnesses of modern society are caused by misunderstanding reason: if people use true reason to critique their societies, they will be able to solve problems they may have.
Despite the explicit common referrals to "subjective" reason in the book, his frequent connecting of it with relativism could be an indication that by "subjective reason" Horkheimer also means "relativist reason".
Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno collaborated to publish Dialectic of Enlightenment, which was originally published in 1944. The inspiration for this piece came from when Horkheimer and Adorno had to flee Germany, because of Hitler, and go to New York. They went to America and "absorbed the popular culture"; thinking that it was a form of totalitarianism.Nonetheless, Dialectic of Enlightenment's main argument was to serve as a wide-ranging critique of the "self-destruction of enlightenment". The work criticized popular culture as "the product of a culture industry whose goal was to stupefy the masses with endless mass produced copies of the same thing" (Lembert). Along with that, Horkheimer and Adorno had a few arguments; one being that these mass-produced products only appear to change over time. Horkheimer and Adorno stated that these products were so standardized in order to help consumers comprehend and appreciate the products with little attention given to them. They expressed, "the result is a constant reproduction of the same thing" (Adorno and Horkheimer, 1993 ). However, they also explain how pseudo-individuality is encouraged among these products in order to keep the consumers coming back for more. They argue that small differences in products within the same area are acceptable.
The similar patterns found in the content of popular culture (films, popular songs and radio) have the same central message; "it's all linked to "the necessity of obedience of the masses to the social hierarchy in place in advanced capitalist societies".These products appeal to the masses and encourage conformity to the consumers. In return, capitalism remains in power while buyers continue to consume from the industry. This is dangerous because the consumers' belief that the powers of technology are liberating, starts to increase. To support their claim, Horkheimer and Adorno, "proposed an antidote: not just thinking the relations of things, but also, as an immediate second step, thinking through that thinking, self-reflexively." In other words, technology lacks self-reflexivity. Nonetheless, Horkheimer and Adorno believed that art was an exception, because it "is an open-ended system with no fixed rules"; thus, it could not be an object of the industry.
Perry Anderson sees Horkheimer's attempt to make the Institute purely academic as "symptomatic of a more universal process, the emergence of a 'Western Marxism' divorced from the working-class movement and dominated by academic philosophers and the 'product of defeat'" because of the isolation of the Russian Revolution. Rolf Wiggershaus, author of The Frankfurt School believed Horkheimer lacked the audacious theoretical construction produced by those like Marx and Lukács and that his main argument was that those living in misery had the right to material egoism. In his book, "Social Theory", Alex Callinicos claims that Dialectic of Enlightenment offers no systematic account of conception of rationality, but rather professes objective reason intransigently to an extent.Charles Lemert discusses in his book Social Theory that in writing Dialectic of Enlightenment , Horkheimer and Adorno lack sufficient sympathy for the cultural plight of the average working person, unfair to criticize the tastes of ordinary people, and that popular culture does not really buttress social conformity and stabilize capitalism as much as the Frankfurt school thinks.
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The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to critical theory:
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Theodor W. Adorno was a German philosopher, sociologist, psychologist and composer known for his critical theory of society.
The term culture industry was coined by the critical theorists Theodor Adorno (1903–1969) and Max Horkheimer (1895–1973), and was presented as critical vocabulary in the chapter "The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception", of the book Dialectic of Enlightenment (1944), wherein they proposed that popular culture is akin to a factory producing standardized cultural goods—films, radio programmes, magazines, etc.—that are used to manipulate mass society into passivity. Consumption of the easy pleasures of popular culture, made available by the mass communications media, renders people docile and content, no matter how difficult their economic circumstances. The inherent danger of the culture industry is the cultivation of false psychological needs that can only be met and satisfied by the products of capitalism; thus Adorno and Horkheimer especially perceived mass-produced culture as dangerous to the more technically and intellectually difficult high arts. In contrast, true psychological needs are freedom, creativity, and genuine happiness, which refer to an earlier demarcation of human needs, established by Herbert Marcuse..
Minima Moralia: Reflections From Damaged Life is a 1951 book by the philosopher Theodor W. Adorno and a seminal text in critical theory. Adorno started writing it during World War II, in 1944, while he lived as an exile in America, and completed it in 1949. It was originally written for the fiftieth birthday of his friend and collaborator Max Horkheimer, who had co-authored the earlier book Dialectic of Enlightenment with Adorno.
In sociology, rationalization is the replacement of traditions, values, and emotions as motivators for behavior in society with concepts based on rationality and reason. For example, the implementation of bureaucracies in government is a kind of rationalization, as is the construction of high-efficiency living spaces in architecture and urban planning. A potential reason as to why rationalization of a culture may take place in the modern era is the process of globalization. Countries are becoming increasingly interlinked, and with the rise of technology, it is easier for countries to influence each other through social networking, the media and politics. An example of rationalization in place would be the case of witch doctors in certain parts of Africa. Whilst many locals view them as an important part of their culture and traditions, development initiatives and aid workers have tried to rationalize the practice in order to educate the local people in modern medicine and practice.
Dialectic of Enlightenment is a work of philosophy and social criticism written by Frankfurt School philosophers Max Horkheimer and Theodor W. Adorno and first published in 1944. A revised version appeared in 1947.
In Marxist theory, interpellation is an important concept regarding the notion of ideology. It is associated in particular with the work of French philosopher Louis Althusser. According to Althusser, every society is made up of ideological state apparatuses (ISAs) and repressive state apparatuses (RSAs) which are instrumental to constant reproduction of the relations to production of that given society. While ISAs belong to the private domain and refer to private institutions, the RSA is one public institution (police/military) controlled by the government. Consequently, 'interpellation' describes the process by which ideology, embodied in major social and political institutions, constitutes the very nature of individual subjects' identities through the process of "hailing" them in social interactions.
The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: An Inquiry into a Category of Bourgeois Society is a 1962 book by the philosopher Jürgen Habermas. It was translated into English in 1989 by Thomas Burger and Frederick Lawrence. An important contribution to modern understanding of democracy, it is notable for "transforming media studies into a hard-headed discipline."
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The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity: Twelve Lectures is a 1985 book by Jürgen Habermas, in which the author reconstructs and deals in depth with a number of philosophical approaches to the critique of modern reason and the Enlightenment "project" since Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and Friedrich Nietzsche, including the work of 20th century philosophers Max Horkheimer, Theodor Adorno, Martin Heidegger, Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, Cornelius Castoriadis and Niklas Luhmann. The work is regarded as an important contribution to Frankfurt School critical theory. It has been characterized as a critical evaluation of the concept of world disclosure in modern philosophy.
Culture Industry Reconsidered, was written in 1963 by Theodor W. Adorno, a German philosopher who belonged to the Frankfurt School of social theory. The term "cultural industry" first appeared in Dialectic of Enlightenment (1947), written by Adorno and Max Horkheimer.
In Marxism, reification is the process by which social relations are perceived as inherent attributes of the people involved in them, or attributes of some product of the relation, such as a traded commodity.
In Marxist theory and Marxian economics, the immiseration thesis is derived from Karl Marx's analysis of economic development in capitalism, implying that the nature of capitalist production stabilizes real wages, reducing wage growth relative to total value creation in the economy, leading to worsening alienation in the workplace.
Western Marxism is a current of Marxist theory arising from Western and Central Europe in the aftermath of the 1917 October Revolution in Russia and the ascent of Leninism. The term denotes a loose collection of theorists who advanced an interpretation of Marxism distinct from that codified by the Soviet Union.
Regina Becker-Schmidt is an emeritus professor at the Institute of Sociology and Social Psychology at the University of Hanover. Her research focuses on corporate and subject theory, critical theory, psychoanalytically oriented social psychology and gender studies. She is considered a seminal figure in feminist critical theory.
Gretel Adorno was a German chemist and intellectual figure within the Frankfurt School of critical theory. She was married to the philosopher, sociologist, composer, and musicologist Theodor W. Adorno, who was one of the founding members of the Institut für Sozialforschung which became the home of the Frankfurt School.