Critical thinking institute

Institute for Social Research, at Goethe Critical thinking institute Frankfurt.

Freudian, Marxist, and Hegelian premises of idealist philosophy. The Instititute for Social Research, Frankfurt am Main, Germany. At university, Weil’s doctoral dissertation dealt with the practical problems of implementing socialism. Korsch participated in the School’s publishing venture. The philosophical tradition of the Frankfurt School — the multi-disciplinary integration of the social sciences — is associated with the philosopher Max Horkheimer, who became the director in 1930, and recruited intellectuals such as Theodor W.

Frankfurt School philosophy of critical theory. As a term, the Frankfurt School usually comprises the intellectuals Max Horkheimer, Theodor Adorno, and Herbert Marcuse, Leo Löwenthal and Friedrich Pollock. The works of the Frankfurt School are understood in the context of the intellectual and practical objectives of critical theory. In the praxis of cultural hegemony, the dominant ideology is a ruling-class narrative story, which explains that what is occurring in society is the norm. The facts, which our senses present to us, are socially performed in two ways: through the historical character of the object perceived, and through the historical character of the perceiving organ. For Horkheimer, the methods of investigation applicable to the social sciences cannot imitate the scientific method applicable to the natural sciences.

Because the problem was epistemological, Horkheimer said that «we should reconsider not merely the scientist, but the knowing individual, in general. The Institute also attempted to reformulate dialectics as a concrete method. The use of such a dialectical method can be traced back to the philosophy of Hegel, who conceived dialectic as the tendency of a notion to pass over into its own negation as the result of conflict between its inherent contradictory aspects. History, according to Hegel, proceeds and evolves in a dialectical manner: the present embodies the rational sublation, or «synthesis», of past contradictions.

This was fiercely criticized by Marx and the Young Hegelians, who argued that Hegel had gone too far in defending his abstract conception of «absolute Reason» and had failed to notice the «real»—i. Marx thus extensively relied on a form of dialectical analysis. This method—to know the truth by uncovering the contradictions in presently predominant ideas and, by extension, in the social relations to which they are linked—exposes the underlying struggle between opposing forces. For their part, Frankfurt School theorists quickly came to realize that a dialectical method could only be adopted if it could be applied to itself—that is to say, if they adopted a self-correcting method—a dialectical method that would enable them to correct previous false dialectical interpretations. Contrary to orthodox Marxist praxis, which solely seeks to implement an unchangeable and narrow idea of «communism» into practice, critical theorists held that praxis and theory, following the dialectical method, should be interdependent and should mutually influence each other. The analysis of reason now goes one stage further: The rationality of Western civilization appears as a fusion of domination and technological rationality, bringing all of external and internal nature under the power of the human subject.

For since the overwhelming objectivity of historical movement in its present phase consists so far only in the dissolution of the subject, without yet giving rise to a new one, individual experience necessarily bases itself on the old subject, now historically condemned, which is still for-itself, institute no longer in-itself. Consequently, at a time when it appears that reality thinking has become the basis for ideology, the greatest contribution that critical theory can make is to explore the dialectical contradictions of individual subjective experience on the one hand, and to preserve the truth of theory on the other. Even dialectical progress is put into doubt: «its truth or untruth is not inherent in the method itself, but in its intention in the historical process. From a sociological point of view, both Horkheimer’s critical Adorno’s works contain a certain ambivalence concerning the ultimate source or foundation of social domination, an ambivalence that gave rise to the «pessimism» of the new critical theory over the possibility of human emancipation and freedom. According to the now canonical view of its history, Frankfurt School critical theory began in the 1930s as a fairly confident interdisciplinary and materialist research program, the general aim of which was to connect normative social criticism to the emancipatory potential latent in concrete historical processes.

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Kompridis argues that this «sceptical cul-de-sac» was arrived at with «a lot of help from the once unspeakable and unprecedented barbarity of European fascism,» and could not be gotten out of without «some well-marked Ausgang, showing the way out of the ever-recurring nightmare in which Enlightenment hopes and Holocaust horrors are fatally entangled. What radical music perceives is the untransfigured suffering of man The seismographic registration of traumatic shock becomes, at the same time, the technical structural law of music. This view of modern art as producing truth only through the negation of traditional aesthetic form and traditional norms of beauty because they have become ideological is characteristic of Adorno and of the Frankfurt School generally. It has been criticized by those who do not share its conception of modern society as a false totality that renders obsolete traditional conceptions and images of beauty and harmony. In particular, Adorno despised jazz and popular music, viewing it as part of the culture industry, that contributes to the present sustainability of capitalism by rendering it «aesthetically pleasing» and «agreeable». This section does not cite any sources.

With the growth of advanced industrial society during the Cold War era, critical theorists recognized that the path of capitalism and history had changed decisively, that the modes of oppression operated differently, and that the industrial working class no longer remained the determinate negation of capitalism. During this period, Frankfurt School critical theory particularly influenced some segments of the left wing and leftist thought, particularly the New Left. Herbert Marcuse has occasionally been described as the theorist or intellectual progenitor of the New Left. More importantly, however, the Frankfurt School attempted to define the fate of reason in the new historical period.

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