Advertisement

Critical Theory

  • Thomas de Zengotita
Chapter
Part of the Political Philosophy and Public Purpose book series (POPHPUPU)

Abstract

Apparently—and in spite of manifold similarities in substance and purpose—the Frankfurt School had little direct influence on leading contributors to “La Pensée 68” in France. But, in the Anglophone context, the works of Adorno and Horkheimer, Marcuse and Fromm were stuffed into the backpacks of the young intellectuals who were shaping the political and counter-cultural movements of the 1960s. When the time came for them to embrace French theory and academic postmodernism more generally, they facilitated a merger that contributed to the disruption of established disciplines in the humanities across the board. This chapter focuses on the life and work of Theodor Adorno, but selectively; once again, the aim is to provide enough understanding of what “Critical Theory” originally was so that its eventual influence in the Anglophone context on, say, cultural studies can be justly assessed. This much is clear: of all the forms of “neo-Marxism” that survived the realization that the “superstructure” of culture had a historical efficacy of its own, critical theory as conceived by the Frankfurt School was the most influential and productive.

References

  1. Adorno, Theodor W. (1951) 2006. Minima Moralia: Reflections from Damaged Life. Trans. E.F.N. Jephcott. New York: Verso.Google Scholar
  2. ———. (1964) 2003. The Jargon of Authenticity. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  3. ———. 2004. Aesthetic Theory. Trans. Robert Hullot-Kentor. New York: Continuum.Google Scholar
  4. Aronowitz, Stanley. 2015. Against Orthodoxy: Social Theory and Its Discontents. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bernstein, J.M. 2006. Against Voluptuous Bodies: Late Modernism and the Meaning of Painting. Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Buck-Morss, Susan. 1979. The Origin of Negative Dialectics: Theodor W. Adorno, Walter Benjamin, and the Frankfurt Institute. New York: The Free Press.Google Scholar
  7. Derrida, Jacques. (1972) 1981. Positions. Trans. Alan Bass. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  8. Horkheimer, Max, and Theodor W. Adorno. (1944) 2002. Dialectic of Enlightenment: Philosophical Fragments. Trans. Edmund Jephcott. Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Lukács, Georg. 1971. The Theory of the Novel: A Historico-Philosophical Essay on the Forms of Epic Literature. London: Merlin Press.Google Scholar
  10. Macey, David. 1995. The Lives of Michel Foucault. New York: Vintage.Google Scholar
  11. Muller-Doohm, Stefan. 2005. Adorno: A Biography. Trans. R. Livingstone. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  12. Thompson, Michael. 2015. Radical Intellectuals and the Subversion of Progressive Politics: The Betrayal of Politics. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas de Zengotita
    • 1
  1. 1.New York UniversityNew YorkUSA

Personalised recommendations