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Rush, Fred (ed.)

The Cambridge Companion to Critical Theory

Critical Theory constitutes one of the major intellectual traditions of the twentieth century, and is centrally important for philosophy, political theory, aesthetics and theory of art, the study of modern European literatures and music, the history of ideas, sociology, psychology, and cultural studies. In this volume an international team of distinguished contributors examines the major figures in Critical Theory, including Horkheimer, Adorno, Marcuse, Benjamin, and Habermas, as well as lesser known but important thinkers such as Pollock and Neumann. The volume surveys the shared philosophical concerns that have given impetus to Critical Theory throughout its history, while at the same time showing the diversity among its proponents that contributes so much to its richness as a philosophical school. The result is an illuminating overview of the entire history of Critical Theory in the twentieth century, an examination of its central conceptual concerns, and an in-depth discussion of its future prospects.
Contents Introduction Fred Rush; 1. Conceptual foundations of early Critical Theory Fred Rush; 2. Benjamin, Adorno, and the decline of the aura Michael Rosen; 3. The dialectic of enlightenment Julian Roberts; 4. The marriage of Marx and Freud: Critical Theory and psychoanalysis Joel Whitebook; 5. Dialectics and the revolutionary impulse Raymond Geuss; 6. ‘The dead speaking of stones and stars’: an introduction to Adorno’s Aesthetic Theory J. M. Bernstein; 7. Critique, state, and economy Moishe Postone; 8. The transcendental turn: Habermas’s ‘Kantian pragmatism’ Kenneth Baynes; 9. The politics of Critical Theory Simone Chambers; 10. Critical Theory and the analysis of contemporary mass society Hauke Brunkhorst; 11. Critical Theory and poststructuralism: Habermas and Foucault Beatrice Hanssen; 12. The very idea of critical social science Stephen White; 13. A social pathology of reason: on the intellectual legacy of Critical Theory Axel Honneth.

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