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Critical Theory

Current State and Future Prospects

Edited by Peter-Uwe Hohendahl and Jaimey Fisher

208 pages, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-57181-235-3 $120.00/£85.00 Hb Published (June 2001)

ISBN  978-1-57181-236-0 $29.95/£21.00 Pb Published (January 2002)

eISBN 978-1-78238-856-2 eBook


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The retirement of the distinguished philosopher Jürgen Habermas from his chair at the University of Frankfurt signalled an important caesura in the history of Critical Theory: the transition from the Habermasian project, to different forms of inquiry in the work of the next generation. This change-over happens at a time when it has become clear that Habermas's systematic exploration of communicative rationality has reached the point where both its achievements and its limitations had become evident. The essays collected in this volume address the problems connected with this transition, partly by returning to the insights of the first generation (Adorno and Benjamin), partly by focusing on questions raised by Habermas's work. Whatever the difference in the authors' positions, this collection gains its unity through their common interest in the significance and value of Critical Theory today and in its future as a philosophical project.

Peter Uwe Hohendahl is Schurman Professor of German and Comparative Literature at Cornell University and Director of the Institute for German Cultural Studies.

Jaimey Fisher is an Assistant Professor of German at Tulane University.

Subject: General Cultural Studies
Area: Germany



Contents

Preface

Section I: Introduction

Chapter 1. From the Eclipse of Reason to Communicative Rationality and Beyond
Peter Uwe Hohendahl

Section II: Adorno and Benjamin: Reemerging Questions of Epistemology, History, and Aesthetics

Chapter 2. Is Experience Still in Crisis? Reflections on a Frankfurt School Lament
Martin Jay

Chapter 3. Mega Melancholia: Adorno’s Minima Moralia
Eva Geulen

Chapter 4. Stumbling Into Modernity: Body and Soma in Adorno
Andrew Hewitt

Chapter 5. Aesthetic Politics Today: Walter Benjamin and Post-Fordist Culture
Lutz Koepnick

Section III: In the Wake of Jürgen Habermas: Communicative Reason, Morality, and History

Chapter 6. Critique and Self-Reflection: The Problematization of Morality
Christoph Menke

Chapter 7. Dialogical Rationality and the Critique of Absolute Autonomy
Brian Jacobs

Chapter 8. Civil Society in the Information Age: Beyond the Public Sphere
Jodi Dean

Chapter 9. Between Rights and Hospitality: Cosmopolitan Democracy, Nation, and Cultural Identity
Max Pensky

Chapter 10. A Question of Grounding: Reconstruction and Strict Reflexion in Habermas and Apel
Peter Dews

Section IV: A Contemporary Challenge to Critical Theory: Systems Theory

Chapter 11. Critical Theory and Systems Theory
Wolfram Malte Fues

Chapter 12. Observations on Observations: Some Remarks on Adorno’s Aesthetic Theory
Harro Müller

Section V: Epilogue

Chapter 13. Normativity and its Limits: Toward a Residual Ethics in Critical Theory
Jaimey Fisher

Bibliography
Index

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