WHAT IS CRITICAL THEORY? Max Horkheimer and the Makings of the Frankfurt School TraditionJournal: MABINI REVIEW (Vol.2, No. 1)
Publication Date: 2013-12-19
Authors : Paolo A. Bolaños;
Page : 1-19
Keywords : Critical Theory; Frankfurt School; Horkheimer;
This paper is a modest attempt to answer the question “What is Critical Theory?” I recognize the importance and difficulty of this task. Offering an adequate, yet far from definitive, answer to the question will set the tone for an adequate understanding of Critical Theory. Laying down some guideposts is important for this task, especially if Critical Theory is still at its initial stages of appropriation in the Philippines. Answering the question is difficult because Critical Theory has itself evolved into a cacophony of various voices, making the task of laying down basic tenets—common conceptual trajectories and political goals—quite a challenge. But since the question— What is Critical Theory?—itself presupposes a context, the task of my paper is basically the attempt to contextualize a particular form of engagement with social reality. That is what Critical Theory is basically—an engagement with social reality. It is nevertheless only one among the many ways we engage with social reality—and so the more precise question we should be asking is: what kind of engagement with social reality is Critical Theory?
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