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p. 1109. Critical Theorylocked

  • Andrew Bowie

Abstract

Taking as an example the economic crash of 2008–9, ‘Critical Theory’ asks how individual agents or groups of agents could regard their actions as justifiable and rational, while the actual collective results of their actions were catastrophic. The issue of how capitalism affects the very nature of human thought is examined and the key terms of Critical Theory are explained. The fact that problems about the reliability of cognition only become widely linked to emerging questions concerning self-consciousness in the seventeenth century makes it clear, as the critical theorists will argue, that history and philosophy cannot be neatly separated. The work of Theodor W. Adorno, Georg Lukács, and Jürgen Habermas is examined.

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