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date: 20 May 2022

p. 514. Enlightened illusionslocked

p. 514. Enlightened illusionslocked

  • Stephen Eric Bronner


‘Enlightened doctrines’ examines Horkheimer and Adorno's Dialectic of Enlightenment. The work shows how scientific (or instrumental) rationality expels freedom from historical process and enables reification to permeate society. The work connects the growth of instrumental rationality with a totally administered society, and calls for resistance against it. Scientific reason was originally intended to destroy superstitions, but it turned on all non-scientific precepts. This perversion of autonomy has been blamed for the rise of anti–Semitism and fascism. However, these phenomena were due to the conflict of real organizations, and to ignore that is to engage in the very reification processes that the Frankfurt School sought to combat.

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