64 minutes | May 24, 2021

Robin Celikates, "Critique as Social Practice: Critical Theory and Social Self-Understanding" (Rowman and Littlefield, 2018)

Today I spoke with Robin Celikates about his book Critique as Social Practice: Critical Theory and Social Self-Understanding (Rowman and Littlefield, 2018).

Can critical theory diagnose ideological delusion and false consciousness from above, or does it have to follow the practices of critique ordinary agents engage in? This book argues that we have to move beyond this dichotomy, which has led to a theoretical impasse. Whilst ordinary agents engage in complex forms of everyday critique, it must remain the task of critical theory to provide analysis and critique of social conditions that obstruct the development of reflexive capacities and of their realization in corresponding practices of critique. Only an approach that is at the same time non-paternalistic, pragmatist, and dialogical as well as critical will be able to realize the emancipatory potential of the Frankfurt School tradition of critical theory in radically changing social circumstances. 

Kai Wortman is a PhD candidate at the Institute of Education, University of Tübingen, interested in philosophy of education.

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