Universität Wien FIND

180075 VO Critical Theory and Philosophical Form (2019S)

3.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 18 - Philosophie

Registration/Deregistration

Details

Language: English

Examination dates

Lecturers

Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Monday 18.03. 16:45 - 18:15 Hörsaal 3 Tiefparterre Hauptgebäude Stiege 5 Hof 3
Monday 18.03. 18:30 - 20:00 Hörsaal 50 Hauptgebäude, 2.Stock, Stiege 8
Monday 01.04. 16:45 - 18:15 Hörsaal 3 Tiefparterre Hauptgebäude Stiege 5 Hof 3
Monday 01.04. 18:30 - 20:00 Hörsaal 50 Hauptgebäude, 2.Stock, Stiege 8
Monday 29.04. 16:45 - 18:15 Hörsaal 3 Tiefparterre Hauptgebäude Stiege 5 Hof 3
Monday 29.04. 18:30 - 20:00 Hörsaal 50 Hauptgebäude, 2.Stock, Stiege 8
Monday 13.05. 16:45 - 18:15 Hörsaal 3 Tiefparterre Hauptgebäude Stiege 5 Hof 3
Monday 13.05. 18:30 - 20:00 Hörsaal 50 Hauptgebäude, 2.Stock, Stiege 8
Monday 27.05. 16:45 - 18:15 Hörsaal 3 Tiefparterre Hauptgebäude Stiege 5 Hof 3
Monday 27.05. 18:30 - 20:00 Hörsaal 50 Hauptgebäude, 2.Stock, Stiege 8
Monday 17.06. 16:45 - 18:15 Hörsaal 3 Tiefparterre Hauptgebäude Stiege 5 Hof 3
Monday 17.06. 18:30 - 20:00 Hörsaal 50 Hauptgebäude, 2.Stock, Stiege 8
Monday 24.06. 18:30 - 20:00 Hörsaal 50 Hauptgebäude, 2.Stock, Stiege 8

Information

Aims, contents and method of the course

Amidst the ascendent forms of ontology, phenomenology, vitalism and nominalism prevalent in early 20th century philosophy, the writers today associated with the Frankfurt School drew on the traditions of Marxism, psychoanalysis and German Idealism to develop a critical theory of society that would continue the work of a “militant Enlightenment” (Adorno). By combining the resources of the social and human sciences, the Frankfurt School challenged traditional theories of knowledge, as well as the social, historical and ideological content of philosophy’s own concepts, in its search for a form of philosophy that would aid in the transformation of contemporary society. In this sense, Frankfurt School critical theory’s investigation into the limits of philosophical inquiry is also an experiment in philosophical form.

The course will begin with an introduction to critical theory that locates the source of its difference from traditional theory, placing it within the longer history of reflections upon philosophical form. The course will then survey some of critical theory’s most significant experiments in philosophical form in order to better understand how contemporary society affects both the form and the content of contemporary philosophy. In addition to a study of critical theory’s more avant-gardist literary and philosophical experiments (i.e. Walter Benjamin’s Denkbilder and the collage of his Arcades Project, Horkheimer and Adorno’s experiments in aphorism, essay and fragment) the course will also examine their more systematic and social-scientific works (Aesthetic Theory, Negative Dialectics, Dialectic of Enlightenment, The Authoritarian Personality, Group Experiment) in order to explore critical theory’s radical interventions into more traditional scientific forms.

While those interested in critical theory, contemporary philosophy, as well as recent interpretations of Marx, psychoanalysis and Hegel, should find the course content particularly relevant, all are nevertheless welcome and encouraged to participate.

Assessment and permitted materials

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

In order to receive a grade, students will need to take an examination at the end of the course. The examination will consist of open-ended essay questions about some of the course's most general problems.

Examination topics

Reading list

For the first lecture (additional readings to be updated on Moodle):
• (1924) Carl Grünberg, “Carl Grunberg's Inaugural Address On the Opening of the Institute of Social Research At the University of Frankfurt /Main 22 June 1924,” trans. Michael Bodexnann, Critical Sociology, Volume 13, Issue 3, 1986, pgs. 4-9.
• (1931) Theodor W. Adorno, “The Actuality of Philosophy”
• (1931) Max Horkheimer, “The Present Situation of Social Philosophy and the Tasks of an Institute for Social Research”
• (1937) Max Horkheimer, “Traditional and Critical Theory”
• (1937) Herbert Marcuse, “Philosophy and Critical Theory”
• (1938) Walter Benjamin, “A German Institute for Independent Research,” V3, 307-316.

Association in the course directory

Last modified: Th 05.09.2019 12:27