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The Frankfurt school's critical theory: From neo-marxism to 'post-marxism'

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Chapter Summary

The Institute of Social Research was refounded by Horkheimer in 1949 on his return from exile, it was subsequently directed by Adorno until his death in 1969 and then by one of his pupils, Ludwig von Friedeburg. In his inaugural lecture of 1931, Horkheimer had set out a way of organising scientific work that replaced the Marxist primacy of political economy by a 'social philosophy. Once 'neo- Marxist', the Frankfurt school's critical theory was in the process of becoming 'post-Marxist'. In the context of a renewed interest in Marxism and rediscovery of the original critical theory, Alfred Schmidt played a significant role. He was one of the critical mediators of the reception of French structuralism. Habermas is the only person to have completed a quasi-systematic oeuvre, which, measured in the light of the Hegelian system.

Keywords: critical theory; Frankfurt school; Habermas effect; Horkheimer; Neo-Marxism



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