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The Work Of Negativity A Psychoanalytical Revision Of The Theory Of Recognition

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Chapter Summary

This chapter sketches the reasons for critical theory's dependence upon psychoanalysis. In contrast to the objection of revisionism made by the older representatives of the Frankfurt School, the chapter discusses the necessity of keeping an open attitude towards object-relations theory, and considers whether the price for this paradigm shift is too high. The chapter then gives the reasons in favour of taking object-relations theory as the version of psychoanalysis. It introduces the basic ideas of object-relations theory and cites the reasons that make it especially suited today for an interdisciplinary coupling with a critical theory of society. Finally, the chapter turns briefly to the question of whether and to what extent there is a danger for critical theory, in this linking with object-relations theory, that we surrender the psychoanalytical 'sting' of negativity - that, at least, is how Adorno would have seen the matter.

Keywords: critical theory of society; Frankfurt School; negativity; object-relations theory; psychoanalysis



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