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Immanent Critique Of First Generation Critical Theory Critique Of Power (1) And Early Articles On Critical Theory

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on Axel Honneth's critical reconstructions of his intellectual precursors, the founders of the Frankfurt School. The critical perspective from which both Marx and contemporary readings of Marx were assessed was indeed directly influenced by Jürgen Habermas and was guided by the latter's emphasis on communication as an irreducible mechanism of social action. The first feature of a critical theory of society is that, by contrast with "traditional theory", it is self-reflexively aware that it is part of the social-historical context that it studies. The second and third features of a critical theory of society are tightly connected to the first. The self-reflexive characterisation by social theory of its place within a historical state of society gives it an insight into the as yet unrealised rational potential contained in that period. The chapter briefly outlines the criticisms levelled by Honneth at the founders of the Frankfurt School.

Keywords: Axel Honneth; First Generation Critical Theory; Frankfurt School; Jürgen Habermas; Marx; Marxist social theory



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