Full Text

Critical theory

Stephen Eric Bronner


Extract

Critical theory as a philosophical tendency was formed within German culture, but the term was actually coined in the United States. It was in the Institute for Social Research, founded in 1923 in Frankfurt, that the “critical” project took shape. The first director of the institute, Carl Grunberg, and many of its early members – like Henryk Grossman, Fritz Sternberg, and Felix Weill – were primarily interested in the study of political economy, imperialism, and the history of the socialist labor movement. Max Horkheimer, who took over as the new director in 1930, changed this orientation. Seminars of an interdisciplinary sort were organized among the members of his “inner circle” and, ultimately, they would produce the major works of “critical theory” normally associated with the “Frankfurt School” after the institute moved to Columbia University in 1934 following the Nazi seizure of power. That circle was comprised of Leo Lowenthal – an expert in literary criticism – who joined the institute in 1926; and Theodor W. Adorno – who was considered valuable for his knowledge of music – and who began his collaboration with the institute in 1928, but only became an official member ten years later. Then there was Erich Fromm , a gifted psychologist, who started his nine-year collaboration in 1930; Herbert Marcuse , a philosopher and former student of Martin Heidegger, who joined ... log in or subscribe to read full text

Log In

You are not currently logged-in to Blackwell Reference Online

If your institution has a subscription, you can log in here:

 

     Forgotten your password?

Find out how to subscribe.

Your library does not have access to this title. Please contact your librarian to arrange access.


[ access key 0 : accessibility information including access key list ] [ access key 1 : home page ] [ access key 2 : skip navigation ] [ access key 6 : help ] [ access key 9 : contact us ] [ access key 0 : accessibility statement ]

Blackwell Publishing Home Page

Blackwell Reference Online ® is a Blackwell Publishing Inc. registered trademark
Technology partner: Semantico Ltd.

Blackwell Publishing and its licensors hold the copyright in all material held in Blackwell Reference Online. No material may be resold or published elsewhere without Blackwell Publishing's written consent, save as authorised by a licence with Blackwell Publishing or to the extent required by the applicable law.

Back to Top