Frankfurt School

The Frankfurt School (German: Frankfurter Schule) refers to a school of neo-Marxist interdisciplinary social theory, associated in part with the Institute for Social Research at the University of Frankfurt am Main. The school initially consisted of dissident Marxists who believed that some of Marx's followers had come to parrot a narrow selection of Marx's ideas, usually in defense of orthodox Communist parties. Meanwhile, many of these theorists believed that traditional Marxist theory could not adequately explain the turbulent and unexpected development of capitalist societies in the twentieth century. Critical of both capitalism and Soviet socialism, their writings pointed to the possibility of an alternative path to social development.

Although sometimes only loosely affiliated, Frankfurt School theorists spoke with a common paradigm in mind, thus sharing the same assumptions and being preoccupied with similar questions. In order to fill in the perceived omissions of traditional Marxism, they sought to draw answers from other schools of thought, hence using the insights of antipositivist sociology, psychoanalysis, existential philosophy, and other disciplines. The school's main figures sought to learn from and synthesize the works of such varied thinkers as Kant, Hegel, Marx, Freud, Weber and Lukács.

Following Marx, they were concerned by the conditions which allowed for social change and the establishment of rational institutions. Their emphasis on the "critical" component of theory was derived significantly from their attempt to overcome the limits of positivism, materialism and determinism by returning to Kant's critical philosophy and its successors in German idealism, principally Hegel's philosophy, with its emphasis on dialectic and contradiction as inherent properties of reality.

Since the 1960s, Frankfurt School critical theory has increasingly been guided by Jürgen Habermas' work on communicative reason, linguistic intersubjectivity and what Habermas calls "the philosophical discourse of modernity". More recently, critical theorists such as Nikolas Kompridis have voiced opposition to Habermas, claiming that he has undermined the aspirations for social change which originally gave purpose to critical theory's various projects—for example the problem of what reason should mean, the analysis and enlargement of "conditions of possibility" for social emancipation, and the critique of modern capitalism.

Other articles related to "frankfurt school, school":

Martin Jay
... with other academic and intellectual activities, such as the critical theory of the Frankfurt School, other figures and methods in continental social theory ... The Dialectical Imagination, which covers the history of the Frankfurt School from 1923-1950 ... he established a correspondence and friendship with many of the members of the Frankfurt School ...
Ljubljana School Of Psychoanalysis - Historical Background
... The school was founded in the late 1970s by young Slovenian followers of the theories of the French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan, in what was then the Socialist Federal Republic ... Founding members of the school included Slavoj Žižek, Mladen Dolar and Rastko Močnik ... The school rose to prominence in the international academic environment in the 1990s ...
Cultural Marxism - Critiques
... conservatives have argued that "Cultural Marxists" and the Frankfurt School helped spark the counterculture social movements of the 1960s as part of a ... Buchanan has asserted that the Frankfurt School commandeered the American mass media, and used this cartel to infect the minds of Americans ... Is the critical observation about the Frankfurt School therefore correct, that it exemplifies 'Cultural Bolshevism,' which pushes Marxist-Leninist revolution under a ...
Cultural Studies - Approaches
... It absorbed some of the ideas of the Frankfurt School critique of the "culture industry" (i.e ... undeveloped, probably due to the continued influence of the Frankfurt School, which has developed a body of writing on such topics as mass culture, modern art and music ... This strain of thinking has some influence from the Frankfurt School, but especially from the structuralist Marxism of Louis Althusser and others ...
Criticism of Frankfurt School Theorists - Economic and Media Critiques
... and determinist view of popular culture deployed within the Frankfurt School theories of capitalist culture, which seemed to preclude any prefigurative role for social ... Recent criticism of the Frankfurt School by the libertarian CATO Institute focused on the claim that culture has grown more sophisticated and diverse ...

Famous quotes containing the word school:

    We’ll set thee to school to an ant, to teach thee there’s no laboring i’ the winter.
    William Shakespeare (1564–1616)