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Encyclopedia > Critical philosophy

Attributed to Immanuel Kant, the critical philosophy movement sees the primary task of philosophy as criticism rather than justification of knowledge; criticism, for Kant, meant judging as to the possibilities of knowledge before advancing to knowledge itself (from the Greek kritike (techne), or "art of judgment"). The initial, and perhaps even sole task of philosophers, according to this view, is not to establish and demonstrate theories about reality, but rather to subject all theories--including those about philosophy itself--to critical review, and measure their validity by how well they withstand criticism. Immanuel Kant (22 April 1724 – 12 February 1804), was a German philosopher from Königsberg in East Prussia (now Kaliningrad, Russia). ... The philosopher Socrates about to take poison hemlock as ordered by the court. ... A critic (derived from the ancient Greek word krites meaning a judge) is a person who offers a value judgement or an interpretation. ...


"Critical philosophy" is also used as just another name for Kant's philosophy itself. Kant said that philosophy's proper enquiry is not about what is out there in reality, but rather about the character and foundations of experience itself. We must first judge how human reason works, and within what limits, so that we can afterwards correctly apply it to sense experience and determine whether it can be applied at all to metaphysical objects.


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Illuminations: Kellner (5249 words)
Critical theory from the 1930s through the 1960s was arguably on the cutting edge of social theory.[1] The critical theorists were among the first to analyze the new configurations of state and economy in the social formations of state capitalism.
Critical theory remains of intense interest for the present conjuncture and provides crucial resources for a renewal of critical social theory and democratic politics in the current age precisely because, like the 1930s, our age is undergoing vast transformations, some of which are promising and some of which are threatening.
Their critical questioning of Marxism was induced in part by historical conditions such as the demise of the labor movement, the spread of fascism and war, and oppressive developments in the Soviet Union which made it difficult to envisage critical theory as part of a revolutionary movement, or to unproblematically call for socialist revolution.
Critical theory (Frankfurt School) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (634 words)
In literature and literary criticism and cultural studies, by contrast, "critical theory" means something quite different, namely theory used in criticism.
The original critical social theorists were Marxists, and there is some evidence that in their choice of the phrase "critical theory of society" they were in part influenced by its sounding less politically controversial than "Marxism".
First, they were explicitly linking up with the critical philosophy of Immanuel Kant, where the term critique meant philosophical reflection on the limits of claims made for certain kinds of knowledge and a direct connection between such critique and the emphasis on moral autonomy.
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