Chapter 1 The Early Frankfurt School Critique of Capitalism: Critical Theory between Pollock's “State Capitalism” and the Critique of Instrumental Reason

The Vitality Of Critical Theory

ISBN: 978-0-85724-797-1, eISBN: 978-0-85724-798-8

ISSN: 0278-1204

Publication date: 20 May 2011

Abstract

Despite profound differences, both the German Historical School and the critical theory of the Frankfurt School have in common a theoretical and cultural heritage in Central European traditions of social thought and philosophy. Although both schools often are perceived as quintessentially German traditions of economic and social research, their methodological presuppositions and critical intent diverge strongly. Since the objective of the Frankfurt School was to carry the theoretical critique initiated by Marx into the twentieth century, and since its members did so on a highly abstract level of theoretical criticism, the suggestion may be surprising that in terms of their respective research agendas, there was a common denominator between the German Historical School and the Frankfurt School critical theory. To be sure, as will become apparent, the common ground was rather tenuous and indirect. We must ask, then: in what respects did their theoretical and analytical foundations and orientations overlap? How did the German Historical School, as a nineteenth-century tradition of economic thinking, influence the development of the Frankfurt School?

Citation

Dahms, H.F. (2011), "Chapter 1 The Early Frankfurt School Critique of Capitalism: Critical Theory between Pollock's “State Capitalism” and the Critique of Instrumental Reason", Dahms, H.F. (Ed.) The Vitality Of Critical Theory (Current Perspectives in Social Theory, Vol. 28), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 3-44. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0278-1204(2011)0000028005

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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