Historical Materialism , volume 13:4 (79–120) © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2005 Also available online – www.brill.nl 1 Finlayson 2003; Cook 2003. Fotini Vaki Adorno contra Habermas: The Claims of Critical Theory as Immanent Critique The present paper was to a major extent stimulated by the genuinely fruitful debate between Deborah Cook and Gordon Finlayson in Historical Materialism . 1 The debate was about whether it is Habermas’s or Adorno’s version of the theory of modernity that can make the stronger claim as a critical theory of society. More specifically, the crucial question at issue is whether it is Habermas’s theory of modernity in terms of the rationalisation of the lifeworld, or Adorno’s appropriation and reformulation of the Hegelian concept of determinate negation (which constitutes the core of his Negative Dialectics ) that can grasp society from the viewpoint of its possible transformation, through a historically specific theory of social constitution. Arguing that Habermas already applauds the realisation of reason in contemporary society in his work, Between Facts and Norms , legitimating thereby the existent state of affairs and rendering social criticism superfluous, Deborah Cook turns to the Adornian arsenal of dialectical concepts such as contradiction HIMA 13,4_323_f3_79-120III
Historical Materialism – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2005
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