By Deborah Cook
Theodor W. Adorno and Jnrgen Habermas either champion the objective of a rational society. although, they fluctuate considerably approximately what this society may still seem like and the way most sensible to accomplish it. Exploring the premises shared by means of either severe theorists, besides their profound disagreements approximately social stipulations this present day, this ebook defends Adorno opposed to Habermas' influential criticisms of his account of Western society and clients for reaching moderate stipulations of human existence. The publication starts with an summary of those serious theories of Western society. either Adorno and Habermas stick to Georg Lukacs once they argue that domination is composed within the reifying extension of a calculating, rationalizing type of notion to all components of human lifestyles. Their perspectives approximately reification are mentioned within the moment bankruptcy. In bankruptcy 3 the writer explores their conflicting money owed of the historic emergence and improvement of the kind of rationality now common within the West. on account that Adorno and Habermas declare to have a severe buy on reified social lifestyles, the severe leverage in their theories is classed in bankruptcy 4. the ultimate bankruptcy offers with their opposing perspectives approximately what a rational society might seem like, in addition to their claims concerning the customers for developing the sort of society. Adorno, Habermas and the hunt for a Rational Society should be crucial studying for college students and researchers of serious idea, political thought and the paintings of Adorno and Habermas.
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Additional info for Adorno, Habermas and the Search for a Rational Society (Routledge Studies in Social and Political Thought)
Dominated by the exchange principle, individual consumers and producers have been reduced to mere “agents and bearers of exchange value” (S, 148–9). But aside from its effects on production and consumption – activities that take up by far the larger part of human life – the exchange principle has extended its inﬂuence to other areas of life, including interpersonal relationships. 43 The regressive narcissistic traits prevalent today have only exacerbated this social isolation. Critical of revisionist psychologists because they failed to identify the socio-economic roots of narcissism, Adorno argued that the individual’s subordination to the exchange principle also helps to account for the ego weakness characteristic of narcissistic disorders.
Within the subsystems, then, the two forms of rationality work in tandem. The subsystems’ Invisible Hand ensures that the instrumental action of their agents works to the beneﬁt of the material reproduction of society as a whole. However, despite its positive contribution to the material reproduction of society, when strategic action that has been instrumentalized by the subsystems insinuates itself into the lifeworld’s communicative infrastructure, reproductive processes within the lifeworld are distorted and reiﬁed.
69 His conception of the lifeworld is profoundly affected by this denial. Once again, he not only fails to specify what material reproductive processes the lifeworld actually carries out, he also thoroughly linguistiﬁes the lifeworld by deﬁning it as the discursively generated and transmitted background knowledge which communicative action presupposes and which it reproduces. Unlike Husserl’s later concept, Habermas’ conception of the lifeworld seems designed from the outset to exclude activities of material reproduction.
Adorno, Habermas and the Search for a Rational Society (Routledge Studies in Social and Political Thought) by Deborah Cook