Dialectic of Enlightenment
ISBN: 0804736332
EAN13: 9780804736336
Language: English
Publication Date: Mar 1, 2002
Pages: 304
Dimensions: 0.8" H x 8.8" L x 5.9" W
Weight: 0.85 lbs.
Format: Paperback
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Book Overview

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Dialectic of Enlightenment is undoubtedly the most influential publication of the Frankfurt School of Critical Theory. Written during the Second World War and circulated privately, it appeared in a printed edition in Amsterdam in 1947. What we had set out to do, the authors write in the Preface, was nothing less than to explain why humanity, instead of entering a truly human state, is sinking into a new kind of barbarism.
Yet the work goes far beyond a mere critique of contemporary events. Historically remote developments, indeed, the birth of Western history and of subjectivity itself out of the struggle against natural forces, as represented in myths, are connected in a wide arch to the most threatening experiences of the present.
The book consists in five chapters, at first glance unconnected, together with a number of shorter notes. The various analyses concern such phenomena as the detachment of science from practical life, formalized morality, the manipulative nature of entertainment culture, and a paranoid behavioral structure, expressed in aggressive anti-Semitism, that marks the limits of enlightenment. The authors perceive a common element in these phenomena, the tendency toward self-destruction of the guiding criteria inherent in enlightenment thought from the beginning. Using Read More chevron_right

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