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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 appear like and the way top to accomplish it. Exploring the premises shared through either serious theorists, in addition to their profound disagreements approximately social stipulations this day, this ebook defends Adorno opposed to Habermas' influential criticisms of his account of Western society and clients for reaching moderate stipulations of human lifestyles. The ebook starts with an summary of those serious theories of Western society. either Adorno and Habermas persist with Georg Lukacs once they argue that domination is composed within the reifying extension of a calculating, rationalizing kind of suggestion to all components of human lifestyles. Their perspectives approximately reification are mentioned within the moment bankruptcy. In bankruptcy 3 the writer explores their conflicting debts of the ancient emergence and improvement of the kind of rationality now widely used within the West. considering Adorno and Habermas declare to have a severe buy on reified social existence, the severe leverage in their theories is classified 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 constructing this kind of society. Adorno, Habermas and the hunt for a Rational Society could be crucial studying for college students and researchers of serious concept, political conception and the paintings of Adorno and Habermas.

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Extra resources for Adorno, Habermas and the Search for a Rational Society (Routledge Studies in Social and Political Thought)

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Habermas’ discussion of colonization is fragmentary and incomplete. For example, in his analysis of juridification – the only example of colonization he examines at any length – Habermas fails to consider in what precise respects the symbolic reproduction of social integration is distorted when communicative contexts of action are legally supplemented through “the superimposition of legal norms” (TCA II, 369). Towards the end of Volume II of The Theory of Communicative Action, he merely states without argument that colonization distorts the linguistically generated contributions of social integration to personality and culture, resulting in alienation and the unsettling of collective identities, and a corresponding diminution in social solidarity among lifeworld members (TCA II, 386).

First, a state capitalist society not only controls the economy, which it presses into service for its own ends; it also commandeers the media, using them for propagandistic purposes. Adorno distinguished the state-controlled media under Hitler’s regime from media in other Western countries where the culture industry had become an industrial sector in its own right. Owing in part to their more complete control over radio and film, the Nazis simply fostered compliance with the status quo more effectively.

The welfare state was designed to mitigate “the external effects of a production process based on wage labor” (TCA II, 362). Furthermore, while Adorno and Habermas believe that the welfare state serves primarily to contain, or to “pacify,” class conflict, they both recognize that, for all the benefits gained by the introduction of social welfare policies and measures, a punishing price has been exacted. Adorno alludes only briefly to the problems experienced by clients of the welfare state, but his remarks about our abject dependency on state bureaucracies and administration in exchange for freedom from economic insecurity foreshadow some of Habermas’ own concerns.

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