DemCP colloquium - TITUS STAHL (University of Groningen): "Ideals without Ideal Theory. On the Foundations of Radical Social Critique"
|When:||We 13-10-2021 16:00 - 18:00|
|Where:||Collaboratory A, Harmonie Building|
Research colloquium of the Centre for the Study of Democratic Cultures and Politics
Titus Stahl, University of Groningen, Ideals without Ideal Theory. On the Foundations of Radical Social Critique
(Co-sponsored by the Groningen School of Critical Theory)
Historically and presently, many political theorists have argued that social critique needs to be oriented by a conception of what an ideally just or free society would look like. In the tradition of critical theory, this is often met with skepticism: We cannot conceptualize what such a society would be like, it is argued, since we our imaginative capacities are distorted, we lack the proper concepts, or because any such ideal will be ideologically distorted. In my paper, I review versions of this argument as they have been made by Adorno and Marx; against the negative conclusion that is widely endorsed in critical theory, I argue that conceptualizations of an ideal society are not only indispensable for a critical theory, and that they are a necessary component of the process in which people can become aware of social contradictions. I conclude there is no reason for critical theorists to reject the project of conceptualizing a free and just society.
About the speaker
Titus Stahl, PhD, is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Groningen. Among many other works, he is the author of, most recently, Immanent Critique (2021) and various works on the history of Frankfurt School critical theory, analytical theories of power, ideology and oppression and the philosophy of hope.