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From the Publisher In this book, Horkheimer surveys and demonstrates the gradual ascendancy of Reason in Western philosophy, its eventual total application. ECLIPSE OF REASON. By MAX HORKHEIMER. New York, Ox- ford University Press, PP. I This book is a remarkably penetrating study of the status. In this book, Horkheimer surveys and demonstrates the gradual ascendancy of Reason in Western philosophy, its eventual total application to all spheres of life, .

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Displaying the contradictions inherent in capitalist society, and fixing on possibilities for emancipatory change, does not involve the scientific subsumption of facts within a logically ordered conceptual system. Twark East Carolina University. Horkheimer’s treatise on the instrumentalization, the formalization, of reason is as prescient and disturbing a piece of critical theory as I think one is likely to find in our current moment. Objective reason sees facts as leading to ethical ends, is determining ought.

Is That Mic Off? Seabury Press,pp.

However, he doesn’t expand too much on what objective reason looks like, so it reads a bit like a rant. In The Enlightenment it positioned itself — though not initially explicitly — as a challenger to the crown of religion as the leading source of cultural meaning-making.

There is no real sclipse unity to these writings Habermasp. Yet there is a universal feeling of fear and disillusionment.

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This work sets out a distinction between objective and subjective, or instrumental, reason and then examines the consequences of the latter without the former. Your display name should be at least 2 characters long.

This book fascinated and baffled me—I really wish any of my classes in college had discussed it, though I suppose it is outside the purview of introductory sociology, which is what a sociology B. Primary Sources References in the text above are to the English translations, where available.


Already in the investigation and determination of facts, and even more in the verification of theories, a role is played by the direction of attention, the refinement of methods, the categorical structure of the subject matter—in short, by human activity corresponding to the given social period. But truth is no longer eclipsw as an end in itself; rather functionality has become the dominating ideal of society.


But this realism has to be qualified; materialism is distinguished from idealism through the appeal to an objective reality outside of our thinking, but it is further separated from metaphysical realism by its recognition that our knowing is historically bounded.

But it’s a short and not very difficult read. Something is rational if it gets me what I want, even eflipse what I want is immoral or against my actual interests. As a philosopher he is best known especially in the Anglophone worldfor his work during the s, including Dialectic of Enlightenmentwhich was co-authored with Theodor Adorno. Objective reason conceives of a highly idealized, ordered, hierarchical universe that is static and immutable; progress cannot occur in this worldview.

Or, get it for Kobo Super Points! Thus Max was taken out of school in to work in the family business, where he eventually became a junior manager. Hobbies become rationalized as functional because they keep people in good spirits i.

Suffering and the Desire for Happiness 2.

Eclipse of Reason | Digifesto

Again, the fact that the sciences do not recognize their presence in a broader social framework is emphasized. This description of subjective reason thus displays one way in which reason works against itself, and so falls into irrationality. Horkheimer was the director of the Institute and Professor of Social Philosophy at the University of Frankfurt from —, and again from — The changes of direction, the advances and retrogressions of this effort, reflect the development of the definition of philosophy.

The question of Eclipse of Reason is how in the post-enlightenment west could people be so blind to their interests under capitalism and rationalize the irrational brutality oc fascism?

We also lose our ability to perceive totality or truth, because concepts and facts become over-classified and made easily palatable rather than meaningful. Was going to give this four stars but the last essay is good. Rather than use reason as a tool of domination, it must return to its function as a path towards discovering truth. Thus formalistic reason becomes a species instrumental reason.


This page was last edited on 5 Octoberat Alternative Legacies of Cultural CritiqueAlbany: Here he defines individuality in historical consciousness, not just spatial temporal and sensual existence. A critical theory which exists in horkheiemr with critical social movements capable of questioning both the means and ends of the social reality as vital forces toward heading off the revolts of nature which allow the hodkheimer to reasoh him or herself into the very refinement of his or her domination.

On the other hand, he shows how this universality of rationality has gradually ….

Max Horkheimer – – New York: Calling on Weberian terminology, Horkheimer discusses how this lead to the world becoming increasingly demystified, the magic of the world was all being rationalised and explained away. The critiques of science and positivism make the same basic points. Horkheimer rejects this kind of metaphysical view because it seeks to cover over the reality of human suffering.

The regime used brutal technological efficiency to control and exterminate millions of people. Furthermore, they highlight the ways in which positivist philosophies of material and social production rob the culture at large of its ability to effectively self-critique. Marxism was considered a scientific theory in the level of Darwin’s by its followers, with the triumph of socialism an inevitable result of the laws reaon nature. That this does not occur, however, is the inadequacy of the bourgeois economic form: And importantly in this reasonn it is not only the inner desires that are subjugated; others people are subjugated in the horkhwimer of subjugating pleasure to organization.

Horkjeimer course, Kant and so many who come after try to save this, but for Horkheimer, the damage has been done. How do you rate a theoretical work?