The authors trace the essential aspects of the evolution of critical theory from its classics Max Horkheimer and Theodor W. Adorno to its leading second- and third generation propagators Jurgen Habermas and Axel Honneth. They defend the thesis about the "meandering", dialectical character of this evolution. In their polemic with Habermas, both Honneth and Gernot Boehme (who is close to critical theory) refer to the classics, and specially their mimesis concept. The author of the first part of this book argues in favour of this interpretative approach. The author of the second part adds a confrontation between critical theory, Michel Foucault's philosophy of power and Arnold Gehlen's philosophical anthropology.
Stanislaw Czerniak is Professor at the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences. He has authored numerous publications on philosophical anthropology and contemporary German philosophy. Rafal Michalski is Assistant Professor at the Chair of Philosophical Anthropology of the Institute of Philosophy at Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun. His main research fields are contemporary German philosophy and philosophical anthropology.
Contents: Critical theory - Philosophical anthropology - Social philosophy - Philosophy of religion - Communicative action - Postsecular society - Longing for the totally other - Totally administered society - Alienation - Mimesis - Dialectic of enlightenment - Power - The struggle for recognition.