Critical Theory and/as Political Philosophy

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The purpose of this chapter is to problematise the long-standing suspicions of classical and contemporary Political Philosophy by Critical Theorists, so that one may question the boundaries that are often erected within Critical Theory in relation to Political Philosophy, and thereby encourage Critical Theorists to engage more substantially with the latter. In the first section, I summarise the defining features of the research programme that the name of Critical Theory designates. I summarise the key features of the Critical Theory project to then highlight, in the second section, the different ways in which political dimensions are entailed in it. I distinguish a number of senses of politics that Critical Theory takes an interest in, as a direct result of its project. In the third section, I briefly recall the methodological, conceptual and political reasons explaining why, throughout the generations, Critical Theorists have been suspicious of classical and contemporary Political Philosophy. In order to justify these claims and the call for greater cooperation between the traditions, I highlight, in the fourth section of this chapter, a number of areas in which work in Critical Theory has shown itself to be relatively under-determined on political issues. In the final section, I provide some suggestions for how contemporary Critical Theory might address some of its deficits in the treatment of political questions, by engaging with authors situated outside the tradition.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHegel and the Frankfurt School
Subtitle of host publicationtraditions in dialogue
EditorsPaul Giladi
Place of PublicationNew York ; London
PublisherRoutledge, Taylor and Francis Group
Number of pages30
ISBN (Electronic)9781315105857
ISBN (Print)9781138095007
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Publication series

NameRoutledge Studies in Nineteenth-Century Philosophy


  • Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich, 1770-1831
  • Critical Theory
  • political theory
  • political philosophy


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