Misrecognition and moral injury: reflections on Honneth and Bernstein

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The relationship between critical theory and psychoanalysis has a long and interesting history. The first generation of Frankfurt School philosophers, particularly figures such as Theodor Adorno and Herbert Marcuse, embraced psychoanalysis in order to explain why, given seemingly propitious historical circumstances (the Russian revolution, the socialist struggles of the 1920s, and the stock market crash of 1929), 'the masses' opted for fascism rather than communism during the 1930s. Following the rise of Nazism and the horrors of Auschwitz, Freudian psychoanalytic theory once again proved important, as evinced in Adorno's account of the 'authoritarian personality' and Adorno and Horkheimer's earlier analysis of Nazism and anti-Semitism in the "Dialectic of Enlightenment". Marcuse's famous critique of the domination effects of 'repressive desublimation' is another example of the productive appropriation of psychoanalytic theory as a key element of the critical theory of modernity.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTrauma, history, philosophy (with feature essays by Agnes Heller and György Markus)
EditorsMatthew Sharpe, Murray Noonan, Jason Freddi
Place of PublicationNewcastle, UK
PublisherCambridge Scholars Publishing
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)9781847183781
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • Trauma, history, philosophy, politics, psychoanalysis

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