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Graeme Kirkpatrick

Feenberg’s critical theory of technology is to a large extent constructed through a synthesis of concepts from several predecessor theories, each of them important to his work in different ways, and each a source of concepts that he modifies in order to incorporate them into his own syncretic framework. This chapter describes the overarching rationale of Feenberg’s intellectual project, with reference to some of these sources. It suggests that the result is a new system in which concepts take on altered significance and are made to do quite different work than

in Technical politics
Robert Fine and Philip Spencer

3 Antisemitism, critical theory and the ambivalences of Marxism Citizens, let us think of the basic principle of the International: Solidarity. Only when we have established this life-giving principle on a sound basis among the numerous workers of all countries will we attain the great final goal which we have set ourselves. (Karl Marx – a speech given following a congress of the First International, 8

in Antisemitism and the left
Open Access (free)
Andrew Feenberg’s critical theory of technology

This is the first monograph devoted to the work of one of the foremost contemporary advocates of contemporary critical theory, Andrew Feenberg. It focuses on Feenberg’s central concept, technical politics, and explores his suggestion that democratising technology design is key to a strategic understanding of the process of civilisational change. In this way, it presents Feenberg’s intervention as the necessary bridge between various species of critical constructivism and wider visions of the kind of change that are urgently needed to move human society onto a more sustainable footing. The book describes the development of Feenberg’s thought out of the tradition of Marx and Marcuse, and presents critical analyses of his main ideas: the theory of formal bias, technology’s ambivalence, progressive rationalisation, and the theory of primary and secondary instrumentalisation. Technical politics identifies a limitation of Feenberg’s work associated with his attachment to critique, as the opposite pole to a negative kind of rationality (instrumentalism). It concludes by offering a utopian corrective to the theory that can provide a fuller account of the process of willed technological transformation and of the author’s own idea of a technologically authorised socialism.

Open Access (free)
Andrew Bowie

in philosophy then and now. This revision will also require a different view of the origins and validity of many positions in contemporary literary theory and analytical philosophy. I have for this reason often given a substantial amount of exposition of little known arguments: without a serious engagement with these arguments some of the dead-ends of recent theory seem bound to recur. The story, of course, does not stop where I do. In a book published in 1997 I traced a route ‘From Romanticism to Critical Theory’ (Bowie 1997) which gives detailed accounts of the

in Aesthetics and subjectivity
Open Access (free)
Sovereignty and the politics of dead bodies
Editor: Finn Stepputat

This book looks at sovereignty as a particular form of power and politics. It shows that the fate of bodies in the transition from life to death can provide a key to understanding fundamental ways in which sovereignty is claimed and performed. The contributions analyse (post-)conflict as well as non-conflict contexts, which too often are studied in isolation from one another. Focusing on contemporary issues rather than the equally important historical dimensions, they all grapple with the questions of who governs the dead bodies, how, why and with what effects. The book analyses how dead bodies are placed and dealt with in spaces between competing, overlapping and nested sovereign orders, under normal as well as exceptional conditions. It looks at contributions that draw on psychoanalysis, critical theory, the structuralist-functionalist anthropology of burial rituals and recent ideas of agency and materiality. The book first explains the efforts of states to contain and separate out dead bodies in particular sites. It explores the ways in which such efforts of containment are negotiated and contested in struggles between different entities that claim the dead bodies. The book then shows how entities that claim sovereignty produce effects of sovereignty by challenging and transgressing the laws regarding the legitimate use of violence and how dead bodies should be treated with dignity.

Open Access (free)
Time and space
Saurabh Dube

. Such readings could problematize the very nature of the historical archive as well as initiate conversations with other orientations, including those of structural linguistics and critical theory. 1 No less salient were incipient acknowledgments of the innately political character of history writing. In this wider scenario, attending the history (honors) undergraduate program

in Subjects of modernity
Open Access (free)
What does race have to do with the Yugoslav region?
Catherine Baker

linking of symbolic geographies of Europeanness and modernity with race and whiteness shows that critical theories of global racial formations can combine with approaches to identity and nationhood in south-east Europe to create deeper understandings of the region's politics of belonging. Through naming such articulations as explicit not implicit, structural not coincidental and globally connected not regionally isolated, ideas about race and expressions of racism become recognisable as more than impossible-to-contextualise anomalies or ‘scattered experiences’ – and

in Race and the Yugoslav region
Open Access (free)
An introduction
Saurabh Dube

antihumanist perspectives. 16 Taken together, from the early 1980s, discussions and debates on Western representations of non-Western worlds, as part of the wider elaboration of critical theories of colonial discourse, led to the gradual emergence of the field (now even considered a discipline) of postcolonial studies, not solely in metropolitan academic arenas but gradually also in

in Subjects of modernity
Open Access (free)
Identities and incitements
Saurabh Dube

the one hand, strongly influenced by critical theory – especially the work of Michel Foucault and Jacques Derrida, but also the writings of philosophers and critics from Martin Heidegger to Edward Said – a key corpus has focused on formations and regimens of modern power. Such scholarship has especially tracked the discursive entailment and constitutive embedding of power in

in Subjects of modernity
Open Access (free)
Entanglements and ambiguities
Saurabh Dube

critical theory, among other orientations. Now colonial cultures, imperial evangelism, nations and nationalisms, and communities and their histories came to be critically examined as embodying authority as well as alterity, meaning as well as power. 77 The third ongoing stage builds upon these prior emphases of historical anthropology. At the same time, there is now a greater critical reflexivity regarding histories and

in Subjects of modernity