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N.2/2018 Dell'Uomo e dei Diritti

Contro l’ideologia del riconoscimento. Per una critica immanente della Teoria Critica

Gianpaolo Cherchi
Università San Raffaele Milano

Published in December, 2018

Against the ideology of recognition. An immanent critique of the Critical Theory

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The category of recognition has become central in the theoretical path of Frankfurter School. It has assumed a fundamental role within the lexicon of the Critical Theory, so much to define a new theoretical paradigm, whose order of discourse is characterized by the preponderance of the normative element, which is considered as the founding and inescapable presupposition of social action. In the light of a comparison within the sphere of the Frankfurter School tradition, this paper will try to notice on the one hand the unbridgeable distance that, from a methodological and theoretical point of view, separates the first generation of the Frankfurt School from the following generation of scholars. On the other hand this paper will try to show how the category of recognition, by its very nature, is not able to go beyond an abstract and formalistic vision of the social sphere: it is incapable of making it critically explode the concrete contradictions in social relations, assuming a conciliatory and conservative attitude towards the existing.


Critical Theory, Anerkennungstheorie, negative dialectics, Gewalt, critique of progress

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