Talk:Critical theory

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Writing style is opaque[edit]

(heading added 2006-08-22)
This page seems to spend a lot of time telling us about who writes about "critical theory" without actually telling us what it is. Can it not be rewritten to make some kind of sense to someone wanting to find out what it is? I'm not aware of any other field of human endeavour so opaque to outsiders. Someone has to make some kind of effort to persuade people that there's something important to learn there.


I agree. One requires a post-graduate degree in gobbledegook to understand the meaning of the particular "human texts and symbolic expressions" presented here. Fascinating though the "tendency to engage with non-Marxist influences" may be, such insights get the casual reader no nearer to an understanding of what "critical theory" actually is. Or perhaps that's the whole point ... is it all just so much self-serving waffle? Orie0505 (talk) 15:38, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

It's 2012 and it's the same situation.

Here is the heading.

Critical theory is a Neo-Marxist examination and critique of society and culture, drawing from knowledge across the social sciences and humanities. The term has two different meanings with different origins and histories: one originating in sociology and the other in literary criticism. This has led to the very literal use of 'critical theory' as an umbrella term to describe any theory founded upon critique.

THIS PARAGRAPH MEANS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO THE AVERAGE WIKI READER

In the sociological context, critical theory refers to a style of Marxist theory (Western Marxism) developed in the 1930s with a tendency to engage with non-Marxist influences (for instance the work of Friedrich Nietzsche and Sigmund Freud).[1] Modern critical theory arose from a trajectory extending from the antipositivist sociology of Max Weber and Georg Simmel, the Marxist theory of Georg Lukács and Antonio Gramsci, toward the milieu associated with Frankfurt Institute of Social Research.

THIS PARAGRAPH MEANS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO THE AVERAGE WIKI READER

Five "Frankfurt School" theorists were chiefly responsible for establishing critical theory as a specific strand of thought: Herbert Marcuse, Theodor Adorno, Max Horkheimer, Walter Benjamin, and, slightly later, Jürgen Habermas. With the latter, critical theory shed its roots in German idealism and moved closer to American pragmatism. The concern for a social "base and superstructure" is one of the few remaining Marxist concepts in much contemporary critical theory.[2]

THIS PARAGRAPH MEANS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO THE AVERAGE WIKI READER

Whilst the critical theorists are usually defined as Marxist intellectuals, their tendency to denounce so many Marxian elements has been attacked as 'revisionism' by stricter Marxists. Martin Jay suggests that the first generation of critical theory is best understood not as promoting any specific philosophical agenda or ideology, but rather as "a gadfly of other systems."[3]

THIS PARAGRAPH MEANS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO THE AVERAGE WIKI READER

This article is another example of both wikipedia wanking, and just dumbassery constantly rewriting the articles for Ph.Ds and other dumbasses. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.106.47.124 (talk) 17:12, 9 March 2012 (UTC)

Deleted reference[edit]

(heading added 2006-08-22)
Deleted the reference to suck.com, which is an amusing site but not really related to this topic. The critical theorists are slightly less effervescent than a morgue.

ie - anyone know what this means?

To use an epistemological distinction introduced by Jürgen Habermas in 1968 in his Erkenntnis und Interesse (Knowledge and Human Interests), critical theory in literary studies is ultimately a form of hermeneutics, i.e. knowledge via interpretation to understand the meaning of human texts and symbolic expressions. Critical social theory is, in contrast, a form of self-reflective knowledge involving both understanding and theoretical explanation to reduce entrapment in systems of domination or dependence, obeying the emancipatory interest in expanding the scope of autonomy and reducing the scope of domination. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 69.138.63.229 (talk) 02:45, 3 April 2009 (UTC)

Expansion ideas[edit]

(heading added 2006-08-22)
We need to expand the above to give the more ordinary understanding of the word now, which has "critical theory" not just as a label for the products of the Institute for Social Research. It is now very nearly the same thing as cultural studies; we could put cultural studies on the front page, actually, rather than Critical Theory. --LMS

Classify under Social Sciences[edit]

(heading added 2006-08-22)
A Cultural studies page should most probably go under the Social Sciences heading rather than the Culture heading... -- BryceHarrington

Omission of "critics" of the theory[edit]

(heading added 2006-08-22)
You left out critics of critical theory. How can you be so one-sided? Ed Poor

Stop griping and add the critics yourself!
A critic of critical theory would be an uncritical theorist. would that make them less effervescent than even a critical theorist?Mercurywoodrose (talk) 01:44, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

Moved Frankfurt school material[edit]

(heading added 2006-08-22)
I moved a lot of the Frankurt-school specific stuff to the Frankfurt School page, where it more properly belongs. I will soon expand the remainder with regard to the theoretical/philosophical/methodological aspects of critical theory per se as a kind of theory, which will also make it possible to incorporate aspects of critical theory that lie outside of the Frankfurt School proper, e.g. Foucault, Bourdieu, and feminist theory. -- Jeremy J. Shapiro 21:46, 2 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Broader vs. narrower version[edit]

(heading added 2006-08-22)
This article is branching sharply away from a description of the narrow (if not quite Frankfurt-School-specific) definition of "critical theory" into a general account of "theory" in the humanities and social sciences. I think the narrower version was more meaningful, and articles exist on Continental philosophy and literary theory which this page shouldn't duplicate. At a minimum, the more Frankfurt-specific meaning of "critical theory" from older versions like [1] should be resurrected. The new version is something that can be called by a lot of names -- literary theory, cultural theory, continental philosophy -- while the old version represents something that is only called critical theory. -- Rbellin 15:24, 28 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Regardless, critical theory is what the term is typically referred to within the humanities - literary theory applies only to texts, continental philosophy doesn't really encompass someone like Foucault, cultural theory doesn't really deal with sometthing like Heidegger. Critical theory is the best term to encompass all of that. I think "Frankfurt school" covers the Frankfurt-school specific approach quite well. Snowspinner 17:42, 28 Apr 2004 (UTC)

This is really not a major point, I guess, but I dispute the claim that "critical theory is what the term is typically referred to within the humanities" (not sure I understand this, but I guess what you mean to say is that the thing you describe as "critical theory" is most commonly referred to by that name within the humanities). That's just not factually accurate, or at least not in my experience (as an academic in the humanities myself). Pretty much all the academics I know would describe this amorphous entity as "theory," "literary theory," or "continental philosophy." In my experience "critical theory" is more often used as a specific term related to a smaller group of authors centered around the Frankfurt School. It seems our impressions of the facts of the case differ here. All the same, as I say, it's a minor point. -- Rbellin 21:23, 29 Apr 2004 (UTC)

At a quick glance, UC Irvine's Critical Theory Institute seems to cover a lot more than Frankfurt School. My experience at Chicago has been similar. Literary theory refers specifically to what English people do, continental philosophy is similarly philosophy centric. Theory in general is more promising, but really only works within the humanities - we'd get a lot of pissy scientists if we called it "theory". Snowspinner 22:05, 29 Apr 2004 (UTC)

I'm also of the opinion that "Critical Theory" primarily refers to the post-Marxist school of criticism that centered around the Frankfurt School. Webster's New Millenium Dictionary of English (via dictionary.com) only has one definition, and it directly references the Frankfurt School. This article should discuss the broader heritage of the Frankfurt School in contemporary theory (i.e. in the work of Jameson, Baudrillard, Habermas, etc), and thus be an entry point into Critical Theory as a school of continental philosophy, and its applications in other disciplines, like education and political theory. For anyone interested in literary criticism, I suggest we redirect from this page to literary theory and literary criticism pages. People who want such a vastly expanded take on contemporary theory should definitely be redirected to continental philosophy (why shouldn't this category include Foucault?) -- Symbot 04:54, 18 December 2006 (UTC)

An opening paragraph[edit]

"Begin at the beginning. Go on until you come to the end. Then stop."
Lewis Carroll

An opening paragraph has been omitted at this entry, what with all the talk around the subject. I can't even make a stab at it. Someone please fill in the blanks and give this torso a head such as:

"In (what's the field), the cluster of related ideas called Critical Theory address (particular issues) within (identifiable parameters) using the rhetoric and techniques established in (what?)". Continue in this vein until a full, evocative opening description of "Critical theory" has been expressed. If someone wants a definition at Wikipedia, they should find an expanded one in the opening paragraph, before the subject is broken into subheadings. Doesn't that seem fair to your reader, who has run across "critical theory" and googles the phrase. I got here fresh from describing "Chinoiserie" which is a sub-set of "critical theory." ...Apparently... Wetman 18:04, 8 May 2004 (UTC)

(fixing formatting) I agree with this comment and will take a stab at a general introduction. -- Rbellin 02:13, 10 May 2004 (UTC)

Several of us on CommunityWiki are struggling to understand "Critical Theory."

It is not because we necessarily agree with it- we don't know if we do. But it's because we feel resonance with it. Several of the terms and issues here are ones we find ourselves using. It is hard to understand the page as it presently reads; We need a PlainTalk description of the issues.

Some questions that, if answered, may help clear things up for those of us who are not familiar with the theory, but feel some sympathy for it:

  • Why do Critical Theory people care about "Identity?" What kinds of identities are they talking about? For instance, my name is Lion Kimbro. Okay: Who cares? What does the Critical Theory care about my identity? Of all the things in the universe the Critical Theory could pick to talk about, why did they decide that "Identity" was something they cared about?
  • What kinds of conclusions did the Critical Theory reach about "Identity?" If I were a lumber jack, what would the Critical Theory give me? Could it help me do something else instead, perhaps? Are there notions in the Critical Theory that could help me become a Piano Teacher? What does the Critical Theory help me do?
  • What does "dissonance" between public identity and private identity mean? Is that like, Fred goes to school, and likes who he is, but the public tells Fred that he's garbage if he's not wealthy? If that's true, then tell us about that thing. It's really hard to read past the abstractions in here.
  • If that is the case, then what does Critical Theory tell us about this dissonance? What can you do if there is such a dissonance? What kinds of paths would the Critical Theory recommend, and why?
  • What kinds of ways did the Critical Theory tell us that cultural institutions shape us? What kinds of mechanics did it look at? "Mechanics of privilege and marginalization-" Were they concerned with, say, television advertising? How much detail did they get into it's analysis?

Coverage of Criticism of the Field is Needed[edit]

Critical Theory certainly ought to be expounded upon, but its critics also ought to be expounded upon, as critical theory is neither universally accepted nor universally respected, even among academics and philosophers. Two of the notable strains of criticism that ought to be documented are:

  • An attack from the Left that critical theory is too academic, dense, and divorced from politics to make a real difference in people's lives. E.g. Katha Pollitt [1].
  • An attack from lots of random places that critical theory is a bunch of uninteresting academic hacks writing poor essays that say nothing of note, and say it badly. Two brouhahas of note are the acceptance of a deliberately nonsensical article by Alan Sokal by the supposedly peer-reviewed journal Social Text [2] and the awarding by the journal Philosophy and Literature of its "Bad Writing Contest" prize to critical theorist Judith Butler, which ended up being written up in the Wall Street Journal by the journal's editor, spawning a thorough public ridicule of the field. Also relevant is an apologia from critical theorists defending themselves after that incident [3], and a further attack (among many) against that defense [4].

In any case, I don't know all the details, and don't have time right now, but ideally someone intimitely familiar with these matters could write up a summary. It's a rather controversial issue, and the incidents described above are quite well known even among the general public, so we ought to report them.

  1. Katha Pollitt. Pomolotov Cocktail. The Nation, June 10, 1996, p. 9.
  2. Alan Sokal. Transgressing the Boundaries: Toward a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity. Social Text 46/47 (1996), pp. 217-252.
  3. Just Being Difficult? Academic Writing in the Public Arena. Eds. Jonathan Culler and Kevin Lamb. Stanford University Press, 2003.
  4. Mark Bauerlein. Bad Writing's Back. Philosophy and Literature 28 (2004), no. 1, pp. 180-191.

--Delirium 05:21, Dec 2, 2004 (UTC)

Have you seen the article on the Sokal Affair and the "anti-" sections of the articles on postmodernism and deconstruction? I think the major problem with Wikipedia's pages on contemporary Continental philosophy (and its many pseudonyms, like literary theory and critical theory) is not a lack of criticism. And especially not a lack of criticism which takes "it" (whatever it is) as a single, unified thing -- which is basically a completely naive attitude, but one that gets a lot of press. I think it would be far more informative to treat the differences between thinkers, and their criticisms of each other, in greater detail. Wikipedia should not lend itself so readily to maintaining a state of willed ignorance about complex matters, even if NPOV requires that willed ignorance also have its say (does it?). Though, come to think of it, an article on academic obscurity and writing styles would be interesting enough. -- Rbellin 05:40, 2 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Yeah, I mostly objected to a reader of this article coming away with no idea that it's a highly controversial subject. I agree a brief note and then a pointer to other places this is discussed, like continental philosophy, is better than rehashing the same debates here. As far as treating it as one unified thing, from the perspective of analytic philosophy, which is where a lot of criticism comes from, it is all similar in being fundamentally non- (or even anti-) analytic. --Delirium 20:39, Dec 3, 2004 (UTC)

Postmodernism series[edit]

I've created a template feel free to add other important examples of postmodernism - broadly defined - in this template so that readers can gain a better understanding of the terms involved by comparing and contrasting their use over several articles. Stirling Newberry 17:27, 2 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Martin Heidegger, Nazi party member[edit]

I see we have a series of edits going on over whether Martin Heidegger should be introduced as a member of NSDAP. I think not. He is not referenced by critical theory by virtue of his role in National Socialism, although names sometimes or often associated with critical theory have expressed a variety of views on Heidegger's culpability for this. If people want to learn about Heidegger, including his role in the Nazi Party, let them read the article. Otherwise people who persist in including this characterisation ought to argue its relevance here. Buffyg 6 July 2005 08:57 (UTC)

Clean Up[edit]

This could use some better organization. It looks like a textdump as is. Seeing as there is a split between the two forms of critical theory, that would be a place to start to re-organize it.--Weebot 19:56, 25 September 2005 (UTC)

adorno vs postmodernist philosophy[edit]

How is adorno's opposition to totality any different from later postmodernist philosophers' opposition to metanarratives? thanks.--Urthogie 17:24, 5 February 2006 (UTC)

Changes to Talk page, plus comments[edit]

The six or so earliest comments didn't have headings, so I decided to be bold and add them for ease of page use; this way they appear in the Contents table (which consequently appears higher on the page) and can be replied to separately with greater convenience. You're welcome to revert if you think I was wrong ... if so, please paste these comments back in when you're done. (I didn't sign the additions so as not to confuse the reader into thinking I wrote the comments; this omission is not intended to deceive.)

Presently, there's no specific mention of "critical theory in education," which is a major subfield of the social sciences branch. I'm not competent to add it, as I merely studied it tangentially in graduate school and liked some (though not all) of the concepts I explored. However, I wanted to raise the issue that this part of the topic needs discussion. Obviously, if it already treated elsewhere in some other article, then we should simply find some way to link the two. Lawikitejana 00:25, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

There is Critical Theory in International Relations also[edit]

See "The Politics of Global Governance" edited by Paul F Diehl, Lynne Rienner publishers Boulder, chapter 3 "The False Promise of International Institutions" by John Mearsheimer, page 82. (article reprinted from International Security, Vol 19, No 3, Winter 1993.

Criticising 'critique'[edit]

Re. "Critical theory is social theory oriented toward critiquing and changing society as a whole". According to wiktionary critique as a verb is defined thus:

Verb
(US) To review something. 
I want you to critique this new idea of mine.

If this is the meaning intended I suggest substituting the word 'review'. If not, the word is jargon local to the field, and ought to be better defined as an aid to comprehension for the lay reader. Dinamisbo 13:38, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

OopS! I see now that critique is defined further down the page. Might I suggest that the quoted line is altered to "Critical theory is social theory oriented toward critiquing (see below) and changing society as a whole" Dinamisbo 13:45, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

Plain Speech and Critical Theory[edit]

We need more explanation on this page. And it needs to be understandable. It can be done, I believe. Martin Luther King expressesed very very abstract ideas and profound arguments as if they were the plainest thing in the world. Collectively, by dialog and wiki, we may be able to construct simple explanations. Make it comm-on to commune-icate. Make it plain. If you don't know how, answer how you can, and we can work on it. Speaking plain isn't always easy. -- Lion Kimbro

Your missing the point Lion, you are not supposed to understand it. The subtext here is that people who write like this don't want to be understood by "lumberjacks". They don't want to be "understood" at all, in the usual sense of the word. But they are very keen to display their cleverness, as a way of distinguishing themselves from the un-washed proletariat, whom they pretend to defend. It's all about status and power. No "lumberjacks" allowed. The funny thing is that if you take the time to analyze this kind of writing and translate it into plain english, most of it evaporates into the banal and the patently ridiculous! see here: http://www.abc.net.au/rn/ockhamsrazor/stories/2006/1785351.htm MarkAnthonyBoyle 14:58, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
Dear MarkAnthonyBoyle, I think you're a bit off track. First, let's acknowledge that some critical theory is very hard to read. And, in some cases, yes, it's obfuscation and wordiness in place of clarity. At times, however, the difficult language helps to advance difficult ideas. It can take years of training to understand, but that's also true for advanced chemistry. Also, "plain talk" can conceal a real ideological agenda. Take your own country of Australia. One can say that Australia is a country, pure and simple. But we critical theorists would say, hmmm, let's look at that. What's a "nation?" What's a nation-state? What does "Australia" mean and who tends to exert control over its meanings? We might note, for example, the long history of White Supremacy in making "Australia," the way its economy is today dominated by large corporations, etc. The plain fact of "Australia" then becomes something to explore. And we critical theorists also look at ideas like "woman," "Black" person, "justice" and so forth. Does that mean we're unconcerned with justice? Heck no! Does that mean we don't believe in woman's rights? No sir. So it's not that we lapse into endless relativism, as your citation charges. Rather, we pay careful attention to the ways in which ideas are invented, shaped, and put to use. Give us a chance: you might find that a lot of us are plain-speaking folks, who really do want the best for everyone, including lumberjacks. --Dylanfly 16:40, 24 August 2007 (UTC)


John Carey was talking about art criticism, but the quote applies just as well here: "It might as well be barbed wire, it is saying, ‘Get out, don’t come here, you don’t belong. If you can’t talk this kind of stuff, you don’t belong.’" http://www.abc.net.au/rn/bigidea/stories/s1475178.htm . I'm sorry Dylanfly, I just don't buy the difficult ideas, difficult language argument. Difficult ideas need very clear and precise expression, not obfuscation and ambiguity. People who work in the education industry are paid to explain ideas. Furthermore, they are in a position of power, they are gatekeepers, they give out tickets to a better lifestyle. (I know, that's where I work these days). Are you really on the side of the underdog? Or are you more concerned with defending your privileged position with verbal barbed wire? It's a fair question, I think, don't you?MarkAnthonyBoyle 14:02, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

It's a fair question. But there are points to make: (1) "Critical Theory" is an absolutely massive field of study. Boxing it all up and saying it's impenetrable is unfair. Critical Theory includes feminism, marxism, postmodernism, cultural studies, and critical race theory. Surely you find some of this accessible and informative? (2) I think it's valid to say that there are times when "plain speech" just doesn't get the job done. That's true in critical theory as it is for archeology, organic chemistry, and urban planning. Not everything has to be for a general audience. There are plenty of people who "translate" difficult stuff (like Judith Butler and Jacques Derrida) into easy ideas. Try reading a simple book by Walter Truett Anderson, such as Reality Isn't What it Used to Be. That's a super easy introduction. Give it a shot.--Dylanfly 14:24, 25 August 2007 (UTC)


I think it's the attitude that gets my goat. Firstly, I'm admonished for being an Australian (probably a white supremacist, could well be misogynous to boot, hell, probably a homophobe as well), then I'm patronized (obviously need something easy to read). A would-be theory which makes no predictions which can be observed is not a useful theory. Predictions which are not sufficiently specific to be tested are similarly not useful. In both cases, the term 'theory' is inapplicable. Sitting at a desk making stuff up is not intellectual or scholarly, except in the most base use of the terms; it's called fiction (this is an attack from the Socialist Left that critical theory is too academic, dense, and divorced from politics to make a real difference in people's lives). What I'm challenging here, to spell it out clearly, is that the purpose of an article in Wikipedia should be explanantory to someone without specific knowledge. If the material is controversial that should be noted (NPOV).MarkAnthonyBoyle 09:31, 26 August 2007 (UTC)

Sorry your goat was got, MarkAnthonyBoyle. It's just that critical theory has been around for more than seventy years. Whether some folks like, or agree with, it is of no real relevance here. What matters is that the subject be well described, and as just about all commentators have said, written in as plainly as possible. However, as Dylanfly points out, some of the concepts are not easily described in simple English. Lumberjacks may well not want to enter here. Now, if we could move on from everyone's point of view and use this page to discuss ways of improving the article... Sunray (talk) 01:31, 17 August 2008 (UTC)
how about a section detailing criticisms of the "theory?" 92.40.108.177 (talk) 12:32, 17 August 2008 (UTC)

Critical ethnography[edit]

I trimmed out the material here that was also at the "main" article. neither are very good, but now they show movement "toward a critical representation of critical ethnography within the context of overtly neutral yet covertly biased collective documentation of cultural artifacts within the 'body' of electronic spheres of 'mind'" you know, this can be fun...Mercurywoodrose (talk) 01:50, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

I trimmed the rest out because I couldn't find much to jstify this being such an important aspect of critical theory that it justifies it's own section. I could be wrong. If you know different feel free to revert. filceolaire (talk) 12:55, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

FYI[edit]

If people who watch this page are also interested in how Wikipedia is governed, be sure to check out this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Requests_for_comment/Advisory_Council_on_Project_Development . Slrubenstein | Talk 16:30, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

Two primary definitions[edit]

The Greek noun from which kritikos is formed is krisis, which in its turn derives from the verb krinein. One cannot help wondering sometimes if there is a relationship between the unsuccessful attempt to deal with a language other than one's own and the inability to deal with the language that is one's own. Pamour (talk) 13:17, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

Just editted the Construction section and removed redundant words - Synthesis, production and construction all mean the same thing. Replaced them with creation.

If you feel There are real nuances that have been lost then please explain here what those subtle differences are here so we can find a form of words that reveals those subtleties to non sociologists like me. filceolaire (talk) 23:55, 29 November 2010 (UTC)

The current lead reads like (an outdated) family history[edit]

I think there should be some discussion of what the purpose of critical theory is, and what people have done with it more recently. In this context, I'd like to discuss these edits in detail. Especially this deleted text:

The first use of the term originates with the work of neo-Marxist theorists closely connected to the Institute for Social Research in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. The term "critical theory" was meant to distinguish their work from "traditional" theory, by connecting "normative social criticism to the emancipatory potential latent in concrete historical processes,"[1] in order to "liberate human beings from the circumstances that enslave them."[2] These thinkers were influenced by German Idealism and Marxist theory,[3] but have often engaged with non-Marxist influences (for instance the work of Friedrich Nietzsche, Sigmund Freud, American Pragmatists such as John Dewey – and even Martin Heidegger).

It is only with Habermas that the connection to German Idealism has been severed, and a number of people have proposed a different way to "re-inherit" the tradition, most notably Nikolas Kompridis, a student of Habermas and also a consistent Heideggerian. The current lead misdirects readers into thinking that critical theory ended with Habermas. In fact, the last significant contribution to critical theory by Habermas was The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity, which is almost three decades old.

Walkinxyz (talk) 02:03, 19 August 2011 (UTC)


  1. ^ Nikolas Kompridis, Critique and Disclosure: Critical Theory between Past and Future (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2006), 256.
  2. ^ Max Horkheimer, Critical Theory, (New York: Seabury Press, 1982), 244.
  3. ^ James Bohman, "Critical Theory," Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

"Drivel"[edit]

I typed in the word "drivel" and it sent me to "Critical theory." — Preceding unsigned comment added by 70.90.230.115 (talk) 17:27, 23 February 2013 (UTC) Now when I type in "drivel" it sends me to "Scientology." — Preceding unsigned comment added by 70.90.230.115 (talk) 14:39, 23 March 2013 (UTC)

Both have been fixed. Regulars of this page should check links more often. I will see if I can lock the redirect.--Canoe1967 (talk) 10:00, 17 May 2013 (UTC)
It has been set to Wikipedia:Pending changes now and that should fix.--Canoe1967 (talk) 11:53, 17 May 2013 (UTC)

There seem to be a lot of factual errors here[edit]

I just read "A Very Short Introduction to Critical Theory" and thought I'd see what Wikipedia had to say. Before I had read very far I had to stop and add this comment as there seem to be important errors here.

First, I'm not convinced "critical theory" has two meanings as stated in the first paragraph and repeated under definitions. Critical theory was the term take by Frankfurt school theorists when they came to the USA to escape Hitler. Partly as a result of their being in the USA and partly as a result of their German books being translated into English a subsequent set of ideas influenced by them appeared in various other disciplines such as Literature, Cultural Studies, Sociology etc. This wiki article doesn't seem to recognise the relationship.

Second - in the second paragraph it claims there were initially five Frankfurt School theoreticians and then speaks of a "second generation" of Frankfurt School scholars - Jurgen Habermas is right, but Gyorgy Lukacs and Gramsci are wrong - these are if anything pre-Frankfurt school, not second generation.

Third - although there claims to be a reference to it - I'm sure a concern with base and superstructure is not a remaining Marxist philosophic concept in much contemporary critical theory, the whole point of critical theory is to focus on ideology, language, power and concepts rather than situate these upon some "base". Further what is a "social" base and superstructure? The term refers to an economic base and a social superstructure, the concept of a "social base" seem meaningless.

Fourth the idea that critical theorists are revisionists I can imagine being said by "orthodox" Marxists but surely classical Marxists are the original 19th century Marxists in particular Marx and Engels, so how could they be critical to a twentieth century theory? The ideal that Analytical Marxists are critical of them for being revisionist I would consider doubtful also - there aren't any references to this claim, and while I can see Analytical Marxists being critical of imprecise use of language I haven't read them using "name calling" terms like "revisionist" on anyone.

I haven't read any more of the article, I felt I had to stop and add these comments. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Graceandpeace (talkcontribs) 08:38, 27 July 2013 (UTC)

This Article Does Not Make Any Sense[edit]

I am an intelligent, highly-educated person and I could not make heads nor tails of the content of this article. This paragraph, for example: "Postmodern critical research is also characterized by the crisis of representation, which rejects the idea that a researcher’s work is an “objective depiction of a stable other.” Instead, many postmodern scholars have adopted “alternatives that encourage reflection about the ‘politics and poetics’ of their work. In these accounts, the embodied, collaborative, dialogic, and improvisational aspects of qualitative research are clarified”.

What? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 174.69.113.230 (talk) 19:57, 27 September 2013 (UTC)

I agree--this article is a mess. Is the extensive discussion of the difference between literary critical theory and social critical theory necessary? Need it be so long? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mics 777 (talkcontribs) 18:32, 30 July 2014 (UTC)