Philosophical roots of Critical Theory
The birth of the modern european critical tradition can be traced back to the Enlightenment and in particular the german philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) and his most influential book " Critique of Pure Reason " or in german word " Kritik der reinen Vernunft " . Kant’s revision of the liberal humanist tradition replaced metaphysics – in his own word : speculation about external reality – with critique . For Kant, critique consisted of tracing the origins of experience back to the faculties of the mind . Before Kant, stated simply , science described the world passively,but after Kant , science was seen to write onto the world what human categories imposed upon it . afterwards specially for Kantians , science no longer extracted knowledge from the proverbial ‘ thing – in – itself ( namely something which remains fundamentally unknowable ) ; rather in the Kant’s mind science produced knowledge of the phenomena of the world .
Kant’s analysis of the human mind attempted to understand cognitive faculties in order to determine the proper usage and limits of reason ; hence his critique of pure reason was boundary setting . His work built a structured architecture of the mind in order to address important questions like : What can I know? How can we act morally? What can I hope for? IF we want to speaking broadly , we have to refer to this important point that Kant divided the mind into three components or faculties . First , the faculty of sensiblity organizes the raw and chaotic manifold of sense materials in accordance with the forms of sensibility namely space and time . these forms are an a priori possession of the mind rather than observed phenomena . Understanding , the second faculty of the mind , takes these appearances and files them under categories just like unity , cause , etc . producing objects of cognition . Reason occurs when the understanding no longer applies itself to appearances or sensory objects . The result of reason is the production of ideas in the noumenal realm . Because ideas cannot be experienced directly , they do not have causes and are positioned in the a-temporal or metaphysical dimention . As such no one can properly know that ideas such as god , freedom , or even immortality exist , they cannot be subject to understanding .
Therefore at the end , Kant’s critique of metaphysics does in fact rehabilitate a supersensible reality . But only now universals exist within the interior of the human mind rather than in external , objective reality . These ideas are not simply flights of fancy or chimeras .Although we cannot experience them , they nevertheless follow logical rules of thought , and we can reasonably act as if they exist . According to Kant acting as if freedom were possible is not delusional . In fact it makes us act morally to conceptualize and act upon the ideas of god or freedom .
Kant’s humanistic side is most clearly articulated in his theory of freedom . For Kant humans are’nt simply the aggregate of natural forces . Humans are distinctly unique because we freely give to ourselves an imperative to follow . To be moral is to act in accordance with a universal law . There are essentially two versions of this categorical imperative which can be found in Kant’s writings : act according to maxim which can be universal principle and act in such a way that you treat humanity as an ends not as a means . To be moral is to act beyond the contingency and particularity of everyday life and to act in unison with transcendentally possible imperative . Society as a whole must be measured against this imperative to see if it is rationally and thus morally true . In the end , by using reason properly and not confusing the faculties of the mind , Kant believed that pre-enlightenment superstition , crulty , and ignorance would be replaced by both individual liberty and universal peace . Therefore as Kant writes in the influential essay " An Answer to the Question : What Is Enlightenment ? " (1784) enlightenment is the courage to use our individual understanding properly to critique the irrationality of the world .
Apparently Kant’s intentions were progressive for the time , but the results of his liberal humanist tradition of critique are always to be questioned . As liberal humanism became a dominent cultural logic of western society , it became increasingly problematic . For many later critical theorists , liberal humanism led to elitist , colonialist , and Patriarchal ideologies . In this way many of the central figures which henceforwards , we can continue will responding to the crisis in Kant’s universalizing position , either attempting to reconstruct reason , or reject it completely.
After this short introduction on european tradition of critique which was begun really with Kant ,we have to continue our discussion whith Hegel’s critical dialectics , Nietasche’s genealogy and his ideas on power and critical theory , psychoanalysis and Freud’s thoughts , and in our time Foucault , Althusser , Lacan , Gilles Deleuze and so forth .
Why do I choose such a subject-matter for my blog? To understanding the core of subject is very important for me . And since I want to have an exactly review on Iran’s events , cultural at first sight, as a philosophy educated I introduce the beginings of critique as a serious discussion . Thus we can understand that ‘ why a term like Islamic Republic is contradictory ! Islam as a religion cannot accept republic because republic does mean so many ideas which must be heared while Islam has one single idea ! Or revolution , which does mean wave , or a great change in hope for achiving a better situation , that is a childish hope !