Course level: Undergraduate
The American University of Paris
2023 marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Institute for Social Research in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, the institutional home of the Frankfurt School of Critical Theory. In celebration of this event, this course studies the various historical phases of the Critical Theory of the Frankfurt School, which is an interdisciplinary approach that combines philosophy and the social sciences to pursue the twin liberatory aims of ending human enslavement and seeking human emancipation. Adopting this approach, philosophers and social scientists should articulate a critical analysis of the social dynamics of contemporary injustices, defend the relevant moral criteria, and identify the agents of progressive social transformation. The course begins by examining the programmatic works of Horkheimer and Adorno, and then moves on from there to the key texts of Marcuse, Habermas, and other major figures. The course is linked to a study trip to Frankfurt in Spring 2023.