Reason, power and history: Re-reading the Dialectic of Enlightenment

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This paper re-examines the relationship between power, reason and history in Horkheimer and Adorno's Dialectic of Enlightenment. Contesting Habermas’ highly influential reading of the text, I argue that Dialectic of Enlightenment, far from being a dead-end for critical theory, opens up important lines of thought in the philosophy of history that contemporary critical theorists would do well to recover. My focus is on the relationship that Horkheimer and Adorno trace between enlightenment rationality and the domination of inner and outer nature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10-25
Number of pages16
JournalThesis Eleven
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


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