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Critical Theory and the Human Condition

Founders and Praxis


Michael Peters, Colin Lankshear and Mark Olssen

This book presents essays written by internationally acclaimed scholars on the leading figures and major social projects and movements within the tradition of critical theory. Critical Theory and the Human Condition is organized in two parts: «Labors of the Dialectic» and «Projects and Movements». «Labors of the Dialectic» addresses key themes associated with the work of Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer, Walter Benjamin, Eric Fromm, Herbert Marcuse, Hannah Arendt, Karl Marx and Ludwig Wittgenstein, and Jürgen Habermas and Maxine Greene. Their work is situated in relation to contemporary issues associated with the human condition. «Projects and Movements» deals with the new politics of cynicism, knowledge, dialogue and humanization, critical race theory, critical multiculturalism, the body and feminist aesthetics, cultural studies, and the environment.
Contents: Michael Peters/Colin Lankshear/Mark Olssen: Introduction: Critical Theory and the Human Condition – Ilan Gur-Ze’ev: Critical Theory, Critical Pedagogy and the Possibility of Counter-Education – Robert A. Davis: Down Sudden Vistas: Walter Benjamin and the Waning of Modernity – Colin Lankshear: On Having and Being: The Humanism of Erich Fromm – Douglas Kellner: Marcuse and the Quest for Radical Subjectivity – James C. Conroy: «What rough beast...»: On Reading Arendt after the Twin Towers – Grant Gillett: Marx, Wittgenstein, and the Problem of Consciousness – Robert Young: Habermas’s Postmodernism – Deborah P. Britzman/Don Dippo: Admitting «A Perhaps»: Maxine Greene and the Project of Critical Theory – Henry A. Giroux: Pedagogy of the Depressed: Beyond the New Politics of Cynicism – Peter Roberts: Knowledge, Dialogue, and Humanization: Exploring Freire’s Philosophy – Laurence Parker: Critical Race Theory in Education: Possibilities and Problems – Stephen May: Critical Multiculturalism – Erica McWilliam: The Grotesque Body as a Feminist Aesthtic? – Tom Steele: Critical Theory and British Cultural Studies – Timothy W. Luke: Critical Theory and the Environment.