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A Reading of the Dialectic of Enlightenment - The Fate of Reason in the Contemporary World -

서울대학교 한국정치연구소
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  • Economics
  • Political Science


Dialectic of Enlightenment(l947) embarks on a critical negation of science, technology and, most of all, self-destructive instrumental reason; it combines a critique of Western civilization and rationality in general with a powerful critique of the contemporary society. Making the 'domination of nature' by human reason under the spell of self-preservation the axis of their analysis, Horkheimer and Adorno interpret the developmental trends of modern societies under the rubric of the 'dialectic of enlightenment', and radicalized the critique of science and enlightenment rationality which have been penetrating into every aspect of contemporary social life. In particular, they pursue a narrative theorization of the origins of the bourgeois spirit, its entanglement with myth, and the dialectical process of enlightenment reason's self-renunciation, which leads at last to fascism and administered neo-capitalism.

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