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Critical Theory

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  • Mary Jo
    Critical theory begins by inquiring into what prevents the realization of this Enlightenment ideal. In doing so, critical theory questions and challenges the
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 4, 2004
      "Critical theory begins by inquiring into what prevents the
      realization of this Enlightenment ideal. In doing so, critical theory
      questions and challenges the seeming obviousness, naturalness,
      immediacy, and simplicity of the world around us, and, in particular,
      of what we are able to perceive through our senses and understand
      through the application of our powers of reason. Critical theory is
      therefore concerned with discovering and uncovering, and with
      describing and explaining "mediations" - environmental, ecological,
      physical, physiological, psychological, intellectual, emotional,
      historical, social, cultural, economic, political, ideological,
      linguistic, semiotic, aesthetic, religious, ethical, etc. -
      between "object" and "subject," "event" nd "impression," "impression"
      and "perception," "perception" and "cognition," "cognition"
      and "reflection," "reflection" and "response," "response"
      and "reaction," "reaction" and "action," and "action" and "practice."
      At the same time, "critical theory" also always involves questioning
      and challenging the passive acceptance that "the way things are" --
      or "the way things seem" -- simply "is" the "natural" way they
      necessarily "should" or "must" be. In other words, critical theory
      questions and challenges the conviction that what is, or what is in
      the process of becoming, or what appears to be, or what is most
      commonly understood to be, or what is dominantly conveyed to be, is
      also at the same time right and true, good and just, and necessary
      and inevitable: critical theory does not, at least not automatically,
      accept any of this. Critical theory is always particularly concerned
      with inquiring into the problems and limitations, the blindnesses and
      mistakes, the contradictions and incoherences, the injustices and
      inequities in how we as human beings, operating within particular
      kinds of structures and hierarchies of relations with each other,
      facilitated and regulated by particular kinds of institutions,
      engaged in particular kinds of processes and practices, have formed,
      reformed, and transformed ourselves, each other, and the communities,
      cultures, societies, and worlds in which we live."

      <http://www.uwec.edu/ranowlan/intr_whystudy_crit_thy.htm>
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