In this article, I critically discuss the ambiguous notion of ‘discipline’ and the related constructions of inter-, multi-, post-disciplinarity, from an ‘epistemic’ and ‘socio-political’ point of view. Particularly, I focus on the role of ‘power’ and ‘authority’, and on the consequences that follow by assuming a ‘foundationalist’ or ‘post-foundationalist’ approach. Next, assuming a ‘Critical Theory’ perspective, I try to rethink the meaning of a ‘critical activity’ able to generate a real social and epistemic change. I contend that a new discipline of thought is needed, rather than new disciplines, and a new personal attitude, not only engaged in mere procedures of recording “facts”, but characterised by a serious concern for the role of generalization or theory. A ‘crossing homeless’ attitude is proposed, that is at the same time theoretical, intellectual and practical, concerning the ‘unreasonable’ discipline of a critical activity aimed at putting culture in circle (‘encyclopaideia’) by systematically discontinuing events of subjectifi cation.
Critical Activity as Encyclopaideia
‘No government can protect the rights of citizens without rigorous police, but the difference between a free regime and a tyrannical one is that, in the former, the police are employed against that minority opposed to the general good as well as against the abuse and negligence of the authorities; whereas, in the latter the State police are employed against the down-trodden who are thus delivered into the hands of injustice and impunity’.
This declaration was not a reaction to the Marikana massacre (16 August 2012), when a British mining company operating in South Africa had a special unit of the post-Apartheid South African Police Service murderously repress a mine workers strike, by means of mass shooting; many of those killed were later found to have been shot in the back as they ran away from the volley of bullets. It was made about two hundred and twenty years before, in April 1794, when revolutionary France was experiencing its most tragic moments. In the context of the Terror, and facing the necessity to discipline it, its author, Saint-Just (1767–1794), redeployed some of the most classical concepts in the History of Political Thought – freedom versus tyranny, general good versus particular interest, elite accountability versus impunity of power – in order to provide the ideological principles framing the organisation, within the web of the revolutionary police, of a special office in charge of the surveillance of the Executive and of public authorities.
The Case of Feminist Philosophy
Hilkje C. Hänel and Johanna M. Müller
in which injustices, oppression, and marginalisation work. In particular, methods used in feminist standpoint theory and Critical Theory that draw attention to our social positioning as both theorists and social agents are fruitful when we seek to
A Critical Perspective
conceptual categories and theoretical frameworks. Like other critical theories drawing from the Frankfurt School and postmodernism, critical disability studies emphasizes how experiences of exclusion for people with disability are socially constructed. 2
.” In Lenin and Philosophy and Other Essays , 127 – 186 . New York : Monthly Review . Antonio , Robert J. 1981 . “ Immanent Critique as the Core of Critical Theory: Its Origins and Developments in Hegel, Marx and Contemporary Thought ”. British
German Memory Politics, Cultural Criticism, and Contemporary Popular Arts
explorations of the relationship between politics and mass culture were the distinguishing feature of critical theory. The Frankfurt School's studies concerning the pitfalls of the cultural industry's characteristic products had a considerable influence on post
The Frankfurt School's first years on Morningside Heights progressed very smoothly. Based on the group's activities and accomplishments, it is clear that its members had not misrepresented themselves to Columbia's sociologists and administrators. The emphasis that had been placed on scientific social research had not been an empty marketing scheme. Members of the Institute for Social Research were throughout the 1930s. This was never more true than during the first five years on Morningside Heights. Although members of the Horkheimer Circle later played up stories of their anonymity and isolation at Columbia, evidence that suggests that such claims were greatly exaggerated. heavily engaged in social research
João Feres Júnior
The author argues that the development of a critical history of concepts should be based on a programmatic position different from that of original Begriffsgeschichte, or of its main interpretations. By drawing upon theoretical insights of Axel Honneth, he reassesses the basic assumption of Begriffsgeschichte regarding the relationship between the history of concepts and social history, and calls attention to the problems that spring from focusing analysis almost exclusively on key concepts. According to Feres, special attention should be paid to concepts that are socially and politically effective, but, at the same time, do not become the subject of public contestation. Based on this programmatic position, he ends the article proposing a sketch for organizing the study of conceptual history in Brazil along three semantic regions.
Rethinking Literacy, Language, and Learning Texts
Elizabeth P. Quintero
This article has evolved from teaching future teachers about literacy and language in multilingual contexts. The examples are taken from contexts in the United States with learners from around the world. Professionals in the classrooms, in the teacher development programs, and in schools and colleges of education have been doing responsible research for many years, and have learned much regarding the learning of multilingual people who represent a multitude of histories. In this article the focus is on rethinking literacy, languages (home languages and target languages of host countries), the connections between personal and communal history and learning texts, and how all of the above relate to the curriculum in various learning arenas.
Using Baudrillard to Analyse American Discourse
According to Jean Baudrillard, in a totally functional world people become irrational and subjective, given to projecting their fantasies of power into the efficiency of the system, a state of ‘spectacular alienation’. I argue that Americans as a society have accommodated themselves to such a system to the detriment of their ability to make sense in their public discourse. Baudrillard finds pathology in the system of objects as it determines social relations. In one symptom, people may obsess over a fetish object. For American society, the magical mechanical object is the gun. I show evidence for this weapons fetish in American fiction, cinema, television and serious journalism. Then, using Baudrillard and other analysts, I show how the American obsession with the superior functionality of weapons joins its myth of exceptionality and preference for simulation over reality to create a profound American dream state that protects a very deep sleep.