As might be expected from such an ambitious philosophical project andform of inquiry, Critical Theory is rife with tensions. In whatfollows I will develop the arguments within Critical Theory thatsurround its overall philosophical project. First, I explore its basicphilosophical orientation or metaphilosophy. In its efforts to combineempirical social inquiry and normative philosophical argumentation,Critical Theory presents a viable alternative for social and politicalphilosophy today. Second, I will consider its core normativetheory—its relation to its transformation of a Kantian ethics ofautonomy into a conception of freedom and justice in which democracyand democratic ideals play a central role (Horkheimer 1993, 22;Horkheimer 1972, 203). As a member of the second generation ofCritical Theory, Habermas in particular has developed this dimensionof normative political theory into a competitor to Rawlsianconstructivism, which attempts to bring our pretheoretical intuitionsinto reflective equilibrium. In the third section, I will consider itsempirical orientation in practical social theory and practical socialinquiry that aims at promoting democratic norms. A fundamental tensionemerges between a comprehensive social theory that provides atheoretical basis for social criticism and a more pluralist andpractical orientation that does not see any particular theory ormethodology as distinctive of Critical Theory as such. In this way,the unresolved tension between the empirical and normative aspects ofthe project of a critical theory oriented to the realization of humanfreedom is manifest in each of its main contributions to philosophyinformed by social science. Finally, I examine the contribution ofCritical Theory to debates about globalization, in which the potentialtransformation of both democratic ideals and institutions is atstake.
Although they are criticized in some aspects, the defensive homicide laws that New South Wales hold are viewed as outdated and gender-bias, therefore leading to the conclusion that Victoria should retain its current law, instead of favoring that in NSW.
Crafting the Critical Analysis: Schedule a Tutoring Appointment
This type of understanding, the ability to take the statement, think through the implications, and put the fact into a meaningful context for oneself and one's community, is central to critical reading.
New Historical Criticism - Washington State University
Current theories of globalization are primarily macro-sociologicaland focus primarily on globalization as imposing constraints ondemocratic institutions. While not denying that globalization is such afact, its explanations can become more critical and practical by alsoshowing how globalizing processes open up new institutionalpossibilities and new forms of publicity (Bohman 2003). In order totest these possibilities, this theory must make itself a more open andmultiperspectival practice; it must become a global critical theory. Itis in this context that we can press the questions of the normativeadequacy of the democratic ideal that has been inherited from modernliberalism. Indeed, many critical theorists who defend a“cosmopolitan” conception of democracy have a surprisinglystandard conception of how democracy is best organized discursively anddeliberatively. For this reason, they have not asked the questionwhether such practices are able to sustain a sufficiently robust andcooperative form of inquiry under the new global circumstances ofpolitical interdependence.
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The practical alternative offers a solution to this problem bytaking critical social theory in the direction of a pragmaticreinterpretation of the verification of critical inquiry that turnsseemingly intractable epistemic problems into practical ones. The roleof critical social science is to supply methods for making explicitjust the sort of self-examination necessary for on-going normativeregulation of social life. This practical regulation includes thegoverning norms of critical social science itself. Here the relation oftheory to practice is a different one than among the originalpragmatists: more than simply clarifying the relation of means and endsfor decisions on particular issues, these social sciences demandreflection upon institutionalized practices and their norms ofcooperation. Reflective practices cannot remain so without criticalsocial inquiry, and critical social inquiry can only be tested in suchpractices. One possible epistemic improvement is the transformation ofsocial relations of power and authority into contexts of democraticaccountability among political equals (Bohman 1999a; Epstein 1996).