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Title: Critique today : the persistence of an uncanny concept
Author: Stypinska, Diana
ISNI:       0000 0004 6424 7854
Awarding Body: Lancaster University
Current Institution: Lancaster University
Date of Award: 2016
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From Kant onwards critique has been central not only to philosophy but to all social and political thought. Today, however, the critical imperative seems to have culminated in an intellectual dead-end. Paradoxically, therefore, we are experiencing an excess of criticism (wherein everything is subject to constant critique) together with a conviction in the impossibility of the radical change of our current socio-economic system (in spite of escalating social, political and economic conflicts). This predicament of non-consequential criticism has captured the attention of many contemporary sociologists who proclaim the crisis of critique and the need for its revival. However, while they all agree on the indispensability of proper critique, the various sociological approaches differ as to their understanding of critique’s content and form, producing further ambiguity and complexity. Taking this problematique as its starting point, this project seeks to elaborate on critique as a paradoxical and essentially contested concept, aiming at articulating a new conceptual framework apt for the analysis of the contemporary (dis)positions of critique, as well as explaining its crisis. The thesis is divided into two parts. Part l ‘The Idea of Critique’ locates the origins of Western conceptions of critique by using Foucault’s archaeological method. This archaeology is utilized in the pursuit of critique’s genealogy which is, in turn, employed to develop a conceptual framework capable of explaining different modalities of critique. Part 2 ‘Critique Today’ uses these conceptual tools to analyse the status and mode of operation of contemporary critique in the fields of social theory and aesthetics. It proposes that critique’s uncanny character is the result of the interplay of two distinct critical imperatives, namely, that to the securitization of the status quo and that to its qualitative transformation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available