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Anastasia Marinopoulou

 1 8 1 Phenomenology and hermeneutics Alas, there are no absolute certainties and there are no definitive resolutions of fundamental ‘crises’. ‘Phenomenology and Sociology’ by Thomas Luckmann in Maurice Natanson, Phenomenology and the Social Sciences, vol. I1 The means selected become intermediate goals. Mary F. Rogers, Sociology, Ethnomethodology, and Experience2 Introduction Phenomenology and hermeneutics: the modern passage to epistemology It always appears very fruitful, scientifically, to consider arguments in relation, rather than in opposition. Such a

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Critical theory and epistemology

The politics of modern thought and science

Anastasia Marinopoulou

Epistemology should be the axe that breaks the ice of a traditionalism that covers and obstructs scientific enlightenment. This book explores the arguments between critical theory and epistemology in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Focusing on the first and second generations of critical theorists and Luhmann's systems theory, it examines how each approaches epistemology. The book offers a critique of the Kantian base of critical theory's epistemology in conjunction with the latter's endeavour to define political potential through the social function of science. The concept of dialectics is explored as the negation of the irrational and, furthermore, as the open field of epistemological conflict between rationality and irrationality. The book traces the course of arguments that begin with Dilthey's philosophy of a rigorous science, develop with Husserl's phenomenology, Simmel's and Weber's interest in the scientific element within the social concerns of scientific advance. In structuralism, the fear of dialogue prevails. The book discusses the epistemological thought of Pierre Bourdieu and Gilles Deleuze in terms of their persistence in constructing an epistemological understanding of social practice free from the burdens of dialectics, reason and rationality. It also enquires into issues of normativity and modernity within a comparative perspective on modernism, postmodernism and critical theory. Whether in relation to communication deriving from the threefold schema of utterance- information- understanding or in relation to self- reflexivity, systems theory fails to define the bearer or the actor of the previous structural processes. Critical realism attempted to ground dialectics in realism.

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Thinking through feeling

Critical theory and the affective turn

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Simon Mussell

describes this technique well when he writes of the ‘combined research into objective tendency and subjective intention’, which taken together constitute the ‘cold’ and ‘warm’ streams of a critical Marxism.15 In following this method, the Frankfurt School situates itself in opposition to both the excessively doctrinaire approaches of Marxism in its Second and Third International form,16 and the politically deficient subjectivism represented by phenomenology and existentialism. The task for a critical theory of society, then, is to effectively mediate objectivity and

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The politics of identity

Place, space and discourse

Edited by: Christine Agius and Dean Keep

Identity is often regarded as something that is possessed by individuals, states, and other agents. In this edited collection, identity is explored across a range of approaches and under-explored case studies with a view to making visible its fractured, contingent, and dynamic features. The book brings together themes of belonging and exclusion, identity formation and fragmentation. It also examines how identity functions in discourse, and the effects it produces, both materially and in ideational terms. Taking in case studies from Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and Latin America, the various chapters interrogate identity through formal governing mechanisms, popular culture and place. These studies demonstrate the complex and fluid nature of identity and identity practices, as well as implications for theorising identity.

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Ilan Zvi Baron

“other side” of the science wars, those who are concerned with context, meaning, interpretation, and intersubjectivity. In philosophy this turn has its modern start in hermeneutic phenomenology, and that is where we need to begin. The chapter ends by arguing for the importance of political responsibility and of how by recasting and re-emphasising the politics of responsibility in an intersubjective world it becomes possible to address the current failures of our political leaders and political systems. Interpretation and responsibility There are some good reasons why

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Anastasia Marinopoulou

articulated by phenomenology, structuralism, poststructuralism, modernists and postmodernists, systems theory and critical realism, can certainly be considered ‘modern’ in historical terms, but in essence their concerns are of a pre-​ modern and pre-​scientific nature. The following chapters elucidate this critique. Critical theory situated science within the quest for social and political rationality. It indicated that science’s normativity –​which answers the question ‘what should science do?’ –​orients itself in relation to the a priori potential of society. The latter

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Afterword

John Goff

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Shivdeep Grewal

between ‘system’ and ‘lifeworld’ problematic, ‘system’ and ‘lifeworld’ in globality are tangled together across a plurality of socio-technical means. Rather it is the normative, governmental structures that resist these means that are problematic in globality. The globalised lifeworld is not rooted in tradition but in a phenomenology concurrent with socio-technical means. Globality may involve a practical sublation of modernity without at the same time carrying its (enlightened) normative content. This sublation is raised to

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A feeling for things

Objects, affects, mimesis

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Simon Mussell

impressionable graduate students. I  agree with Deleuze’s remark that ultimately the most basic task of philosophy is to impede stupidity, so I see little philosophical merit in a “movement” whose most signal achievement thus far is to have generated an online orgy of stupidity.’ See: ‘Ray Brassier interviewed by Marcin Rychter: I am a nihilist because I still believe in truth’, Kronos (2011), available at: www.kronos.org.pl/​index. php?23151,896. 9 Ian Bogost, Alien Phenomenology, or What It’s Like to Be a Thing (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2012), 3. 10

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Ilan Zvi Baron

when social scientists turn to philosophy for methodological terminology to describe Unlearning how we think 65 something that is (1) not necessarily methodological and (2) involves repurposing philosophical terms that denote particular philosophical problems or methodologies for non-philosophical meanings. It has become common to throw around philosophical language, using terms such as ontology, phenomenology, and hermeneutics, in order to provide gravitas to qualitative research as though we need to compete with scientists and their scientific jargon.9 I want to

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Anastasia Marinopoulou

epistemologically and politically indispensable for its capacity to articulate critique.  5 4 54 Critical theory and epistemology A science of practices? From the beginning (since the Outline of a Theory of Practice), Bourdieu develops theoretical phases through which dialectical strategies produce the science of practices. Bourdieu’s purpose is to formulate a theory of theories that entails a threefold schema of approaching knowledge that is grasped from the outside, namely from practice. The three phases that he considers are as follows:  first, phenomenology in close