Philosophy Today

Volume 68, Issue 2, Spring 2024

Marcus QuentOrcid-ID
Pages 229-243

Critique without End(s)
Crossroads in Critical Thinking

Critique currently leads a life akin to a zombie. It is torn between attempts to surpass it and radical gestures of its dismissal, while moderate forces dwell on the business of inventorying its history. Starting from critique’s historical turn on itself, this essay focuses on destabilization and self-questioning as its essential features. Regarding Adorno’s model, it seeks to locate critique’s focal point before it was split by surpassing and dismissal. This model is still challenging because it is situated at a crossroads in critical thinking where the historical aspect of failure is tied to structural aspects of critique: resistance, disruption, and dissolution. It concerns a movement of critique that leads into delirium—without thereby abandoning its claim to objectivity. In the contemporary situation, where critique is at once generalized and dismissed, it is precisely the specific link of disrupting and claiming objectivity that challenges the universalized regime of opinion.