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Radical Philosophy Review

Volume 8, Issue 2, 2005

David S. Owen
Pages 187-195

Critical Theory and Learning from History

In this paper I utilize Martin Beck Matuštík’s intellectual biography of Habermas as a means for reflecting on the meaning that critical theory has for us in the wake of September 11. I argue that the significant contribution of Matuštík’s book is that it fruitfully continues the conversation about the meaning of critical theory by underscoring the sociohistorical contexts that frame Habermas’s intellectual engagements. Matuštík’s figure of the critical theorist as witness refocuses attention on the critical theorist in context, nevertheless as critical theorists we also need to be mindful of the plurality of disastrous events that continue to shape our world.

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