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Social Philosophy Today

Volume 18, 2002

Truth and Objectivity in Social Ethics

Jordy Rocheleau
Pages 83-96

Communications Theory and the Future of Ideology Critique
Problems in the Normative and Explanatory Foundations of Critical Social Theory

Though the concept of ideology appears central to the explanation of the perseverance of systematic domination, the coherence and viability of the concept have been repeatedly questioned. The status of the concept of ideology in critical theory has become one of simultaneous dependence and suspicion. While Habermas has been reluctant to develop the concept in his communications theory, this paper argues that ideology can be usefully and coherently defined in terms of distorted communication. It is shown that this discourse theoretical concept of ideology can meet the central normative and explanatory challenges facing the concept.

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