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"The Frankfurt School knew Trump was coming" - The New Yorker
Max Horkheimer, founder and long-time director of the famous Institute for Social Research in Frankfurt, was professor emeritus of philosophy and sociology at the University of Frankfurt until his death in 1973. He is one of the founders of the Frankfurt School. Horkheimer's writings are essential to an understanding of the intellectual background of the New Left and the to much current social-philosophical thought.
In his most important work, Eclipse of Reason, Max Horkheimer surveys and demonstrates the gradual ascendancy of Reason in Western philosophy, its eventual total application to all spheres of life, and what he considers its present reified domination.
First published in 1947, Horkheimer here explores the ways in Nazism co-opted ideas of rationality for its own ends. Eclipse of Reason provides a magnificent critical description of how reason collapses into irrationality through its emphasis on instrumental concerns. Ultimately, the book is a warning of the ways this might happen again and, as such, this is a book that has never appeared more timely.
"Virtuosic at critiquing the viciousness of fascism and capitalism's socially eviscerating, spiritually crushing impact on western societies." - Stuart Jeffries, Grand Hotel Abyss: The Lives of the Frankfurt School
"Reason is sick. Horkheimer made a magnificent diagnosis of this illness." - Wilson Decembre, Can reason save itself? A critical reading of Max Horkheimer's "Eclipse of reason"
"A profoundly suggestive diagnosis of the intellectual sickness of our day" - Nature
"The ongoing international crisis of capitalism and liberal democracy has prompted a resurgence of interest in the Frankfurt School's] body of work known as critical theory." - The New Yorker
About the author:
Max Horkheimer (1895-1973) was a leader of the 'Frankfurt School, ' a group of philosophers and social scientists associated with the Institute of Social Research in Frankfurt, Germany. Horkheimer was the director of the Institute and Professor of Social Philosophy at the University of Frankfurt from 1930-1933, and again from 1949-1958. In between those periods he would lead the Institute in exile, primarily in America. As a philosopher he is best known for his work during the 1940s, including Eclipse of Reason and Dialectic of Enlightenment (co-authored with Theodor Adorno). Horkheimer's work was largely responsible for developing the epistemological and methodological orientation of Frankfurt School critical theory. This work both influenced his contemporaries (including Adorno and Herbert Marcuse) and has had an enduring influence on critical theory's later practitioners.