Amy Allen

The End of Progress

Decolonizing the Normative Foundations of Critical Theory

Columbia University Press 2016

New Books in Big IdeasNew Books in Critical TheoryNew Books in Global Ethics and PoliticsNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books Network March 7, 2016 John McMahon

How can we de-colonize critical theory from within, and reimagine the way it grounds its normative claims as well as the way it relates...

How can we de-colonize critical theory from within, and reimagine the way it grounds its normative claims as well as the way it relates to post- and de-colonial theory? Amy Allen (Philosophy and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Penn State University) takes up this project in her book The End of Progress: Decolonizing the Normative Foundations of Critical Theory (Columbia Univ. Press, 2016). The work challenges the way that the Frankfurt School of critical theory constructs and deploys concepts of normativity, history, and progress, in the process offering rich interpretations of Jürgen Habermas, Axel Honneth, and Rainer Forst. Allen then turns to the work of Theodor Adorno and Michel Foucault in order to articulate a different perspective on these issues, one that enables a radical self-critique and de-colonization of critical theory. She concludes by exploring alternative means for critical theory to justify its normative claims as a way for it to more deeply engage with post- and de-colonial theory.

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