Critical Theory And Scientific Theories Essay

1337 Words Nov 19th, 2014 6 Pages
Critical theory is, in my opinion, best defined by Marx(1843), as the ‘self-clarification of struggles and wishes of the age’, a general applicable definition that does not take into consideration a specific historical time, place or political problem. In order to talk about critical theory and its genuinely critical features I believe it is essential to make a clear distinction between critical theories and scientific theories. According to Frankfurt School there are 3 main categories of differences: aims and goals, logical and cognitive structure and evidence used to determine acceptance. Firstly, scientific theories have as their aim the successful manipulation of the external world by instrumental use (Geuss,1981), while critical theories aim at the emancipation and enlightenment of the individual; the goal of critical theories is to make the individual aware of the constraint that they suffer from and give them the opportunity to see what their real interests are. Secondly, in scientific theories there is no identity between the theory and the object, making it easy to deferential between them. Critical theories, on the other hand, have an identity between the theory and the object described, given the fact that such theories are ‘reflective’ and ‘self-referential’. Thirdly, scientific theories depend upon the empirical evidence through observation and experiment in order be confirmed, while critical theories need to be accepted by the individual’s own cognitive…

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