Dialectics of Enlightenment – Why is Enlightenment Myth and vice versa?

What is meant by dialectic of enlightenment?

In Dialectic of Enlightenment (1947), Horkheimer and Adorno argued that the celebration of reason by thinkers of the 18th-century Enlightenment had led to the development of technologically sophisticated but oppressive and inhumane modes of governance, exemplified in the 20th century by fascism and totalitarianism.

What is the purpose of enlightenment according to Horkheimer and Adorno?

Adorno and Horkheimer suggest that enlightenment aims at containing everything. In this sense, anything transcendent is impossible and the ones that fall outside the limits is its mythology. Therefore, enlightenment is constantly demythologising, while it attacks every claim of different forms of knowledge.

What is Enlightenment critical theory?

The aim of Enlightenment criticism is freedom, in which human powers and capacities are no longer put in the service of “idols” or constrained by “self-imposed tutelage” but can be brought to bear upon the comprehensive goal of human emancipation.

When was the dialectic of enlightenment written?


Dialectic of Enlightenment is undoubtedly the most influential publication of the Frankfurt School of Critical Theory. Written during the Second World War and circulated privately, it appeared in a printed edition in Amsterdam in 1947.

When did Adorno and Horkheimer write the dialectic of enlightenment?

Dialectic of Enlightenment

Authors Max Horkheimer Theodor W. Adorno
Publication date 1947
Published in English 1972 (New York: Herder and Herder)
Media type Print (pbk)
Pages 304

What are the 4 major critical theories?

The answers to these questions might be found in critical theory and literary criticism, including new criticism, poststructuralism, psychoanalytic criticism, and Marxist theory.

What is Enlightenment by Immanuel Kant?

Kant. What is Enlightenment. Enlightenment is man’s emergence from his self-imposed nonage. Nonage is the inability to use one’s own understanding without another’s guidance.

What are the main ideas of critical theory?

Critical theories aim to change and critique society as a whole by finding the underlying assumptions in social life that prevent people from participating in a “true democracy.”

What is the difference between critical theory and traditional theory?

Critical theory is a social theory oriented toward critiquing and changing society as a whole. It differs from traditional theory, which focuses only on understanding or explaining society.

What is the difference between critical thinking and critical theory?

Critical thinking should not be confused with Critical Theory. Critical Theory refers to a way of doing philosophy that involves a moral critique of culture. A “critical” theory, in this sense, is a theory that attempts to disprove or discredit a widely held or influential idea or way of thinking in society.