By Alan How
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Extra resources for Critical Theory
In this, his ideas resemble contemporary ‘critical realism’, which argues that reality is ontologically stratiﬁed, that different areas of social reality are fundamentally different from each other and thus require different methodological principles to explain them6. For his part, Fromm warned against trying to give psychoanalytic answers to societal questions where perfectly adequate sociological explanations existed. Equally, he warned against trying to read off human motivation from broad, abstract conceptions of society (1989a ).
Nevertheless this essay can be seen as opening up a wider sense of pessimism in Critical Theory as it suggests that political-administrative forces could now ‘manage’ the contradictions of capitalism and the only issue, according to Pollock, was whether democratic forces would be sufﬁcient to ‘control the 28 Critical Theory controllers’. The signiﬁcance of exploitation, and other features of capitalist class relations have receded on Pollock’s account, in the face of what Adorno was later to call the ‘wholly administered world’.
9). Thus, his plan is for a more interdisciplinary 18 Critical Theory approach to social analysis, one which entails not just battening empirical evidence on to Marxist political economy, but of bringing different outlooks into conjunction, of what Kellner (1989: ch. 2) more accurately describes as developing a supradisciplinary Critical Theory. Kellner, rightly I think, uses the term, ‘supradisciplinary’, rather than ‘interdisciplinary’, as Horkheimer’s aim was to acknowledge the differences between disciplines rather than meld them together.