Celikates and the limits of a theory of critique without object

Luiz Philipe de Caux About the author


The article reviews critically Robin Celikates' proposal to formulate a theory of critique that thinks its paternalist, indulgent or emancipatory relationship to ordinary social agents (i.e, non-theorists or non-scientists). It argues that the author, counted as belonging to a frankfurtian “new generation”, formulates a model of critique apart from the criticism of concrete objects and that this brings him negative consequences. Under the erroneous assumption that this would offend the agents' autonomy and cognitive abilities, Celikates interdicts to critical theory the verification of social processes that occur “behind their back”, what ends up making the critical activity itself either unnecessary or incapable of achive its objectives.

Critical theory of society; Frankfurt School; Positivism; Paternalism; Autorreflexivity

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