Das Wappentier des Simplicissimus, gezeichnet von Thomas Theodor Heine
Das Wappentier des Simplicissimus, gezeichnet von Thomas Theodor Heine

Concepts of Critique

Concepts of Critique

The discussion about different the concept of critique is central to critical theory as well as political philosophy. My interest mostly lies in the specific knowledge critique produces and how theories of critique themselves reflecct on it. While participating in the French-German ANR-DFG-Projects “Critique Actualité Société” I have developed these questions in a number of talks: on the ‘pictures of critique’, on the connection of critique and emancipation and on the relation between critique and necessity. In them, I pursue the following questions: How do we picture the activity of criticising, and how does this influence our theoretical activity of explicating the concept of critique? What does it mean to understand practice as an emancipatory practice? And is critique necessarily opposed to any form of necessity because critique presupposes the possibility of change, or is the relation more complex?


Biopolitics as a Critical Diagnosis. In: Best et al. (eds.): The SAGE Handbook of Frankfurt School Critical Theory, vol. III. London u.a.: SAGE,

Michel Foucault’s Philosophy Concepts of Critique Effective Knowledge Website


Roundtable discussion on critiques of reason

Basiert auf der Veranstaltung “Vernunftkritik in der kritischen Theorie”.

Amy Allen’s book The End of Progress: Decolonizing the Normative Foundations of Critical Theory returns us to the core of the discontinued yet unfinished debate of the 1980ies and early 1990ies about the relationship between normativity and facticity, reason and power, critique and its normative foundations. I question Allen’s proposed conceptualization of the intertwinement of reason and power and suggest that we must unlearn the paradigm of normativity first.

The task of diagnosing the present explains how Foucault’s critique functions as a philosophical practice, and by making explicit in which ways it emancipates us, it gives us reasons why we might be interested in doing critique like that.

A defense of radical critiques of reason against the champions of “post-critical” thinking and the decriers of “post-truth”.