Tuesday, February 8, 2011

What is the role of critical thoery?

Thesis 1: The role of critical theory is the disillusion of reality as it appears.
Inherent in this statement looms the threat of that easily appealed to notion of 'false consciousness'. But this is not the case. It is not the role of critical theory to reveal a 'truth' that is behind the object/objects/totality, but rather to show the very truth of that object itself. The "disillusion of reality" occurs not through a turning away from the appearance, but rather by holding the appearance up to itself.

Thesis 2: The role of critical theory is to take what is given and show what it does not show in its showing; to reveal, or even revel in, how it is that what is shown has come to show itself. And so...

Thesis 3: The role of critical theory is to historicize what appears to be non-historical, eternal, or given.
What does it mean to use this space? Why do I use it? etc.

Outside, passing cars scatter the dark slush, defiling the piles of white.
In the hall, the clicks and pops of feet.
Next door, people talk loudly in several languages.
The house (that is not a house) settles in for the night.
The pipes in the walls clink and clank.
From the inside, the role of critical thinking is to push apart the world by bringing it together.