Knowledge and Ideology

The Epistemology of Social and Political Critique

Knowledge and Ideology

Ideology critique generally seeks to undermine selected theories and beliefs by demonstrating their partisan origins and their insidious social functions. Les mer
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Knowledge and Ideology

Ideology critique generally seeks to undermine selected theories and beliefs by demonstrating their partisan origins and their insidious social functions. This approach rightly reveals the socially implicated nature of much purported knowledge, but also brackets or bypasses its cognitive properties. In contrast, Michael Morris argues that it is possible to integrate the social and epistemic dimensions of belief in a way that preserves the cognitive and adjudicatory capacities of reason, while acknowledging that reason itself is inevitably social, historical, and interested. Drawing upon insights from Hegel, Lukacs, Mannheim, and Habermas, he interprets and reconstructs Marx's critique of ideology as a positive theory of knowledge, one that reconciles the inherently interested and inextricably situated nature of thought with more traditional conceptions of rational adjudication, normativity, and truth. His wide-ranging examination of the social and epistemic dimensions of ideology will interest readers in political philosophy and political theory.

Acknowledgements; Introduction; Part I. The Dialectic of Ideology: 1. In and of this world: the dual status of thought; 2. The immanent destruction of functional ideology critique: Nietzsche, Foucault, Althusser; Part II. On Ideology and Violence: 3. Jean Jacques Rousseau: social oppression, the gaze of the other, and the appeal of naturalized violence; 4. Max Stirner: the Bohemian Left and the violent self-loathing of the bourgeoisie; 5. Marx contra Stirner: a parting of ways; Part III. A Marxist Theory of Knowledge: 6. German visions of the French Revolution: on the interpretation of dreams; 7. The persistent crises and the social vocation of reason: Mannheim as epistemologist; 8. Practice, reflection, sublimation, critique: social ontology and social knowledge; Bibliography; Index.

For political philosophers, Morris provides an epistemology that integrates social interests within a normative account of knowledge.

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