Primer On Metacriticism

I. Metacritique

Metacritique is a term used to describe the process of critically examining the underlying assumptions of a philosophical system. It is often used in the context of postmodern thought, but it has a much longer history.

The term “metacritique” was first used by the German philosopher Johann Georg Hamann in the late 18th century. Hamann argued that each generation of philosophers must critically examine the metaphysical framework of their parents. He believed that this was necessary in order to avoid simply repeating the mistakes of the past.

Hamann’s metacritique of Kant was particularly influential. He argued that Kant’s critical philosophy was based on a number of assumptions that were ultimately untenable. For example, he argued that Kant’s distinction between the phenomenal and noumenal worlds was arbitrary and ultimately meaningless.

II. Metacritique in the History of Philosophy

The idea of metacritique has been a recurring theme in the history of philosophy. In addition to Hamann, other philosophers who have engaged in what could be termed “metacritique” include Hegel, the young Hegelians, Marx, the Frankfurt School, and Habermas.

Hegel’s Science of Logic is a classic example of a metacritique. In this work, Hegel argues that the history of philosophy is a process of progressive self-understanding. He shows how each major philosophical system contains within it the seeds of its own destruction.

The young Hegelians and Marx were also engaged in metacritique. They argued that Hegel’s system was ultimately flawed because it did not adequately account for the material conditions of existence. They developed their own metacritiques of Hegel, which emphasized the importance of history and class struggle.

The Frankfurt School also engaged in metacritique. They adopted parts of Hegel’s method, but they supplemented it with psychoanalysis. They argued that Hegel’s method could be used to analyze the unconscious forces that shape human society.

Habermas has also engaged in metacritique. He has argued that the history of philosophy can be seen as a process of rationalization. He has also developed his own metacritique of the entire tradition, which accepts Kant, Darwin, and other key figures.

III. Habermas’s Intersubjective Framework

Habermas’s intersubjective framework is a way of understanding the relationship between the individual and society. It is based on the idea that knowledge is always socially mediated. This means that our understanding of the world is shaped by the language and culture that we are embedded in.

Habermas’s intersubjective framework has been influential in a number of fields, including philosophy, sociology, and political theory. It has been used to analyze a wide range of issues, including the nature of communication, the relationship between power and knowledge, and the possibility of social change.