Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: May 06, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412958660 | Print ISBN: 9781412958653 | Online ISBN: 9781412958660| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Critique is the reflective assessment by human beings of their own capabilities and limits, and of the principles informing their thoughts, creations, and actions. It was introduced as a technical term in philosophy by Immanuel Kant. The activity of critique was given a political bearing in the work of the left Hegelians, principally Karl Marx. In the twentieth century, the task of “critiquing” social and political formations was taken up by the critical theorists of the Frankfurt School of Social Research. Since World War II, critique has taken on a more diffuse meaning. Today it is often used to describe the work of structuralists, poststructuralists, and hermeneuticians. This entry traces the genealogy and changing meanings of critique since Kant. Emphasis is placed on its intersections with political theory, in the work of Marx and the critical theorists. The English word critique is a translation of the German Kritik. It Krisis. ...