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The Scandal of ReasonA Critical Theory of Political Judgment$
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Albena Azmanova

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780231153805

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231153805.001.0001

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Critical Theory

Critical Theory

Political Judgment as Ideologiekritik

(p.43) Chapter 2 Critical Theory
The Scandal of Reason

Albena Azmanova

Columbia University Press

Critical Theory offers a propitious starting point for the articulation of the components of a theory of critical political judgment—one that is both politically realistic and normatively rigorous. This chapter first reviews the key conceptual components of Critical Theory and lays out the grounds for elaborating a theory of critical political judgment. It then focuses on the logic of the conceptual innovation instigated by the communicative turn in Critical Theory. It reviews this evolution in the light of efforts to solve the “judgment paradox”—the tension between political relevance and moral justice in theories of judgment, tension that is damaging to social criticism. In order to solve the judgment paradox, Critical Theory, through Habermas, overcomes the standard normative model by adding the hermeneutic dimension of communicative interaction among citizens. The chapter concludes by examining the implications of this for a theory of political judgment.

Keywords:   Critical Theory, political judgment, political philosophy, judgement paradox, moral justice, Jü Habermas, social criticism

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