Should critique be tamed by realism? A defense of radical critiques of reason

  • Critique, and especially radical critique of reason, is under pressure from two opponents. Whereas the proponents of "post-critical" or "acritical" thinking denounce critique as an empty and self-righteous repetition of debunking, the decriers of "post-truth" accuse critique of having helped to bring about our current "post-truth" politics. Both advocate realism as a limit critique must respect, but I will defend the claim that we urgently need radical critiques of reason because they offer a more precise diagnosis of the untruths in politics the two opponents of critique are rightfully worried about. Radical critiques of reason are possible, I argue, if we turn our attention to the practices of criticizing, if we refrain from a sovereign epistemology, and if we pluralize reason without trivializing it. In order to demonstrate the diagnostic advantage of radical critiques of reason, I briefly analyze the political and epistemic strategy at work in two exemplary untruths in politics.

Download full text files

Export metadata

Author:Frieder Vogelmann
Parent Title (French):Le foucaldien
Publisher:Open Library of Humanities
Place of publication:Cambridge
Document Type:Article
Year of Completion:2019
Date of first Publication:2019/08/21
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2019/10/10
Tag:bruno latour; critical theory; critique of reason; feminist epistemology; post-truth
Issue:1, Art. 5
Page Number:35
First Page:1
Last Page:34
Copyright:: © 2019 The Author(s). This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. See
Institutes:Gesellschaftswissenschaften / Gesellschaftswissenschaften
Dewey Decimal Classification:3 Sozialwissenschaften / 30 Sozialwissenschaften, Soziologie / 300 Sozialwissenschaften
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 4.0