Permanent need for a renewal in critical theory as a symptom of theoretical superficiality

  • Linas Jokubaitis
Keywords: Critical theory; Radicality; Fundamental questions; Normativity


The aim of the paper is to reveal the theoretical implications behind the contemporary striving for novelty in the field of critical theory. For a few decades the practical irrelevance of critical theory has been determined by what can be described as an indirect approach to the fundamental political, social, and economic problems. Today the adherents of critical theory find the problems not in the concretely existing social reality; rather, these problems are “discovered” in new books, academic journals, and conferences. Quarrels about secondary problems in the field of critical theory have become more important to academics and intellectuals than serious discussions about the most obvious and serious political and social problems. If the proponents of critical theory do not want to remain engaged in a purely verbal and conformist game they need to stop chasing after intellectual fashions. To regain theoretical and practical relevance one has to begin from the fundamental questions of man, society, and politics. The revision of critical theory has to begin from the fundamentals, not from the roof.