Utopia and Anti-Utopia in the Frankfurt School
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This article is concerned with the problem if, and to what extent, it is justified to use the category of utopia and anti-utopia with respect to the social theory of the Frankfurt School. The authoress argues that the objection frequently leveled against the Frankfurt School to the effect that it practiced utopian thought cannot be accepted as generally valid. Although the diagnosis of the current situation proposed by several thinkers of that orientation seemed to coincide in a high degree, their recommendations for the future and their predictions were conspicuously dissimilar. The terms of utopia and anti-utopia are therefore more useful as concepts that describe internal differences among members of that group, but less useful as general terms that describe them all. The article deals with some selected problems, and specifically with the accuracy of the following predictions: Horkheimer and Adorno's about 'the administered world', Marcuse's about 'acquiesced existence', and the compromise project of the 'sane society' championed by Fromm. The main thesis of the article is that the philosophers of the Frankfurt School had a fairly uniform position of the value of traditional utopian thought. They approved its audacity and the readiness to break beyond the horizons of the status quo, they were critical of its didactic overtones and simplifications.
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