Publication 6259

Fischer-Lescano A. (2011) Critical systems theory. Philosophy & Social Criticism 38(1): 3–23. Fulltext at
Besides their skepticism about universal reason and universal morality, the Frankfurt Schools of Critical Systems Theory and Critical Theory share basic assumptions: (1) the thinking in societal-systemic, institutional concepts, which transcend simple reciprocal relations by dint of their complexity; (2) the assumption that society is based on fundamental paradoxes, antagonisms, antinomies; (3) the strategy to conceptualize justice as a contingent and transcendental formula; (4) the form of immanent (and not morality-based, external) critique as an attitude of transcendence; (5) the aim of societal (and not only political) emancipation in an ‘association of free individuals’ (Marx). The article focuses on those parallels and aims to conceptualize a critical turn-around of autopoietic systems theory.


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