Assesses linguistic versus aesthetic visions of critical theory and their capacity to contribute to the analysis of contemporary democratic society.
Contrasting aesthetic versus linguistic centered visions for critical theory and the analysis of contemporary democratic theory and society, Martin Morris draws special attention to the concept of communicative freedom. He problematizes the paradigm shift within critical theory from the "philosophy of the subject" to the communicative action theory championed by Jürgen Habermas by opposing Habermas's reconstruction of critical theory to that of Theodor W. Adorno.
Martin Morris has most recently taught politics at York University in Toronto.
"Morris makes a compelling argument for reevaluating Adorno's legacy and revitalizing critical theory as a whole." — International Studies in Philosophy
"It is an original work in the area of critical theory in two ways. First it pushes critical theory forward through a reconstruction of centrally important, though misunderstood and neglected concepts, and second, it attempts to develop new insights and arguments on the philosophical foundation secured through this reconstruction. Despite the many historical treatments of his work, Adorno is, not to put too fine a point on it, relatively virgin territory for social and political theory, and it is in the area of explicating and beginning to develop the significance of Adorno's work that Morris succeeds where others have yet barely to venture." — Morton Schoolman, University at Albany, State University of New York
"Morris provides a very strong Adornoesque critique of Habermas's 'communicative turn' and a spirited and engaging defense of Adorno against Habermas. He makes important contributions to critical theory that should interest a wide range of people concerned with the Frankfurt School and the work of Habermas and Adorno." — Douglas Kellner, author of Media Culture: Cultural Studies, Identity and Politics Between the Modern and the Postmodern