Against Nature: The Concept of Nature in Critical Theory

Against Nature: The Concept of Nature in Critical Theory

by Steven Vogel

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Argues that the tradition of critical theory has had significant problems dealing with the concept of nature and that their solutions require taking seriously the idea of nature as socially constructed.

Against Nature examines the history of the concept of nature in the tradition of Critical Theory, with chapters on Lukacs, Horkheimer and Adorno, Marcuse, and Habermas. It argues that the tradition has been marked by significant difficulties with respect to that concept; that these problems are relevant to contemporary environmental philosophy as well; and that a solution to them requires taking seriously—and literally—the idea of nature as socially constructed.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780791430460
Publisher: State University of New York Press
Publication date: 07/03/1996
Series: SUNY series in Social and Political Thought
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 225
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.54(d)

About the Author

Steven Vogel is Professor of Philosophy at Denison University.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1 The Problem of Nature in Lukács

1. The Problem

2. Marxism and the Dialectics of Nature

3. Reification and Self-Recognition

4. The Problem Restated

Chapter 2 Nature and Reification

1. The Critique of Nature

2. Ambiguities

3. Science and Reification

Chapter 3 Horkheimer, Adorno, and the Dialectics of Enlightenment

1. Enlightenment and the Domination of Nature

2. Three Dialectics of Enlightenment

3. Nature's Return

Chapter 4 Adorno and Nature as the Nonidentical

1. Nonidentity and the Primacy of the Object

2. Reification and the Nonidentical

3. Nature and Nonidentity

4. The Paradoxes of Art

5. The Road Not Taken

Chapter 5 Marcuse, Habermas, and the Retreat to Nature

1. Marcuse and the New Science

2. Habermas on Knowledge and Interest

3. Two Problems

4. Interests and "Interests"

5. Science, Discourse, and Dualism

6. Science and Self-Reflection

Chapter 6 Towards a Communicative Theory of Nature

1. Ethics and Communication

2. The Problem of Nature in a Discourse Ethics

3. "Can They Talk?": Language and Anthropocentrism

4. An Ethics of the Built World

5. Concluding Remarks


Works Cited


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