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During the period from to , Aranguren was starting to engage with several typi- cally neo-Marxist topics, such as consumerism and manipulation. So much so that, such reason ultimately proves to be irrational insofar as it leads to destructive —rather than constructive or creative— paths. First, the work of both authors has been noticeably influenced and shaped by their psychological profile —or, to use Ortegan terminology, their actitudes vitales— and by key biographical events, at least as much as by their socio-historical background. Soon thereafter, he transferred to Freiburg, whe- re he studied Philosophy and Political Economy. With this reasoning, Pascal avoids supporting his belief in God on arbitrary foundations. Several reasons drove Aranguren to turn Marxism into his interlocutor. As result of his radical stand and political involvement, he was char- ged with accusations, such as politicizing university students and corrupting the minds of the young see Katz,
Moreover, I contend that their work provides evidence of the existence of attempts to liberate reason from its instrumentalization as part of a wider European current, opening the door to finding other such attempts in other authors whose work, although beyond the scope of this book, may be analysed in subsequent research.
As a result of his frequent newspaper articles and his television appearances during the Transition, he boasts a wide readership that —not without controversy— holds him in high esteem as the number of awards received and the events held in his honour bear witness to5. What I argue throughout this book is that Aranguren showed a clear interest in the Frankfurt School —Marcuse in particular—, disseminating their thought and developing many of the key questions posed by the members of the School.
Consequently, there is every indication that his intellectual contribution, although extremely valuable, has been overshadowed by the immense interest gene- rated by his own charisma and his other roles. What I suggest here, however, is that there is an important subversive element in their thought which, although concerned with their historical circumstances, aims to transcend those in order to address the issue of rationality itself.
Thus, I contend that the study of Aranguren and Aguirre from this perspective is, therefore, of interest because, first, it constitutes a recuperation of a crucial aspect of their thought which has passed largely unnoticed and, second, because it unveils evidence of the existence of a current of Critical Theory in the Frankfurtian sense in Spain, despite having typically been considered inexistent. Although the Institut was affiliated with the University of Frankfurt am Main when founded in —hence the name of the School—, as a result of the threat of Nazism, most of its members emigrated to the United States, where the Institut was relocated until , when it re-opened in Frankfurt.
It was precisely in exile, where the School gained notoriety and developed its Critical Theory. Frankfurtian Critical Theory provides a critical framework from which to understand neo-capitalist societies, by drawing attention to and criticising the then new forms of alienation brought about by the consumer society9, mass culture, mass art, 9 As Candice L.
In this same vein, the word also refers to the process of ingesting and metabolising food. In reference to material culture, this latter meaning expands to be applied to a particular behaviour in the market place. Needless to say that the position of its members as cultural critics encountered copious attacks; their often elitist approach, as well as their pessimistic conclusions remain to this day problematic aspects of their work. Its relevance lies in that the neo-Marxist critique of manipulation —particularly manipulation of the mass media in the context of political propaganda and commercial advertising— is primarily based on the concept of false consciousness or voluntary servitude, as Marcuse also refers to it.
False consciousness stands on an extremely elusive ground due to its reliance on attitudes and beliefs which the individual who holds them is unaware of.
For this reason, it remains a problematic concept. No less important is the fact that they did so incorporating Marxist, Freudian, existentialist, socio-economic, political, and aesthetic theories into their thought. That is why, despite the unresolved problems present in their critique, the influence of their work on sociological, philosophical, cultural, and even political thought has been considerable, going far beyond the United States and Germany.
Spain is no exception. Aranguren was well aware of the work of what are generally considered to be the core members of the Institut, as well as of other thinkers often referred to as the periphery Instead, political, economic, social, moral, and religious factors must be analysed individually, —although not separately— in an effort to elucidate how they affect this change.
Aranguren himself explicitly refers to this: In fact, he concludes that access to the Frankfurt School in Spain cannot be considered as having been restricted to his generation, because the Institut did not immedia- tely acquire a real social existence.
Notas de literatura and Prismas, both pu- blished by Ariel Nonetheless, the changes in work see references to Gramsci, , 2: These, however, were not as readily available to Spanish readers as those published in Spain and, thus, had very little impact on the introduction of their thought in the country. It is from this perspective that Aranguren argues against the perception of the introduction of the Frankfurt School in Spain as late.
This argument is supported by the research of contemporary scholars, who contend that, far from a late reception, their introduction —contrary to what one might expect given the context of the Francoist dictatorship— happened earlier and was more extensive than in other European countries such as Italy or France due to, as Fernando F. Nevertheless, the introduction of the Frankfurt School in Spain was complex and far from balanced and comprehensive.
It should also be noted that a translation of this book had not yet been published in Spain. Aranguren points on various occasions to Aguirre as the person chiefly responsible for having introduced the Frankfurt School into Spain see , 5: Gracia provides a more balanced account of the process of translation and edition in Spain of the work of the members of the Frankfurt School: En el mismo sentido, Seix Barral editaba a Marcuse So several publishing houses, different editors, and translators were all involved in the publication of the Frankfurt School in Spain.
Nevertheless, out of the 43 books by the Frankfurt School published in Spain since its introduction in until , Taurus published at total thirteen. Hence, there is not sufficient evidence to indicate that the role it plays in relation to Marcuse is comparable to that of Taurus in relation to Adorno, Horkheimer, and Benjamin. This constitutes the most consistent and prolific effort to introduce the work of the School into Spain. Hence, it is in this sense that Aguirre can be credited with being its introducer.
Regarding its influence, it is widely assumed that Critical Theory as developed by the Frankfurt School has had little impact on the direction of Spanish intellectual development. Furthermore, it is generally thought that no Critical Theory, other than in a literary sense, was ever produced in Spain.
In contrast, Constelaciones, whose first volume assesses the currency of Critical Theory, also explores the introduction and reception of Critical Theory in Spain and other countries —namely, Brazil and Portugal—. This is part of the renewed academic interest that Critical Theory has aroused and evidence of the current engagement in Spain with Critical Theory.
More importantly, I argue that Aranguren and Aguirre both developed their own thought in a manner consistent with the core principles of Critical Theory, to the point that it is possible to refer to it as such.
Against Instrumental Reason highlights the significance of re-assessing the impact of Critical Theory and of the Frankfurt School itself on Spanish thought and culture. Moreover, the end of the Franco regime and the early years of the Transition cannot be fully understood without reference to role that the introduction of Critical Theory played in Spanish inte- llectual development. The methodology of the history of ideas originally developed two distinct approaches.
Arthur O. Lovejoy and his followers focused closely on the text, arguing that research must be interdisciplinary and must take into account an expanded literary cannon which may extend to different countries, even incorporating linguistic research.
As a reaction against the excessive stress this approach put on formal thought and written texts, another approach lead by Wilhelm Dilthey adopted a more historical perspective, arguing that social history is essential in the hermeneutical process of the history of ideas. Skinner, however, is critical of both approaches.
In his Visions of Politics, Skinner states: In making this comment, Skinner argues that it is not the role of the historian, even in the area of the history of ideas, to engage in an analysis of the truth content of the past, but rather in its interpretation.
Consequently, the aim of this book is not to evaluate the philoso- phical, political, or intellectual value of Critical Theory, but to draw attention to the impact of Critical Theory on Spain and on the two authors object of this research.
According to this approach to the history of ideas, contex- tual information is used, not to interpret the text directly, but to contribute to elucidate the intentionality of its author. Heavily in- fluenced by the theory of speech acts developed by John L. Austin and John R. Studying texts in the light of illocutionary speech acts has important political implications.
As Austin defended in How to Do Things with Words, some utterances have a performative value; that is why, for Skinner when it comes to the social realm and po- litics in particular, saying something is doing something.
By means of his perspective of linguistic action, for Skinner, thinking politi- cally goes far beyond thinking about politics. Thus, this rehabilitation of Aranguren and Aguirre as political agents becomes simultaneously one of the aims of this research and one of the consequences of its methodology.
This shift in focus from what it is said to how and why it is said not only renders an analytical approach to exegesis unnecessary, even insufficient, but, crucially, also unsuitable. It implies the desirability for interpretation to go beyond what is already said, beyond the text.
Far from imposing a foreign framework of rationality as the guiding reference for the analysis of the work of Critical Theorists, which may result in the distortion of their thought, this approach is in line with the methodology of Critical Theory itself, which also strives to go beyond that which is. What is more, I argue that this is precisely what has happened in relation to the thought of Aranguren and Aguirre, whose sub- versive and political content and their possible relation to Critical Theory have been largely overlooked until now.
This is why the link between biography and work is crucial in the analysis of these authors. The most immediate consequence of this position which insists on the link between text and author is the interconnectedness of the various levels of their work, such as biography, content, form, and style.
Because of the relevance of intentionality, form and style are just as important as content, since these are not coincidental features of their work, but the result of deliberate decisions which shape it.
Intentionality is at the very core of their writings, for they are clearly concerned with the effect they would have on their readers. Their writings pursue two primary aims: At the same time, they emphasize the humanistic rather than scientific nature of their writings, which is also aimed at becoming closer to their readers. Its conclusions are, of course, not entirely verifiable. Nevertheless, the inferences made are supported by existing material testimonies and are, therefore, falsifiable, thus avoiding the trap of relativism.
Furthermore, as with intentionality itself, such a rejection of verifiability —of the aspiration of certainty— is very much in line with the stand taken by Critical Theory.
First, the work of both authors has been noticeably influenced and shaped by their psychological profile —or, to use Ortegan terminology, their actitudes vitales— and by key biographical events, at least as much as by their socio-historical background. Finally, there is unwillingness on the part of these authors to separate author from work, life from theory, because of its impact on the content of their writing, but, more importantly, on the framework of the rationality they adopt.
The possibility and desirability to establish different and distinct fields of research and experience is questioned. Although there are important formal and stylistic differen- ces between them, their work shares a substantial emphasis on a traditionally autobiographic topic: An example of this is the fact that a good number of au- tobiographical testimonies are found in their texts.
Consequently, it must be emphasised that one of the key characteristics of their contributions is the existen- ce of this deliberate autobiographical element whose implications and significance have to be acknowledged and explored. Undoubtedly, including auto- biography as part of an aca- demic argument presents a number of difficulties.
Paradoxically, this reductio ad absurdum, instead of proving the impossibility of this genre, states the importance of it and the implicit dangers of refusing to acknowledge the reach of the ever-present author. As Anderson argues, despite the efforts to relegate the personal to some clearly signposted and separa- ted sections of the text, there are traces of the author throughout the text in the form of specific words or rhetorical constructions that modify several aspects of the discourse, thus conferring the personal a certain visibility The autobiographical is an inherent aspect to any text, although in varying degrees.
Ack- nowledging it, both as a critic and as a writer is, therefore, not so much a practice which should be at odds with the standards of an acceptable argument, as the act of positioning oneself on a parti- cular side of the discussion. Having discussed the reasons for this approach, it should be noted once more that the emphasis of this analysis is placed not so much on the truth content of this markedly autobiographic material as on the implications and repercussions that arise from it.
The personal account of the writer bears witness to a certain part of history, a part of history which in all likelihood has been shared by others.
The existing connection between biography and history effectively extends a bridge over the distance that separates the writer from the reader, the self from the other. Regardless whether or not the reader is part a particular historical event, the autobiographical text creates a set of two co-ordinates, personal experience and subjectivity on the one hand, and a socio-historical context, historicity, on the other, thus, making it easier for the reader to relate to it.
However, this connection between autobiography and his- tory is not without problems. This is, of course, true. However, it does not automatically dismiss the value of an autobiographical account as testimony; it only re- minds us that, as human beings, we often experience a need or, at least, a desire for totalizing, explanatory accounts, despite the fact that there are a number of epistemological difficulties which make any claims for such knowledge highly suspicious. Autobiography as testimony also raises the issue of the role of subjectivity.
Theoretical and methodological importance has been awarded to experience and subjectivity in the autobiographical text because, in this context, it constitutes a subversive genre; because, by welcoming other —experiential— forms of discourse, it questions and destabilizes the structure of instrumental rationality. The question of control is a very relevant one; to what extent can anything actually be under the conscious control of the subject? Is control, on the contrary, an illusion, a working concept that allows the individual to gain a sense of safety and direction so as to go about his daily life?
Determining the extent of this influence and how this may affect the issue of control is a complex matter which deserves close attention, and although it cannot be resolved here, its complexity should not be underestimated. Autobiography is, then, an exercise which results in the representation and expression of the self and its circumstances, although, granted, it is a biased and partial one. Despite the key role of the biographical component in re- constructing and analysing the work of these intellectuals, it is just as important to emphasize that biographical data can only ever provide ad hoc explanations, because not doing so would result in an unsupportable deterministic view of personal choice and his- tory.
The first part, more theoretical and historical in nature, con- sists of three chapters whose aim is to establish the framework for the rest of the book. These chapters introduce Critical Theory as developed by the Frankfurt School and discuss the socio-historical and political background against which the thought of Aranguren and Aguirre developed.
Thus, after having discussed the aim and methodology of this research in Chapter One, Chapter Two is devo- ted to identifying the core and defining features of Critical Theory, so as to create a point of reference for the comparative study bet- ween Critical Theory and the thought of Aranguren and Aguirre.
Chapters Four and Five explore the personal and intellectual relationship that Aranguren and Aguirre, respectively, maintained with some of the members of the Frankfurt School and their po- sition towards Critical Theory.
Although particular atten- tion is paid to the role he played in introducing the Frankfurt School in Spain, this chapter evaluates the role and influence of the diffe- rent positions that this charismatic intellectual held throughout his life. More importantly, this chapter specifically aims to clarify his controversial relationship to Critical Theory by also analysing his contribution as a writer. The sixth and final chapter assesses the role of biography, fragmentation, exile, art, the subject, psychoanalysis, and spiritua- lity in the work of Aranguren and Aguirre.
It is with its original meaning, in reference to the Frankfurt School, that this term is employed throughout this book, which is why capitals are used. Following Kellner, Critical Theory can be understood as theory of exile Exile is central to the development of Critical Theory not because it developed in exile, but —most importantly— because the content of their thought was shaped in no small measure by their experience of exile.
It was this exile —the condition of outsiders that the members of the School shared— and their experience of the socio-political, economic and cultural differences between Germany and the United States that provided them with the critical distance to develop a fierce critique of the advanced capitalist society, as well as of the rationality which supports it. This, however, should not be taken as an indication of the cohesion and homogeneity of Critical Theory or of the Frankfurt School itself.
Although Max Horkheimer, Theodor W. Nevertheless, it is fair to say that Horkheimer —then its director— and Adorno represent the ideological centre of the School. Hence, the first feature of Cri- tical Theory which needs to be highlighted is its diversity. Despite this diversity, Rush stresses that there are some core concepts which are shared by all Critical Theorists. In addition, the interrelation of its elements —the intrinsic link between content and style, theory and praxis— constitutes another core characteristic of Critical Theory.
Thus, given the existence of these core —and shared— features, the idiosyncratic and, sometimes, substantial differences between the work of the individual members of the Institut should be understood as different manifestations of Critical Theory.
The most salient of the elements which Critical Theorists share is their aim; the aim to transform society as opposed to uncritically reproducing it. Its target is the critique of instrumental reason and the denunciation of the new forms of alienation developed by neo-capitalist society in particular.
Thus, it attempts to provide criticism and alternatives to traditional or mainstream social theory, as well as a critique of a full range of ideologies.
Instead of targeting specific socio-economic and political problems only, their critique is directed against the specific rationality upon which Western society is based: There, Horkheimer argued that reason, as has been known and exercised since the Enlightenment, is ruled by exploitation, productivity, and profitability criteria which have become ends in themselves. That is why, far from being the kind of interpersonal, critical, and reflexive reason which would encourage the deve- lopment of the individual and of the society she or he inhabits, it constitutes an instrumental form of rationality which equates utility with rationality.
So much so that, such reason ultimately proves to be irrational insofar as it leads to destructive —rather than constructive or creative— paths. This constitutes an assessment of rationality and society made on moral grounds; Critical Theory —as Honneth ar- gues— considers instrumental reason as a socially deficient ratio- nality because of the ethical core which informs and drives Critical Theory itself As Honneth observes, despite the different vocabulary used by its various members, they all refer to a deformed rationality: They denounce this deficient rationality as guided by self-interested criteria, resulting in the subjugation of nature and the individual.
This does not mean that the Frankfurt School advocates renouncing reason altogether. This distinction, as Peter U. Influenced by Hegel, the only characteristic of this self-actualization shared by the members of the Institut is that the criterion for a successful individual self-actualization is linked to the self-actualization of the rest of members of society.
This premise is consistent not only with their concern with social justice, but —more primarily— with the undefined ethical premises guiding their thought.
Critical Theory, although interdisciplinary in nature, must be understood within the framework of the renovation of the principles of Classical Marxism which, by the mid-twentieth century, faced with the dynamics of neo-capitalism, had long been dated.
As Marcuse states: Old Marxist economic models are found to be in need of revision; they do not expect the proletariat to gain class-consciousness and overthrow the capitalist government, for they consider the proletariat and the class struggle as obsolete concepts.
Whereas the concept of the proletariat becomes inapplicable, the social force which needs to be analysed, instead, is the mass. Economic movements and interests are no longer thought to fully represent or reflect society and, influenced by Antonio Gram- sci and psychoanalysis the School explores and highlights the rela- tionship amongst subjectivity, culture, and economic systems.
As Kellner explains: Although Marcuse and his colleagues would accept the Marxian position that the economy is the crucial determining factor for all social life, they reject all forms of economic reductionism and attempt to describe the complex set of mediations connecting the economy, social and political institutions, culture, everyday life, and individual consciousness as parts of a reciprocally interacting social system b: In doing so, as Kellner argues, Critical Theory goes beyond interdisciplinarity and becomes supradisciplinary, for not only does it cross over several disciplines, but it questions the very idea of having boundaries between competing disciplines as a counter- productive and arbitrary division The result, in the case of the Frankfurt School, is a highly critical and complex theory which targets instrumental reason, consumerism, mass society, and the culture industry.
It must not be forgotten that the work of the Frankfurt School is, to a large extent, a response to the rise of fascism in Europe; given the irrationality of the latter, the School considered psychoanalysis to be necessary for the analysis of Fascist society itself, but also of the society which created the conditions for Fascist ideology to emerge and thrive.
Moreover, they claim that there are important connections between liberal capitalism and fascism. Similarly, the goals and methodology put forward by Marcuse that same year are subject to change and evolution, for as Marcuse himself ex- plains: Thus, it becomes evident that Critical Theory is not only di- verse in its manifestations, but also flexible, for it aims to address the problems associated with the ideology and rationality preva- lent at the time that is being exercised.
So what are these aims? This is obviously a problematic and paradoxical position, for stating such a critique results in its own negation. How can anyone be free from an ideology that is perceived as all-encompassing? Adorno and Horkheimer, however, do not pursue this line of reasoning and their critique remains essentially negative. Even Marcuse, who does not state the impossibility to liberate consciousness from the limitations imposed by instrumental reason, remains in the sphere of negative critique and admits not knowing who the agents of change may be b: Does this mean that Critical Theory has no politics, as is often argued?
Despite the lack of affiliation of Critical Theorists to party politics and their focus on cultural and aesthetic issues, this is no evidence of their lack of political com- mitment. As Chamber argues, their non-engagement with party 17 For a succinct summary of the ways in which it is often argued that Critical Theory has no politics see Chambers, Marcuse [ What is more, this position —as Kellner indicates— has significant practical, even political, implications.
The realization of the impossibility of escaping the existing co-ordinates of rationality, however, does not mean that the work of Critical Theorists is not political, but that our concept of politics —if it is limited to party politics— needs to be revised. Considering the normative agenda present at its root, Critical Theory must be inextricably linked to politics. To put it differently, Critical Theory is political in as far as it stems from the desire to instil socio-cul- tural and economic change.
As Chambers states: Critical Theorists choose to reframe the concept of politics in Socratic terms. This is not to be understood as an inner withdrawal, but as an empowering and fully political stand.
That is to say that for Critical Theorists, as Chamber argues, politics is ultimately understood as paideia This search for truth has important consequences for the methodology of Critical Theory. The critique of instrumental rea- son itself already suggests the need to develop a more compre- hensive alternative reason, upon which to base any truly transfor- mative research.
Moreover, as a result of their premises and their aims, Critical Theory must adopt a different rationality itself in or- der to avoid being prey to its own criticism.
Thus, Critical Theory must be essentially different not just in its theoretical content but, more radically, also in its methodology, effectively constituting a different rationality of its own right. Critical Theory is concerned with the interpretations of what there is in such a way that reason may reach conclusions which go beyond its initial premises; failing to do this would not only be a sign of being caught in the dominant ideology, but it would also entail the acceptance of what there is.
This is achieved by incorporating into their theoretical analysis elements traditionally excluded from the realm of reason such as, the value of speculation, experience, subjectivity, and, ultimately, praxis. In a subversive manoeuvre against the established framework of rationality, Critical Theory sheds a new, positive light onto the concept of speculation, by reassessing its role and implications for a more detailed analysis of the role of speculation in Critical Theory see How, As Chambers states, the aims of Critical Theory are: That is why he claims that genuine experience has disappeared.
For this reason, one of the purposes of Critical Theory is recove- ring the value and the possibility of genuine experience, which is essential for a coherent rationality. By adopting a supradisciplinary approach, Critical Theory endeavours to integrate subjectivity, experience, and praxis into its theoretical analysis in an effort to construct a comprehensive social theory which can confront the key social and political pro- blems that result from advanced capitalism.
Critical Theory suggests that the actualization of individual freedom requires adopting a common praxis that is more than the result of the mere coordination of individual interests. Despite this ethical motivation, Critical Theorists reject the possibility of a universal moral theory; they are suspicious of totalizing solutions.
Praxis can be observed from different perspectives in the work of the members of the Frankfurt School. On the one hand, although Critical Theory is not prescriptive, the ultimate goal of their critique is the liberation and the self-actualization of the individual. Because of this guiding goal, their thought has political implications which, as such, belong to the realm of praxis. This is most visible in the case of Marcuse, who not only was a source of influence, but also of support, for the New Left in the United States during the s.
Other examples of the biographical commitment to their thought can be found in Adorno, who provided dozens of radio interviews in an effort to reach the public and make his views clear, and in Fromm, who was a consistent supporter of social justice and campaigned for international human rights and the abolition of nuclear weapons; this is less so in the case of Horkheimer. This is not accidental, since the different elements which form Critical Theory are part of a holistic effort to subtract Critical Theorists themselves and their readers from the dominant ideology of advanced capitalist society enough to make this criticism, but also to open up the possibili- ty of the liberation of the individual from such ideology.
For this reason, the style which Critical Theorists use to communicate is a deliberate consequence of their aims and their own ideology, and can be considered the materialization of their methodology. This style, although idiosyncratic to each one of them, sha- res the same aims, namely, the expression and communication of complex and interrelated trains of thought, but also the destabi- lisation of instrumental reason.
That is why some critics, such as How, express their surprise at the description of Critical Theory as popular and, even, populist. Marcuse mostly did not write in short, easily absorbable sentences, but in long, roving, muscular phrases where a sentence could last a whole paragraph and where the subject and object of the sentence seemed only distant cousins. This challenging language is by no means exclusive to Marcuse, for other members of the School also defy the linguistic limitations of lineal expression and demand the engagement of the reader with the text.
It must be stressed that the choice of this style is deliberate and obeys methodological reasons. As Holger Brier indicates: Adorno was no poet. Invariably, this does have implications for his style. Upon elucidating that style plays a crucial role in allowing the possibility of exercising Critical Theory as a rationality on its own right, it becomes clear that one of the key features of Critical Theory is the strong interrelationship between aim, methodology, and style.
It is an inherent feature to Critical Theory, which must be shared by any other thinkers beyond the Frankfurt School, in order for them to be considered Critical Theorists. This is precisely what I argue to be the case for Aranguren and Aguirre, as discus- sed below. It is based on this understanding of Critical Theory that I argue that it is possible to conceive that, in response to the specific socio-political circum- stances of twentieth-century Spain, a form of Critical Theory has been developed by some Spanish thinkers.
Thus, this book aims to provide evidence that Aguirre and Aranguren, although idiosyn- cratically, both develop their thought in ways consistent with Criti- cal Theory. Further research may show that other Spanish thinkers may also be considered Critical Theorists.
In fact, their interests, the specific focus of their thought, their form, and style are diverse. Never- theless, it can be said that Aranguren and, although differently, also Aguirre develop a neo-Marxist critique of neo-capitalist so- ciety and its effect on the individual.
What both of them have in common is the elaboration of a critique of instrumental reason which, as discussed above, lies at the very core of Critical Theory as developed by the Frankfurt School.
What is more, this critique forms the basis from which Aguirre and Aranguren develop the rest of their thought. It is not my intention either to suggest that Aguirre and Aran- guren deliberately follow the patterns of thought described above in order to accommodate their work within the parameters of Cri- tical Theory.
Nonetheless, it remains true that a parallel develo- pment to that of the Frankfurt School can be observed. After the unreason involved in any war, especially in a civil war, after the incongruities and the injustices of Francoist ideology, a new form of reason had to be sought.
This is precisely one of the key characteris- tics of the decade of the s in Spain. In this sense, the thought of Aranguren and Aguirre —particularly from this decade onwards- is a reaction against the ideology of the regime.
More importantly, it is the rejection of the rationality exercised by the regime as well as an attempt to develop a questioning, yet coherent, reason. They are, of course, not alone in this quest. Hence, what they advocate is a much more radical project, not the reconstruction of instrumental reason, but its rejection in favour of a more humane and holistic alternative: Despite the fact that they do not develop a co-ordinated or systematized approach to their intellectual production, they do, however, share the defining characteristics of Critical Theory: In turn, this is hoped to spark a qualitative process of transformation of society.
Their work, however, does not constitute a mere replication or reiteration of Critical Theory as developed by the School. Their divergence from the Frankfurt School is particularly significant in relation to their conclusions. The School is often described as pessimistic because they do not clearly identify who the agent to bring about social change and personal emancipation would be.
Moreover, without such an agent, the possibility of bringing this emancipation to fruition comes into question and the possibilities which they sketch in their writings remain confined to the realm of utopia.
In contrast with them, these Spanish thinkers offer a more hopeful vision. Partly informed by their highly developed sense of spirituality, partly enthused by the possibilities the end of Fran- coism and the Transition into democracy seem to open, Arangu- ren and Aguirre place their hopes for emancipation in a cyclical process of multi-levelled change which can only start with the in- dividual.
For this reason, it is important to emphasize that both of them share an interest in spirituality which they incorporate into their critique, and which becomes their distinctive contribution.
These positions were reflected in their writings, but what was their impact? How do their publications relate to the changes in the socio-political and cultural atmosphere they lived in? Nonetheless, it did try to impose its hegemony indirectly through illiteracy and directly through censorship, the control of cultural expressions and public discourse.
The illiteracy rate in is estimated to have been so- mewhere between 30 and 40 percent. In response to this situa- tion, there were various initiatives amongst Republicans to spread culture throughout Spain, although not without controversy; as Faber indicates, bread and tools to work seemed more urgent The Repu- blican government set out to combat the high illiteracy levels by creating new schools. De a se crearon The period of involution mentioned, refers to the overt opposition of the rightwing biennium, whose conservative policy opposed any attempts to secularize education.
Moreover, as Jordi Mones i Pujol-Busquets argues, in an effort to prevent the adoption of new ideas and preserve their position, they were also clearly hostile to scientific and cultural develop- ment This belligerent attitude towards education had serious consequences.
During the Republic, it propitiated verbal abuse against educators and intellectuals, which, after the Civil War broke out, turned to physical violence. They were accused of having introduced in Spain subversive ideas which were in detriment of home-grown principles and customs, and were, ultimately, blamed for leading the country to its alleged decadence. During the first years of the Civil War, the Republican educational effort intensified.
In addition, many unoccupied houses were transformed into schools. Regarding higher education, Abella indicates that during the year alone, over four thousand grants were awarded The Republic was also concerned with adult illiteracy and, in an effort to combat it, in January , it created the Milicias de la Cultura, which taught basic reading and writing skills to voluntary military recruits and combatants.
However, this eagerness also meant that the boundaries between culture and propaganda were often blurred. However, most historians agree that, at least initially, the Republic received the support of most prominent Spanish intellectuals and artists, whereas the support of high calibre intellectuals for the Nationalist side was scarce.
By contrast, the intellectual support received by Nationalists was comprised by Joseantonian followers and conservative traditionalists thinkers such as Ramiro de Maeztu and Fernando Luca de Tena. The reasons for this are that, on the one hand, the concept of culture was soon equated with left-wing thought and, on the other, that the empowerment that knowledge may confer could turn culture as a source of opposition. As a result, Nationalists sought cultural hegemony.
Very much aware of the political power of education, in September , the first Francoist government approved a law for the reform of secondary education, motivated by the belief that, as Claret Miranda argues, it was in secondary education where the ruling classes were formed; shaping them according to Francoist principles was a priority Culture in Spain during the regime was used as an instrument of legitimation and perpetuation of power, an instrument of domination.
One of the consequences of using education as a political instrument was the clear separation between education and culture. As Claret Miranda indicates, this can be observed in the distrust of the regime towards educators, whose loyalty to the regime had to be confirmed before they were allowed to teach Libraries and learning were often regarded as left-wing propaganda.
Educators, researchers, as well as research and teaching materials were all under scrutiny and, consequently, purged by the regime, particularly at the beginning. This means that an important number of titles deemed pernicious or not suitable, particularly foreign books, were destroyed or locked away. Paradoxically, as Jordan indicates, some of the books confiscated have ended up in the National Library, thus ensuring their survival Francoism sought to control all forms of cultural expression, which it attempted to do by means of the instrumentalization of the media to serve political purposes.
Despite the efforts of the Republic, at the end of the Civil War Spain still was a country with low levels of schooling, high levels of illiteracy, and insufficient educational infrastructure. In addition, although active efforts to promote and expand access to education were not made by the regime until the s, whatever education there was, was used for the political purposes of the regime. Only by , well after the introduction of demo- cracy, illiteracy was reduced to 3.
After the Civil War, state funding for the clergy was restored.
The Spanish Church regained its former spheres of power and in- fluence, such as education and marriage, and gained others, such as censorship.
Thus, the Church was heavily involved in teaching and in cultural life, an example of which can be found in the con- siderable presence of the Opus Dei in Spanish universities. The result was a return to a scholastic style and focusing education on the production of technicians who would be needed by the structure of capitalism. In addition to this, public libra- ries did not enjoy the support of the regime, while the production of new material and the delivery of education were also closely controlled, making for largely stifled University classrooms which were reminiscent of the scholastic style.
It was not until the s that some movements of educational reform, such as the Basque ikastolas, were allowed to develop see Mones i Pujol-Busquets, On the other hand, those dissident writers who remained in Spain, forced to work within the constraints of the regime, often developed al- ternative ways of expression while readers cultivated the art of reading between the lines. Censorship, however, was inconsistent.
Although established by the draconian Press Law of , there were no clear guidelines to define which contents were allowed and which were not, re- liance being placed to a great extent on the subjective opinions of the censors. Nevertheless, this inconsis- tent censorship was more the result of disorganization, the lack of specific directives, and the different interests of the people and institutions involved in the censoring process, rather than being the result of a carefully developed strategy.
The regime was trying to gain acceptance, both at home and abroad, particularly between , the beginning of a period of international isolation, and the early s, with the entrance of Spain into UNESCO and the signing of the Pact of Madrid with the US , which signa- lled the end of such isolation. Consequently, the regime was keen on promoting an appearance of open-mindedness and tolerance, while pushing for its own moral code and cultural hegemony. The- se double standards meant that the regime would allow the publi- cation of some intellectual works and accept modest criticism.
Its effects, however, have been debated, because although prior censorship was abolished, post- publication censorship still existed, which effectively encouraged a greater degree of self-censorship. This proved to be a successful strategy for the regime; by allowing some degree of dissidence to be voiced, the regime hoped to gain a wider degree of interna- tional acceptance and to promote a misleading national sense of relative freedom and Europeanization.
Thus, this dissidence was assimilated by the regime, rendering it innocuous. Nevertheless, it did allow for previously silenced topics to be openly discussed in print, as is the case with the Christian-Marxist debate which mar- ked the late s.
As he matured intellectually and politically, his expression changed accordingly into a more inquisi- tive, digressive, personal, dialogical, even, transgressive style.
His style is transgressive in as far as there is an element of crossing or blurring standard separations, divisions, and borders of tem- poral and intellectual nature, hence his supradisciplinarity. This supradisciplinarity becomes necessary, as a result of the issues he dealt with, which are diverse and, in many ways, closely intertwi- ned. His provocation lies in crossing such boundaries, in voicing what others dare not think and, above all, in his thought-provoking, tireless defence of the function of the in- tellectual, which he so keenly performed.
Aranguren adopted this role, thus emphasizing the correspondence between his theoretical and biographical stands. This also means that the ti- me-span and the main subject of discussion of each phase are not rigorously clear-cut. As a whole, Aranguren valued the teachings of the past and integrated them into a critical view of the present, developing an intellectual path whose progression —far from being lineal—, often gives the impression of going back to a former pha- se.
All in all, his style is clear, coherent, and communicative. Nevertheless, his choice of style is also deliberate and coherent with the content of his thought, as it reflects the effort to reach the greatest number of readers possible and to instil political participation and cultivate a critical attitude.
Numerous lectures in both the academic and the public domain also bear witness to his vocation as teacher and to his proximity with his public and readers. Books, journals, and newspaper articles were his preferred means of expression. This has important implications. As Eamonn Rodgers argues, Censorship during Francoism was typically hars- her on those forms of expression which reached the wider public, press and cinema in particular Consequently, some dissidence was tolerated, counting on the assumption that high- brow publications would enjoy little distribution and an even sma- ller readership, and hence the perceived threat to the regime was considered to be negligible.
Nevertheless, he continued to have a wide readership and to publish prolifically in Spain. This is no coincidence, as Aranguren himself was aware of the political role of newspapers, which confirms the intentionality of his contributions , 5: Except for some smaller contributions to the debate on religion during his role as priest, no literary work of his own is produced until after the end of the re- gime and, even then, the quantity remains modest.
This probably accounts for the fact that, despite his importance as an influential intellectual and as a socialite, there are hardly any materials analy- sing his intellectual contributions. His status as a priest, however, provided him with certain privileges, whose boundaries he pushed on numerous occasions and in various inventive ways, as exemplified in this anecdote recounted by Fernando F.
Thus, he took upon himself the task of the dissemination of culture, which he carried out extensively while working at Taurus, a publishing house located in Madrid There, his progressiveness became evident, first, when he was a religious editor, later, when he took charge of the series Cuadernos Taurus and, even more so, when, in the end, he became editor-in-chief. The apparent paradox of the failure of Francoist cultural hegemony in the face of its continuous hold on power until the natural death of the dictator is succinctly explained by Castellet: This was particularly patent during the final years of the regime, which were marked by the tension between what Spain was and what it aspired to be.
As a result of the Second Vatican Council , the Church underwent a profound transfor- mation. The Church became increasingly interested in distancing itself from the position and from the actions that it had taken in earlier years.
This process crucially involved a general political amnesty and a silent agreement for political amnesia widely known as Pacto del Olvido and Pacto de Silencio respectively. The culmination of this process can be observed in the advent of democracy and the Constitution of An example can be found in the composition of the government; there were rapid political changes, but also some —perhaps disorienting— continuity, as is the case with a number of Ministers and the King himself who, despite having served under Franco, soon adapted to —many even promoted— the democratic framework.
In addition to these political changes, the advent of demo- cracy and the new freedom it offered also meant rapid moral chan- ges, both within and outside the realm of religion. Consequently, a moral crisis —or an intensification of an already existing moral crisis— ensued. Although, as the victor of the Spanish Civil War, the regime did its best to impose its view of a united and homo- geneous Spain legitimised by the Francoist victory and by National Catholicism.
This revolution was not without disorientation or confusion, for the rapid changes that took place during the apertura years of the regime brought about a moral crisis, perhaps individual in nature, although of social proportions, since these newly acqui- red values conflicted with those defended by the regime.
There was disorientation and there was also disillusionment. Aranguren was well-aware of this process and of its moral repercussions which was one of the reasons why he took upon himself the task of the moralist, embodied in the figure of the intellectual. From this platform, always with a conciliatory agenda, he acted as a critic of society, while emphasizing the value of education, particularly education for communication and political education. The end of the regime resulted in a proliferation of articles, books, and films, which lead to the cultural explosion of the s.
Estudio so- bre su vida, obra y pensamiento This presence in the press means that Aguirre established a close relationship with the public; his name, his contributions, and opinions became familiar, expected.
Nevertheless, despite his cultivation of the journalistic genre and, in contrast with Aranguren, his language is often obscure; its goal is to demand the engagement from the willing reader who, through this exercise, would develop a critical ability and practice independent thinking, which is hoped it could be extrapolated to other contexts.
After becoming Duke of Alba through his marriage with Caye- tana Fitz-James Stuart, Duchess of Alba, in , Aguirre continued to devote most of his live to the endeavour of cultural dissemina- tion, be it by means of his direct involvement in the promotion of the arts, as he became a member of several prestigious academies during the s, such as the Royal Spanish Academy of Langua- ge and the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, or be it by means of his publications.
In , Aguirre published Casi ayer noche, the first of several short semi-autobiographical essays and even a collec- tion of poems, which are interspersed with cultural commentary.
The borderlines between genres, as between disciplines, become blurred, conferring his expression a sense of fluidity on the one hand, and a sense of confusion and disorientation on the other.
Despite being a charismatic and influential public figure in Spain during this time, and despite having produced a variety of publications, Aguirre has never been received scholarly attention as a thinker of his own right before. Several reasons may account for this: In addition, both of them participated directly in the process of informing and shaping public opinion through their journalistic endeavours.
This is the case with Aranguren, since there are indica- tions to conclude that in the early stages of his career, his choice of subject matter was influenced by his awareness of the restrictions placed upon public expression by the regime.
Similarly, the expan- sion of his focus of interest and of his media of publication —from books to newspapers and even television appearances— as well as the increasingly critical tone of his work is linked, on the one hand, to his extended stays in the United States where he was not subjected to this type of censorship and, on the other, to the the Press Law and to the abolition of censorship which followed the end of the dictatorship.
The impact of censorship on the work of Aguirre is even more apparent. Aguirre practically limits his pu- blications during the regime to translations and editions and these are mostly of a religious nature until the mid-sixties. It is not until the Transition —when state censorship has been abolished— that he starts writing and publishing his own manuscripts.
All in all, although it is true that Aranguren and Aguirre have been well-known public figures, their thought tends to be unders- tood and interpreted within the co-ordinates of the historical mo- ment they shared and, to a certain extent, shaped, that is, their reaction towards the Francoist regime and their position during the Spanish Transition. Although their thought undoubtedly bears the influence of their socio-cultural and political context, what I would like to suggest here is that there is an important subversive element in their work which, although concerned with their his- torical circumstances, aims to transcend them in order to address the issue of rationality itself.
Against instrumental reason unveils evidence of the existence of a current of Critical Theory in Spain, which has typically been considered inexistent. Providing this evi- dence shall be the focus of the following chapters.
Throughout this article, Aranguren provides a review of their thought and, in that process, the admiration that he feels for the Frankfurt School be- comes apparent. If you do not receive an email within 10 minutes, your email address may not be registered, and you may need to create a new Wiley Online Library account. If the address matches an existing account you will receive an email with instructions to retrieve your username. First published: June Tools Request permission Export citation Add to favorites Track citation.
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