Developing critique together: symposium abstract

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In a talk entitled “What is critique?”, Michel Foucault states: “critique only exists in relation to something other than itself: it is an instrument, a means for a future or a truth that it will not know nor happen to be […]. [The activity of critique] is supported by some kind of more general imperative – more general still than that of eradicating errors. There is something in critique which is akin to virtue” (Foucault, 1997, pp. 42-43).
Critique is future-directed: It communicates a ‘more general imperative’ that affects the possible, the imaginable, and thereby the actual. Even if formulated as a mere rejection of an existing theory or perspective on the world, it points to an alternative – a directionality of action which diverges from what it criticizes. This alternative may remain hidden, mystified, or implicit. Arguably, however, it is the Humanities’ and Social Sciences’ task to make the alternatives surface as clearly as possible – so as to render them contestable, renegotiable, accessible for future critique.
Such productive critiques can be found in Heidegger’s destruction and Derrida’s deconstruction, in Ilyenkov’s ideal and Critical Psychology’s reconstructionist critique. The symposium gathers theoretical psychologists who shed light on a variety of understandings of critique, who productively discuss what the purpose or function of critique, its methods and its limitations may be: Who benefits from critique? Is critique a collective process? How can critique bridge academic and non-academic practice? And what has critique to do with psychology?
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventInternational Society for Theoretical psychology 16th Biennial Conference: Resistance & Renewal - Coventry University, Conventry, United Kingdom
Duration: 26 Jun 201530 Jun 2015


ConferenceInternational Society for Theoretical psychology 16th Biennial Conference
LocationCoventry University
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address

Bibliographical note

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