Ends of Critique
Pol Bargués-Pedreny, Kai Koddenbrock, Jessica Schmidt, and Mario Schmidt (eds.)
Global Dialogues 10, Duisburg 2015
With contributions by Mario Schmidt, Jessica Schmidt, Kai Koddenbrock, Dimitris P. Sotiropoulos, Oliver Marchart, David Chandler, and Pol Bargués-Pedreny
The workshop 'After Modernity into Complexity? Possibilities for Critique in an Age of Global Cooperation' and this global dialogue Ends of Critique originate in a diagnostic observation that all four editors share. It is an observation that awaits explanation in contemporary social sciences: in Germany and the Anglophone world, ‘critique’ seems to be everywhere but does not do anything. Playing around with a phrase from Bruno Latour, one might say that critique has run out of steam but is still running. [...] The Dialogue’s contributions aim to explore diverse vantage points for understanding this situation.
They do not pretend to neatly verify their arguments in the same way that scholars are forced to do in high impact journals. The reader will not find boring literature reviews, long bibliographies and overly artificial politeness. A dialogue, we assume, is a direct and polemical fight with the dialogue partner as well as with the problem discussed. In fact, we believe that only in arguing with each other will the problem(s) eventually take shape and become visible. Taken as a whole, however, the contributions exemplify that a multi-perspectival approach to the question leads to – how should it not? – a multiplicity of entry points into the discussion.
The dialogue is split into two sections, which are separated by an intermezzo. The two sections, ‘Thought and Critique: Fun vs. Responsibility’ and ‘Society and Critique: Overcoming Anti-Foundationalism’, consist of three short pieces each that revolve around similar issues and cross-reference each other. In the middle, an ‘Intermezzo’ offers a very timely sketch of the ideology of finance with immediate relevance to the current euro-zone crisis and Greece’s position in it. It is placed in between the more theoretical parts as a reminder of the critical potential of empirically sensitive but theoretically inspired research.
(from the introduction by the editors)