Verdinglichung als Pathologie zweiter Ordnung

Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie 59 (5):731-746 (2011)
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Although the critique of reification is a core commitment of critical theories, there is no widely accepted account of its normative foundation. In Lukács’s original analysis, this foundation is provided by a strong concept of practice which is, however, not acceptable from a contemporary point of view. I argue that the systematic character of reification theory can only be upheld if this concept is replaced by a more intersubjective notion of normative practices. Reification can then be analysed as a second-order pathology of social practices, as an inhibition of reflexivity by their normative shape. The normative justification of such critique, however, turns out to be more context-dependent than it is usually imagined.

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Titus Stahl
University of Groningen


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