What we're about
Critical philosophy (which is also known as critical theory or social philosophy) is the act of thinking critically and broadly about life and culture.
What is the objective of the Society for Critical Philosophy?
We are building a coalition of thinkers who are ready and able to interact with the assumptions that reside at the base of culture, assumptions which are assumed to be intelligent and normative, merely because they have never been identified and challenged in light of a broader social context.
"Many ideas prevalent today are revealed to be mere illusions when we consider them from the point of view of their social basis. But it is not enough merely to correlate these ideas with some one social group... We must penetrate deeper and develop them out of the decisive historical process from which the social groups themselves are to be explained."*
To be more specific, we seek to target controlling, authoritarian premises, which lie at the heart of popular culture; we seek to expose and refute the tactics of ideology. Our main concern is the liberation of the individual; we seek to make people aware of the culture in which they exist; we seek to impart freedom through the medium of criticism, which is a tool that can be utilized to expand consciousness. We believe social awareness is vital to freedom. "More than ever, the proposition holds true that progress in freedom demands progress in the consciousness of freedom."**
All our lectures are free and open to the public; we are not trying to appeal to the prejudices of society, we are not trying to form a mass movement, we are trying to create a coalition of substance, a group of lecturers that produce quality work. This is all that matters; for this reason do we exist.
If the S.C.P. is successful it will provide a platform for philosophers to share their discoveries and criticisms. Our lectures will not be confined to a limited geography, but through social media, they will be made available to the general public.
All are welcome and encouraged to attend; we are always looking for serious thinkers that want to contribute to the emancipation of culture. Our speakers are not chosen on the basis of formal education, but by their *ability* to identify and refute the controlling assumptions that drive culture. Our concern is nothing less than the deconstruction of ideology aimed at the emancipation of the individual. Our presuppositions are boldly humanistic.
The S.C.P is part of a larger philosophical movement going back to the 1930's; it is represented by the work of Theodore Adorno, Max Horkheimer, Eric Fromm and Herbert Marcuse (to name just a few). Critical philosophy goes back to Socrates, it reached a climax in the work of Karl Marx.
[If the reader is interested in learning more about this subject they might begin by reading Critical Theory and Society by Bronner and Kellner (http://pages.gseis.ucla.edu/faculty/kellner/essays/criticaltheorysociety.pdf)]
*Citation: The Social Function of Philosophy, contained in: Critical Theory. Selected Essays Max Horkheimer, published by Continuum 1982
** Citation: Herbert Marcuse,"Repressive Tolerance." in A Critique of Pure Tolerance (Boston: Beacon Press, 1969)