Critical Periodstage Hypothesisphenomenon See Infant Attachment Theories

CRITICAL THEORY. Critical theory is an analytical approach in political philosophy and psychology - especially associated with the University of Frankfurt in Germany and Columbia University in New York in the 1930s and advanced by Max Horkheimer (1895-1973), Theodor W. Adorno (1903-1969), and Herbert Marcuse (1898-1979) - that rejects the proposition of a value-free social science and examines the historical and ideological factors that determine culture and human behavior. Critical theory is proposed as a practical/normative theory (i.e., prescribing norms or standards, such as found in decision theory or game theory which seek to prescribe how rational decision-makers ought to choose in order to optimize or maximize their own interests) rather than as a descriptive/positive theory (i.e., propositions that seek to explain and predict the behavior of actual agents), and attempts to expose the contradictions inherent in individuals' belief systems and social mores or behaviors with the goal of changing them. See also DECISION-MAKING THEORIES; GAME THEORY. REFERENCES

Marcuse, H. (1941). Reason and revolution: Hegel and the rise of social theory. London: Oxford University Press.

Dialektik der aufklarung. Amsterdam: Querido. Adorno, T. W. (1963). Eingriffe: Neun kritische modelle. Frankfurt am Main: Verlag. Marcuse, H. (1968). Negations: Essays in critical theory. Trans. J. T. Shapiro. Boston: Beacon Press. Adorno, T. W., Marcuse, H., & Habermas, J. (1970). Das elend der kritischen theorie. Freiburg: Rombach.

Horkheimer, M. (1970). Traditionelle und kritische theorie. Frankfurt am Main: Fischer-Bucherei. Bell, D. E., Raiffa, H., & Tversky, A. (Eds.)

(1988). Decision making: Descriptive, normative, and prescriptive interactions. New York: Cambridge University Press. Marcuse, H. (2001). Towards a critical theory of society. (D. Kellner, ed.). New York: Routledge.

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