Rodrigo Cordero, Crisis and Critique: On the Fragile Foundations of Social Life. Routledge, 2017
Fragility is a condition that inhabits the foundations of social life. It remains mostly unnoticed until something breaks and dislocates the sense of completion. In such moments of rupture, the social world reveals the stuff of which it is made and how it actually works; it opens itself to question.
Based on this claim, this book reconsiders the place of the notions of crisis and critique as fundamental means to grasp the fragile condition of the social and challenges the normalization and dissolution of these ‘concepts’ in contemporary social theory. It draws on fundamental insights from Hegel, Marx, and Adorno as to recover the importance of the critique of concepts for the critique of society, and engages in a series of studies on the work of Habermas, Koselleck, Arendt, and Foucault as to consider anew the relationship of crisis and critique as immanent to the political and economic forms of modernity.
Moving from crisis to critique and from critique to crisis, the book shows that fragility is a price to be paid for accepting the relational constitution of the social world as a human domain without secure foundations, but also for wishing to break free from all attempts at giving closure to social life as an identity without question. This book will engage students of sociology, political theory and social philosophy alike.
Table of Contents
Part I. Sociology of crisis/Critique of sociology
1. The critique of crisis
2. The crisis of critique
Part II. Models of crisis/Forms of critique
3. Diremptions of social life: Bringing capitalist crisis and social critique back together —Jürgen Habermas
4. The non-closure of human history: Misfortunes of social critique and the political foundations of concepts —Reinhart Koselleck
Part III. Fragile foundations/Political struggles
5. The fragile world in-between: Totalitarian destruction and the modesty of critical thought —Hannah Arendt
6. Making things more fragile: The persistence of crisis and the neoliberal disorder of things —Michel Foucault
Decoding social hieroglyphics: Notes on the philosophical actuality of sociology