Max Horkheimer: Eclipse of Reason

(2062 words)

In Eclipse of Reason (1946), Max Horkheimer shows how thinking has degenerated since the Enlightenment into what he characterizes as instrumental classification and calculation:

This type of reason may be called subjective reason. It is essentially concerned with means and ends, with the adequacy of procedures for purposes more or less taken for granted and supposedly self-explanatory. It attaches little importance to the question whether the purposes as such are reasonable.

Horkheimer evokes on the one hand the objectivity of the human situation as an individual’s relation to moral norms. On the other hand, he shows how this universality of rationality has gradually …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are not a subscriber, please click here to read about membership. All our articles have been written recently by experts in their field, more than 95% of them university professors.

Citation:
Wood, Kelsey. "Eclipse of Reason". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 02 March 2005
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=16370, accessed 30 September 2014.]