Theory and Praxis: Bridging the Gap in Critical Theory
(As part of the Second Global Forum of Critical Studies organized by Euroacademia in Prague, Czech Republic)
Panel Organizer: Dana Domsodi, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa, Italy
To paraphrase Adorno, critical theory remains alive only because the moment of its translation into practice has been missed. Critical theorists have been publicly accused of resignation in front of practice, while they resumed themselves with changing their interpretations over the world, but abstained from any practice in the world of their lucubrated theorizations. The place of provenance for this quarrel is none other than the long philosophical debate over the relation between theory and practice. Things got even more complicated as critical theory answered to these accusations with the pertinent observation that thinking is a form of praxis which in its turn is nothing but thought in action.
Critical theory dealt extensively with the relation between theory and practice. However, in the context of contemporary plethora of social and political movements that have sprung in the last years as a result of the economic crisis and the capitalist contradictions made visible in such times, critical theory is once again called forth to try to pin down on the map of theory these practices of contestation and emancipation.
In this context of a perpetual and universal state of exception calling for praxis, the question of theory haunts practice like its repressed or acknowledged double. The historical necessary dialectic between theory and practice, together with its various forms of apparent manifestation challenge the entire specter of social science without the promise of any final reckoning.
New critical interrogation appear as soon as one takes a closer look at the theory that backs up all these socio-political struggles, only to find there an eclectic collection of theses and hypotheses that taken together or separate cannot offer any objective and universal frame of understanding. On the other hand, from the theoretical side of the mirror, the situation is as complex, in the sense of an unabridged gap between theory and reality in the double sense of advancement and delay. If theory and practice were once in the modern world inseparable as two complementary modes of the same subjectivation process through objectivation, today they appear divorced as two separate modes constituting the Subject and its socio-political mode of objectivation.
The panel invites contributions addressing the relation between critical theory and practice within our contemporary context. The panel welcomes theoretical provocations that can range from a modern classical approach up to contemporary theoretical debates.
Some of the topics include (but are not limited to):
- If we accept that practice without theory is blind and theory without practice is sterile, how can one surpass the ontological gap of objectivation between the two?
- What type of theory can and actually does stand behind the recent outbreaks of social and political movements?
- How can the contemporary social and critical theory surpass the unavoidable delay between theory and practice?
- Can practice ground itself?
- If the critical theoretical advancements within the field of social sciences are ahead of the socio-political praxis, than so much worse for the latter?
If interested to apply, please see the full details of the conference at http://euroacademia.eu/conference/the-second-global-forum-of-critical-studies/
You can apply online on the conference website or by sending 300 words abstract together with the details of affiliation until 15th of November at firstname.lastname@example.org
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