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1I:::':II7;lk::-.B;;:rU~J~1k;:-;h~o::-T=s-:-t

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111. Ibid., 43/BPSS; "Egoismus," 16Iff./BPSS.
II~. '''fraditionelIe,'' 266/CT, 212.

l'

3. ~a~cuse, Triebstruktur und Gesellschalt (Frankfurt am Main 1965) E r h· E
It'/ul '¡v¡lll.atlOn(Boston, 1955).
'
. ng IS.
ros
14. "Moral," 173/BPSS.

J

5

The Program of Interdisciplinary Research
and the Beginnings of Critical Theory
Wolfgang BonB

115. Marcuse,
"Zur Kritik des Hedonismus," in Marcuse ' Sclmifiten 3 (Frankfurt am
mam,
1979), 284f.
116. "Rationalismusstreit," 51/BPSS.
1 7. "TraditionelIe," 259/CT, 204.
J

1 8. "Metaphysik," 32/CT, 45.
J

119. "Rationalismusstreit," 47/BPSS.
120. "Traditionelle," 264/CT, 209.
121. "Egoismus," 229/BPSS.
122. Ibid.
123. Ibid., 230/BPSS.
124. Ibid.,231/BPSS.

125. Dubiel, Wissenschaftsorganisation und politische Erfahrung, 122f.
!.26. Raymond ?euss, Die Idee einer kritischen Theorie (K6nigstein, 1983) 111 En lish'
ne Idea 01a Cntlcal Theory: Haberrnas and the Franklurt School (Cambridg~, 1981). g
.
127. [~dit~rs' note: Par~ons inrroduC/;dthe.A-G-I-L schema in his later work as a model
of soezetal Interchange In the four dlmenslons of adaptation (A), goal attainment (G)
Il1tegrauon (1), and pattern mainr~nance or "Iatency" (L). See Talcott Parsons, with
Rl905b3e)rt
Bales
,e Fh·
aps.
3, and
5.] Edward A. ShIls, Working Papers in the Theory 01Action (New York,
.
128. For an explanation of the term quasi-transcendental see Brunkhorst "K
k(Nauve
yedrnunft
und
rachende
Gewalt,"
in
Sozialwissenschaltliche
Literatur
Run:S':/z:u~~
euwle ,1983), 13ff.
129. Cf. Geuss, Die Idee einer kritischen Theorie, 82ff.
130. "Metaphysik," 22f.1CT, 34.
131. "Rationalismusstreit," 47/BPSS.
132. "Anthropologie," 22/BPSS.
133. "Rationalismusstreit," 49f./BPSS.

Although it has often been declared dead, the critical theory of the
1930s and 1940s exhibits an astonishing ability to survive. If at times
it has appeared to be only of historical interest,l today there are more
and more who directly or indirectly link their work to the intentions
of its so.(}aJ~s.~<;,ntific
ro ramo The best-known recent example isJürgen Ha ermas, who has described "early critica1theory" as an important approach to explaining "those pathologies of modernity that other
approaches pass right by for methodological reasons."2\For Habermas, what "remains instructive" above al! is the "interdisCiplinary research program/' which in his eyes offers greater intel!ectual stimulus
for a critical theory of society than the later theses on the "dialectic of
enlightenment" and the concept of "instrumental reason."3 Neverthe1ess, Habermas himse1f concedes that this is only a "conjecture"
whose validity may wel! be contested.4
Th~sJLI2recise1 the starting point for this c!Iapt~r. It attempts to
explicate the interdisciplinary program of early critical theory from
thr~e persp~ctives. :he first ste is to rec~mstruct the basic arguments •
and underl}'il!g concepts formulated EJ Horkheimer in his'reflections
on the p'ossibilit'i;;sand limits of scientific knowledge. He;;I will show
~nditiofl
..C?f~!:!ti<:<ll.~l1eory
in the ~arly 1930s.~s.~_~P.<:,9.fic
~.<>.f.tlJ,~50nt~Il).PC?.!~ry_~i?~i<:t.!
sciences, in both their ".~()ll.rg~ojs"
:'materiali~t" ~~r.~2!1s.,Se!:Qnd,according to these analyses, not
"--onlythe bourgeois (or idealist) paradigm but also the materialist version of science exhibits specific aporias, which are different but not
independent. A critical theory, Horkheimer concludes, must reflect

ª~

al~o_!~p-!ie~<I. On the 0l!f.~~e it cle.ti<:>n-.p<:.!~_0!le¡m<?tl1e.~s a unitr. uScience and Socie.'e totruttt. ~¿i.:. From a systematic perspective.. ~. science is n01-onJy a .a~forms societ}'since it expands the power of human control and pro-. not tr'.~: --- 1.!t~!!'!!~-!2.!!~<!EÚ~s:!~~!Qn to' ~ejy..sion I will discuss the problems and shortcomings inherent in Hork~r's earIy project.~~~lycritic:al. (~_!:. ~!!<._l~Ee'p~~s~!l.. or de. ..h~relation <:>f ssi~!:ce to societ ." science also t!." 239/"Truth.ecide_~hat is or ~ ~~ial cOI!. necessarily resulting in an external and internal crisis.. in its content and form.!J~hatthe lat~er were ~ccorded decisive sig~ificance was evident even In the first Issue.. and "Notes on Science and the Crisis" was published in its place.hand. it is a socially conditioned structure.t and tQ.eimer therefore suppleJ!len.!he. itsE.lf2!schung." I1CT.~~~I. According to Horkheimer's third thesis.it!?-j>r§¡r:.u!?.a~. These external hindrances carry over into an immanent ulimitation on science evident . its subject matter and method" (UBemerkungen.J<lt.9." 2/CT.e..BjsshaU!!Y. ~unity..h_erpr.~~ti~~~:--That-sci~~~~--~~.!:L!l1.I~. .~~i~1?-_@_c .!ve.<:>L~_._.~. propositions that were elaborated in Horkheimer's later essays.. according to Horkheimer's first thesis. where emp-iricalaI!<ll}'s_es and (me.• --- . These.lati().cognitive but also a so~ialcontext. they contain in highly condensed form the basic propositions of early critical theory's interpretation of science.teI:1~encies qf --.tiªti.9!lswere always cl<?s<o!J related.~?E.ve develop'~din connecti~n .- .~ot be-reduced to its relation to society is shown. as 2. F!:om the p~rspe~t. f()E.tI!. 4).e!!.:!l1ivers<lliz.. . despi!~_!ts sociaLLn~~rt:st~ tocf. c~t:.t~eo['r.tr:.lP.-. s:-Fr~m thevlewpoint of its reIatlon to society as well as its relation to trutn~ scienc<LPlés~... 3)." social-cógnitive structure.~~~ll~L~?. Science. by t~~_'. The concept of "interdisciplinary mate!:ialisrr( !:~presents an attempt to do so by c0l!lbiningsocial philos()p!ry with social research from this "organizational" perspectiv_e." 423).ides the intellectual preconditions for a growing domination of outer and inner nature. WhIChwas to haye been Introduced with a piece by Horkheimer. and (&~l!.h<l. so<. --_ •..ability of scientific knowled..Qi~~. <:r:it~E.Ü. and its development can be described as a udou'Ole. _-~--_.2!.t!2tlu:oreticalreflecti." 7/CT. of theoretical and empirical work."5 This can be demonstrated particulady clearly with reference to the Zeitschri{J fÜr So~Í!!:.knowled~ ushares the fate of.t~."Due to his illness.ha~. its realization depends on social conditions that can hinder or encourage it. Science appears as an externally con- . its development obeys the imperatives of uimportance for [social] life" and the form in which it appears "itself changes as part of the social process" (UBemerkungen.~_!~.~h~~~s}!l.ia. first.r. in advanced capitalism those elements inhibiting progress achieve more and more importance...!"taina.'.ty.!vl':_ fo!ces and mC::<lll:s o~prodll.ditioning~::!! !~J:I-2. since its "truth holds even for those who oppose it.:!.i. --~-- -. "a productive power and a means of production.otentlarforr6-ress in t~owe e:'However.ol1 of-sEie.:!~.es~atthe theoret~caJ~~vel"(UBemerkungen.ntifi~kn.og~ct. dare it unimportant" ("Wahrheit. t:!lcO".!:~l:!.Jfo.nts".!!1ev~~_<!~Y_C:!<2E!!!. which is also spelled out in t~~-.e.t!!. is always related tQ_ society in two ways..!!!.:ppli~~. Insofar as the usefulness of science is not identical with its validhY.IDO 101 Wolfgang BonB The Program of Interdisciplinary Research these aporias and try to avoid them by developing a new form of organizing scientific work.l~dge is only !ncompl~~ely. and the further development of theories depends on empirical investigation.Y.. My thesis is that the revision of interdisciplinary materialism toward the end of the 1930s was by no means due to changing circumstances alone..'!-.!ion t~.e_<..g. Contrary to what is often claimed (by Habermas as well). these basic pr0l2: ositions present three~ on (fu.tEatf~r.~ereal needs of humankind" ("Bemerkungen.c.e.:. These notes are of great importance for the conception of interdisciplinary materialism...h~. it points to epistemological weaknesses whose articulation appears particularly important at a time when the reactualization of critical theory could easily lead to the construction of a myth.~i. On the other hand." lICT. ignore it. On the oth~!. Facts are facts only in the context of theoretical interpretations.~ts_.)n c~mch:.it':ty. this essay was never written.~[or. te:: The Critique of Science as Basis and J ustification for Critica! Theory ~l~ From its beginnin~~~he basic concer~~f critical theory was to "deter• mine the social role of science.: !~ a._~<l~!~ang_!~e~. resulting in a far-reaching crisis in its relation to truth.2.':!-.t~efirst proposition with the thesis of the truth relatedness of science.~. 3). 9).~ _.

-- " -~---- . The epochal achievement of bourgeois th~.aS9.:~r~~!ou?e fi!:'t.. 24). we find. a systematichistory of decline. And with respect to inner nature. cannot explain the.. This view." 167/CT.culminating in the rational philosophy of the eighteenth century and. feudal conditions añél :¡ñ the formation ofñew structures""'of perception.!!!.a-st~I:t~p. one can also see. he assumes a functional parallelism between social and scientific development. <. developed in this context. as a subjective-moral order.g.order: "The manner in which each individual contributes to the workmgs of the entir~ society through his labor.:' <. Given this condition. in reflective consciousness. external coercion. On the one hand.hout presuppositions.Qge . This argument was spelIed out more closely through various historical and systematicanalysesof the evolution of modern science in which Horkheim~r wenton to distinguish between a bourgeois and a mate~Iist line of development.. 199ff.orrsütu!!ve~sq!1. as it is for Hegel. they included both merits and the potential for crises.' however this may be constituted. !hese di.c!>J!lPIehensives€ientific- ." 412ff.Qcial.6 Corresponding to this figure of thought.g~fscie~ce lies in the universalization-of a mode of sociaLperceptlon m w. Horkheimer leaves open thespecifics of how this change in the production of knowledge is to be conceived..s. ac• cording to Horkheimer.0 -.mable_2lprovid~I!K. social objectivity no longer appears as the result of the subjects' own rational action but rather confronts them as quasi-natural. This . to be sure. As for the structure of the social production of knowledge.. the kno..) that osits the worlcl from otrt --------o irseWan clainrstü. at the same time. Within science this structural change takes the form' of an intensive occupation with the logic peculiar to specific object-domains.r2g~~.<J.l"Truth. begins to falter as the institutionalization of bourgeois society pro. .kt:J:l)~!~. a gradual "liberation . independent p~raIJl.change is most evident in moderññátura science." 167/CT. within philosophy.. familiar since early romanticism.arguments. in particulár. This epistemological perspective makes possible an expansion of research according to an ambiguous dynamic. 91).vergent features would have to be precisely articulatedJ!!.!. independent of thelr place m the sOCIal totality. these ar~ investil?ated "wit. ))e external condition for the positivizi~. Althougli tlie se f-thematiiatlon bLsociety founded on ra. 91).102 103 WolfgangBonB The Program of InterdisciplinaryResearch ditioned and internalIy secured system for the development of knowledge that increasingly impedes itself-not.¡~ .>ught consists in the ema?cipation orRnówledge from tta'di 'onal. Rather.!1ga. a life of its own a~d increasingly attracts scientific interest. not as one codetermmed by structures mdependent of the subject.g. With this notion. and administration. exploitation. If we fifStconsldertl!~Q!1. whicn aims at "increasing the knowledge of nature and achieving new powers of control over man and nature" ("Metaphysik. BOúrgeois and matenalis SClencewere conceived in this context as two social-cognitive structures that can be clearly distinguished from one another but not in such a way that one is clearly superior." that is. typical of the Enlightenment.. and is at the same time influenced by it.!ne_P.~_ba~!s f?t!!~~el:()R." 14/CT.. groúñd social objectivity rationally.lCT. fo~ ~i~!:~9~!!w. universalized. The process of institutionalization makes it emphatically ~Iear that social relations get established behind the backs of the subjects without conforming to the idea of their rational constitution..:.). in the ~notion of . ~c:.." 326ff." 255ff. since the development of early bourgeois law. reified structures.t~_~!!.>rderto c~~'!. This trend forms the basls for the emergence of the "positive.nzroduced. embedded in the general dynamic of social development. the world of social objects takes on. its -- 0.[g~ois line of a~'yelóRme.CIe!Ú_~~lf-i~ posedim p'~dj~~E~t.gresses. •. in the sense of a "dialectic of enlightenment" but due to the sharpening contradictions of the capitalist organization of society.~ QI1. As is well known. J5üi recognizes it as something:pn:~d~and capable of !?ei. But as the later essays show ("Wahrheit. "Traditionelle. from the comprehensive unity of the Middle Ages" ("Metaphysik.~Pr. beginning with epoch-making progress in knowledge and ending with a growing contradiction between science as a productive power and capitalist relations of production. reinains completely obscure" ("Metaphysik. •bourgeois society no longer accepts the world as'God given. For just this reason it is also "idealistic": the entire s~cial fabric appears.i.htch the realitfóf the world of social objects is measured according t~ criteria of utilization. this idea was interpreted as "division: [Entzweiung]" and.i~~~consciousnes~f itself as an independent being" ~(Ibid. this means a momentous separation of these spheres that persists even if the division of subject and object is conceived as something produced.<J!~t." specialized sciences that enjoyed such an undreamed-ofboom in the nineteenth century.tional philosophy played a d~cisive role in the struggle against absolutism.

itcefers to a cognitive and S ¡al l' 1111 1\ process that goes beyond the principie of returning t mal.on"(':Lage. 34)..~"'.lll ('111/1 I "d' 111 developed historically.. . however. cie 11 I 1110111111 e tll'. With the accumulation of isolated knowledge of details. or oh 1 111111 1"111'11 I 1.. 1 1>11111 1111 11111 I .. As complementary they systematically paralyze the investigation of the total social process.~ rV:> CT.?n of~~cie~$ are nol explained as the result of an unalterable "dialectic of enlightenment. Particular and sRecialized analyses.li~~~.~~'~~~-. in the early 1930s the aporias in eQ.fthe iniU~!~ualdisciplines that leads ~ "negle~t of the dynamic relationships between the separate object-domains" ("Bemerkungen.ͧ!..!he. the specialized disciplines fail to face "the problem of the social process as a whole. transcends them.This becomes vid 1\1. In contrast to the later models of critical theory." 70/BPSS).'. Galileo. Kñowledge expands." 40) Q. Iw( 11111 II( I 1" lile.¡~ternal ~risis"inthe epistemological "narrowing" of scientific rationality. first to be noticed is the ~ha~ic ~p~. on the other hand.l1_S_S9. wll. Ir e 1111 1 d 11 IIr n¡¡tural law doctrines of the sixl nl. 1111 1 t 1 "Copernican revolution.111 111 11111111 1111 1111 t 111 I 1111 1.1' 1 dI.h ('111111 IlId Il 11. and N wlon moy h.th." 4/CT.t~.. il3). 40). and leads to a more comprehensiv 01'11\ 01 (1111 I tuting and appropriating reality. Stillcl~a~er'¡~the ~hiftf. 5).~i!i&. Horkheimer addressed this opposition in terms of a pobrrization between positivism and metaphysics. -__ ~iPc:::ctt. Thi~ ~J1lanifestsitself in deficits in the organization of science as welr. to shortcomings that at first go unnoticed but eventually grow into a "crisis" as the contradictions of capitalist society become acute..1 111 11 I terial states. which takes the form of a conflict between "empirical science" and "speculative social philosophy" ("Bemerkungen. Or.org~!lization of scie~ce. exploitation.. But the historical bifurcation and absolutizing of both modes of knowledge turn their legitimate concerns into ideology. for Horkheimer. and administration. conceiving th w Id o.l a negative deveIopmentallogic.. As the pre urs r and pollll 01 d l' 1111110 1111 the materialist paradigm.104 105 WolfgangBon6 The Programof InterdisciplinaryResearch of the subject.!~s.mol~gy_'!. 111 tt 'everything real is material' " ("Metaphysik.~&ty .~<!. emerge in place of a systematic analysis of the social totalit of humanit and-nature. in a formulation counter to the contemporary orlh 1(1 materialism means more than "such definitive statem nlS a.ci~iz~ti.[l~c::." 28/{. po ihl 1I1l111 fOl' 1. that of metaphysics in its fundamental inquiry "into the 'whither' of human existence" ("AbG. l' 111.. A lIlI .2-!. functional nexus." For Horkheimer the ca~~~~_~. (e lIt .." 23/ T." 9/CT.)o. Since they confront one another as c10sed conceptions of science. The limitation of research to the logic of external forms points." which in effect seems unreal.. It begins with the achievements of the b ur~'( i.<l!t~rnativ~to b 111'· ~<?~§cj_enc~. bolstered by comprehensive worldviews. an adequate concept ofmal~riali." 23/CT.<l so offers the fundam nl ¡( Roint of departure fC?rOV~!~~f!lingth~. can be articulated in great detail.~p~r. 19).llt I native conception of science." 3/ CT. with the result that "the prevailing practice of scienc J ••• is outdated in its form" ("Metaphysik.~. The guantitative expansion of knowledge comes into contradiction with the qualita9v~eed for a rational anal)'sis of society.i<:h<i9no.~f..lV( II'JlII Illle d 1111111 terialism. Copernicus. Against this "out· dated" form stand the materialist anal ses.('1 1 lit of affairs.Justified concerns underlie both forms of knowledge: the true core of the positivism of the individual sciences lies in its insistence on deciphering social being as a positive.~~¡ t~-." 4/CT:6). but no deepening of knowledge results.Q.Itl 11\1111 1"' 111 the /irst tim a on. the fiction of a "presuppositionless" analysis of social reality leads to an uncritical reproduction of the dominant principies of utilization.sin epistemological aporias. its chara l ri li f(H 11101 ((111 111 tion and appropriation has not been with III rI e' 01 I 11 '11 II1I Horkheimer.th~}l~<lte!ia!ist P'!E<l19!!l. But its s I a fui n flOlllllllOl1l .!y)n s00~I_rt:lationsand_~~~.e-ºrganization of science. only ifthe concept of"materialism" is not too narrowly 01\ ceived.1 1." Th m I110d. The very impulse that initiates progress in the specialized sciences thus makes them narrow-minded and renders them blind to their own social constraints..lllIl 11111111111 1 11 1111 i 11 1 11 t 11 is Iy h fir I 1". although it "dominates reality through deepening crises and social conflicts" ("Bemerkungen.~h. This emphatic characterization should nOl b mi 1I11c1('1 towl • the history of materialism reveals..asa ~hol~'~~d together co_Il~tituteonly an irrationalpicture 'of reality. a~'!!!.111 1 .tperJ!1itass~~tio. the conclusion is warranted that one is dealing with "two different phases of a single philosophy that downgradeselements natural ofknowledge" ("Metaphysik. 6). he /irst tak s IIp 111(' "111'11 I 111 111 111 early bourgeoisie" ("Metaphysik.

worke ' ou f e processual character of scientific knowledge... .' overcoming the social "misery of our times" ("Metaphysik. Tl1roug!ulq~I:tiIlgl:J\l~!h. with this sublation understood as both "appropriation" and "critique. through'which -cHa-Iectical thougnt Be~IaliStlc anc[ according to the welI-known formula. 32).~_()cial_~~~elopment.. appears as fundamentalIy "postbourgeois." 25/CT."g In Horkheimer's eyes. o.e replacemen~.¡¡lmtot~uttl does not destroy this conditional knowledg~ r~t~er. cept and "posits his system as absolute" ("Metaphysik. as the self-thematization of this cIass. as for Lukács.. A~<:?rdi!$.. Hegel himself undermines his own processual approach. ~.--( ---- .~ gf Its a?s~~~~.He distinguishes two stages in the develo mept?f the dialectical conc~ .J:y~<:_s __ to.?!:. the subject and addressee of these experiences of contradiction is the proletariat.!:.. a "turrlJr0..~dr~f. Wit~ th.!u:.~~al'_:.u· 24) without defining praxis in an authoritarian fashion..'c?!1~~pt.fFl·at(malist tb.f.. 7 so 'ffie truth-ciaím of"HegeIian philosophy-isf:¡rst realized for Marx in the analysis of the political economy of capitalism. But in contrast to contemporary cultural pessimism a la Spengler.!:. and the idea of the rational domination of nature retains its sense if conceived in noninstrumental terms as the possibiJity of a rational alterability of the worId. 26-27). cl. For Horkheimer.!:!.a.in its openness and i~ the ." 21/CT.!<-." 132/BPS~ti. as "a formulation of historical experience that corresponds ( to the current state ofknowledge" ("Geschichte.l.'.ofknowledge as a non•indepe!1.." Marx formulates a "unification of philosophy and science" ("Metaphysik. J!la!~riaIist kIl2wledz. it refC:E~ . Marx. the process itself evolvesits pr~p-er c-º-I!!enLª-~kI!Q!Yk<!K~_.~!'!.~tl:lre. an~isolated ~iew." 133/BPSS). materialism achieved an awareness of the ever changing but irreducible tension between its own teaching and reality.::d-ialec.J~ fu~a. social truth becomes an emanation of absolute Spirit. the first"is found 10 fIege! who.principles of idealism by the real pnI!ClpIes of ~C!ciaL~~~oJ.-t'~~tÍi~-~i~ -a. Rather.r!~<!ge ~'cif . it is completely understandable. is the fact that he also accorded the assumption of a potential and.tJust as t~teries of theor ti d. in__ Feuerbach.9 and Marxist theory..9." 23/CT.~.j~ eroductivity lies preci~e!y.h." 14/CT.~')O~ tique of political economy provides the inteIlectual conditions for '~~"'~.a~ental epistemological principIe. "di~lectics"constitutes (he ultimately. co~t~xt of the dr!!~mil: of s?~!«::~"("MetaphysIl<.c:n-en<!e.~ ~~IIl." 49/BPSS). In favor of such a reading. and acquired in the process its own conception of knowl\ eclge" ("Metaphysik. -t'q. 32). Re~ognitio_Il2Lt~~conditional character of every isolated vie~ a.!().!:l." 414) Nevertheless.. which carries Qut its own material negationJThe critique of ideology applied to i~ealistic philosophy becomes identical with its sublation (Aulhebung) 10 the critique of political economy as the "anatomy of bourgeois society. a new relationship arises between the matenal and ideal. -. 34) that brings with it a "maj~r transformation of the supporting concepts" and "raises knowledge 10 general to a higher level" ("Rationalismusstreit..relati0lJshiP. 30).pllght jlo9. ("Wahrheit.r. in The Phenomenology 01 Spírit.Ilitt. in principIe. 'o For .!nd Engels.decisive key to ch~. .e.~~!ll.(:I.. . lt~leaélsneither t~a-solute truth nor to ultjmate~definitive ~tatement~·b.l!ti<:>n! gr~:)lmded in the economy.I1t':.!!l \. It ISmcorporated mto t~1'~2ftr..2!1!i!1uous d~limltatJonand correctlOn oE partlal truths. so that in the end. Marx.'O"wle eo e conélitioned char~so ate¡:rcontents and in t eIr progressive transformation: -- . since he conceives of an immediate identity of being and con.f)if. their solution in social praxis and a scientific understanding of it..~n()y.r. rational alterability the stat~s of a fund. As a consequence. however.i. "stands Hegel on his feet": "When Feuerbach.h~!J. }~E.of the spiritual .106 Wolfgang 107 BonB The Program of Interdisciplinary Research of nature.!.dne.!J:1 at any given time as a condlt~o~al.'. and Engels freed the dialectic from its idealist form..Il~ tally open¿t:." This is true from the scientific as weIlas the political point of view." 16/CT.ion o nowleCr-e:AccoraingtO his interpretation. the cri.stjng!1~hed by. (..efi':ledonlt ionthe."19/Cr. Here lies the point of departure for the second development.ao<:!~!io~ing_tJ1e.. Such confidence in the positive possibilities of the deve!opment of productive forces may seem almost naive today." 328/"Truth. Here truth is not an ontological condition but is realized onl in the movement of though~ k-..s ac~i~~e~.one-sided. normative and descriptive moments: the contradictions of real being become the conditions for its transformation.gen~p~ce~~hi~h ~~ho~C:. insights in their limits and connection. and the'''idea that we may have already passed the optimum leve! of technological productivity" is foreign to it ("Metaphysik.-.f:I __ 2. Qne might welIdispute whether this interpretation was actualIy Horkheimer's during the early 1930s.ss.__ s<:~en@ctht:ory" ("Geschichte.

4.a_ K~Y_~_[l c~E. Work and misery no longer come together.!I1~~~j~c.e. the classconsciousness.•.l?-l!!~~Eg!?ly opposeato oneanother "There are those who recognize existing society' as bad. in a historically reflective attitude.~. C~p_~ua~ .elationshjps whose concr~~~J()!'.rf" lrA sciousness are found on different sides of the proletariat" (Dammerung.str. Aware of this.~!1()~h~r:'. .p~r.()~ff).rily_~risesª ".-ª.91ten u.!~(kaº-<!.thod-factual knowledge and clar~ (' . this demand was repressed rather than fulfilled-a repression that increased in tandem with the integration of the working class into the bourgeois structure of domination. From these characteristics. 28586/DD.~~e~<1r. -f'\¡¡~~t. it expresses through the existence of two workers' parties and the wavering itself of sizable segments of the unemployed between the Communist and the National Socialist parties.div~si?!l))~t. which became increasingly clear after 1918.Il tha.tll~_~~()_t:~~olu.) ~nCe!!!LIliJt..~~ represen~~~t:~_~i. should be the first to recognize them).i!~\'!~~. 61-62). but they lack "the capacities for education and organization." which seems just as suspect of being an ideology as its bt:>urgeoiscounterparts." 438).<1Lc:()l?-J~ . The others might be able to produce that knowledge but lack the fundamental experience of the urgent need for change" (Dammerung.:.~Ma.l1e sense of the . The practical crisis. ! frag~.282-83/DD.º~..'Ys" ~f_social development worked out by Marx do n2. 282-83/DD. I ' \. 283-84/ I DD.i~io.:.}~ ~~ '" Out ()f this necessa.~e~n.c::!~phys.r. What ~!!l. that is. which finds an immediate reflection in the various segments of the workers' movement.!1.The c.. domesticated analy is of praxis and reject the possibility of radical change. these oppositions between the unemployed and the employed. dogmat.lyz~.t. the gulf between the employed and those who only work sporadicalIy or not at all is as wide as that between the entire working dass and the lumpenproletariat at an earlier periodo .ii:!'L.108 109 WolfgangBon/3 The Programof InterdisciplinaryResearch the ir~e. the critique of political. according to Lukács. then it transforms itself into a "closed.ic metaphysics.~o<:~ahsm and _~~<1!J:!I~!_etIC. if it serves "as a universal method of construction in place of concrete investigations" ("Geschichte. r<1ther...natur:al sciences" which ob!:<linil!d~!1der:!~!Y.e. Whereas the Communists make materialism into a dogma.!.p. On the other hand." 132/BPSS)..itis applied to itself and developed further. the stagnation of the workers' movement.g<::sjs.constantly be worked out andjustified al1~w accordi[lK. 61-62).d.. limited to a "mere repetition of slogans" (Diimmerung.!!<!.~.!_!:>~t...rr:eru~g..¡. "The Impotence of the German Working Class. Only the unemployed still have an interest in socialism.§glvabl.. ~11~<:I1_!!!. It dooms the workers to practical impotence" (Dammerung..!~~. Horkheimer's sharpest formulation of this problem was his note. According to Horkheimer. 61) . This development.I .e~.JJ. By contrast.2f." 345/"Truth." . not only caIled into question the unity of theory and praxis.-ºnI.!h1Js __ .ti~'p. it also follows that Marxist theory can hardly be reduced to a cognitively or strategicalIy "fixed" explanatory model... which shows itself in a false connection to theory and in gaps in research and \ 1 theory construction.~. In materialist theory after Marx. They lapse into a positivistic. 284/DD. 283/DD. the Social Democrats have lost their "grasp of all theoretjcal elements" (Dammerung.tct::_"Ygr<l~~~_.•.o~.:uctur.:al .t r~p.." in which he emphatically distinguished between a crisis of materialist praxis and a theoretical deficit connected with it.e~rI1?c:oIllPª!<1l:>!..?85/DiJ.llsapart ~incet e "two t . who directly experience the contradictions of capitalist production (and. however. 63).economy remains a valid model if.e_~o th. the employed. 63). In' I contemporary Germany. which had not anticipated the absence or failure of revolution. v 283/DD~-(2).62-63).ediff~!_ence between concep~ and real!!y" ("Wahrheit. T~_:'!a. but they lack the knowledge to prepare the revolution practically and theoretically.. 3:ryelements: the dlrect mterest 10 ..e.i<=~. elements of the dialectical me. people no longer experience both . 65).!g.e.<?.~nd fU.pitalist process of production has thus driven a wedge between the interest in socialism and the human qualities necessary to its implementation . it also affected the scientific claims of the materialist paradigm..a. interests and consciousness.t. it guides social praxis without being able to replace it. tific p'rC::S.~must.!!.eJ:!t I?wsin~.~~0!1(lJ r. It refers to an experience of contradiction whose truth is considered in scientific discourse and decided in social praxis..:ching. and the dependability of those who are more or less integrated into the capitalist enterprise" (Dammerung.'Y~_~J:l . are uninterested since they fear the threat of unemployment. ..e 2Ppositi()I:. But the employed worker is no longer typical of those who most urgently need change" (Dam1lU!rung. radicalism and reformism also result in a massive internal crisis of materialism.~te.~!~~~~~~!issues.~e_ntals" Y!.!:~achiev.'i~:. was explained in terms of the developmental dynamic of capitalismJ'which had destroyed the unity of the proletariat: "In our time.¡ <!il.edapparently fa. The1jnit of hil~ hical intenti~n_and sci~n.

. die crisis'of Marxism appears in an alterec!. translated into a question of scientific organi~ since these theo~tica. spective of the bourgeois line of development. begins on the second level.. result in either a dogmatization or dissolution of materialism. by contrast.ng .2. the prületariat is redefined not as the subject but as the addressee of theory. Its formulation. according to Horkhelmer. and the theory-praxis dilemma is transformed into the problem of a theory of society that encompasses factual and theoretical knowledge. The aporias of th~ ~. gram results from the redefinitions at the first level. H'ére ihe vigorous critique of the orthoclox base-superstructure model should be noted.eanother.Eearsuncoup e from the dimenslOn of praxis "'" ~ting between fa~e scieñce an reftection-oriented "philo Qph~" Then.·hetoric and a!1.ses: the phenomenon of theoretical gaps that.!Qrm. ~claiDJ. The reformulation of the concept of materialism thus ap. it i.eqllally b~il1daccommodation to ~oor cQnditi<.110 III Wolfgang BonE The Program of Interdisciplinary Research blind ~~VºLll!!On~rLI. calling ioto question its scientific character. at the same time. This 12rocessp.J:§: movement and practical steps to overcome i!. Horkheimer also sees this dissociation carried over into a crisis in the organization of science. fihe connection of these separate arguments now results in a skillfuIly balanced translation of the materialist paradigm into the per- . a second complex of problems an.proble}!!.o{i~adéquate explanations. Horkheimer points first and foremost to the theory-praxis problem as posed by the experience of a missed revolution and a split in the working class. on t ISrounda ion. The third step is a metatheoretical extension of the argument: the interdisciplinary choice is framed in an analysis of the connection between "social philosophy" and disciplinary "social research" and developed so as to make it suitable for concrete research.!ocee~ in two ste.msn~~~y~l'y.P-sthat refer to a gradual withdrawallnto the immanence of sciéñillfc ex erience. --TheOTáwing oT a paral]e! between the a orias Q. according to Rorkheimer.gh-~ninterdisciplinary ~xtension (or differentiation) of the materialist paradigm. which is explicated both descriptively and prescriptively.reftexive. asa . be ~y thro.a real explanation of the crisis 01 the~Q!:. which results in both a separation of philosophy from science and an apparently haphazard differentiation of specialized disciplines. which is quite significant for Horkheimer's further argumento Insofar as the contradictions between the theory and the practice of the labor movement were seen t? parall~l those .. ~~!erialism. Tlie justification of the pro. the decision for interdisciplinary differentiation (or extension) of the materialist paradigm is speIled out more precisely. Thus. and the goals and methods of the disciplines involved are justified. the dimensions of factual knowledge anc\.lo In order to work out the structure as well as the problems of this proposal. as needed. in view 'üf the absence of a revolutionary labor movement.1 gaps can. and proceeds in three separate steps.. it might be po.~e.Jl. contrasting modes of knowledge.heory-praxis dilemma/separation of factual and theoretical knowledge) thus leads to -a connéction betw~en the suboTdinate complexes of problems (theo'"'i=eticalgaps/deficits in the organization of science). that is. Building upon this.between positivism and metaphysics.•. the central aporia is the contradiction between the revolutionary claim and the partial integration of the proletariat.just as do positivIsm and me~phys_~c§. The point of departure is the thesis of theoretical gaps. a model whose .?()~h. as an epistemological problem: with the "division" of reason. Insofar as this development remains unre~ognized within the labor movement. This appears.J:lingeri. First.~eois lineaf development are described not ~s a problem of praxis but as an immanent narrowing of the rationalIty of knowledge.' The Construction of Interdisciplinary Materialism ~h~t i~su~prising in the diagnosis I have sketched is undoubtedly the slmllanty In the symptoms of crisis. ab~ut Marxism's theoretical gaps produced not only arguments concerning the organization of science but substantive starting points"for ré~~éarchas weIl. on the one hand. and out of this transformatlon the concept of "interdisciplinary' ~áterialism" as a programmatic guideline is developed. theoretical knowledge are separated from one another and become independent. it is useful briefty to recall once more the aporias of both paradigms." 1I..slble to hnk thelr reconstructions and to develop a comprehensive solution that could be formulated in either bourgeois or materialist terms. from a perspective strictly immanent to science.sinterpret~ as the result of deficient theoretical and empirical distinctions and.supplement 0n.

transindividual social structures could not be comprehend d . and thus also comprehension of the results depend upon psychological work . it prestructured the order and orientation of th other disciplines." 111).13 From this key position. to reformulate and sharpen these questlons in the course of '4e work. to pursue philosophical questions directed at the big picture with." 135/BPSS).11 In advanced capitalist societies such as Great Britain. which also established their hierarchical arrangement. were seen in almost functional terms. historians." They were less lñferested in the internal transformations of the economic structure tnanin éxtra-economic processes..~ pearance of capitalist relations) was to be investigated as well as their intrinsic logic of development. Tne eleme-hts of-rne mterdisciplinary extension arose out of the explanatory deficits. des pite deepening economic crises. leisure.. lay not so much in theory as in its empirical consequences. of organizing investigations on the basis of current relationships" ("Bemerkungen. The cultural disciplines as represented in the Institute by Adorno's sociology of music and L6wenthal's sociology of literature are not worthy in this respect. The revolutionary transformations Marx predicted occurred only in Russia. According to Horkheimer. which gained importance with the transition to monopoly capitalism. theory construction shifted to reintegrating the individual disciplines. 9). On the side of the eco nomy. and yet not lose sight of 4I1BPSS) the larger contextorLage.14 According to Horkheimer. cultural. the growing role of conservative and reactionary attitudes. This formulation already makes clear the Frankfurt citcle's strong "fixation on the superstructure. "that is. since the present is characterized more by the unknown effect of economic relations upon the whole form of life than by conscious economic motives" ("Geschichte. Moreover.12 Along with this. where they were least to be expected according to his own assertions. within the interdisciplinary context. morality. sociologists. lifestyle. For instance. but also law. public opinion. investigations in which philosophers. which were to e dealt with from a social-theoretical standpoint in order to~make toem compatible with th~ materialist paradigm. and religion.thc most rcfincd scicntific methods. since the autonomy and nonsynchronic character of the extra-economic processes could no longer be understood through further refinements in economic explanation: . on the question of the connection between the economic life of society." -c' lA / With this emphasis. sport. therefore. for Horkheimer. or Germany.. For Hor!heimer.." 6/CT. and so on" ("Lage. to devise new methods. and the transformations of the cultural spheres in a strict sense. the working out of the mediating processes themselves. As Horkheimer stated in his inaugural address as director of the Institute for Social Research." to advance to the position of a second basic discipline. their task consisted of analyzing the production of economically generated and social-psychologically mediated cultural objectivations. in view of the "lost revolution. which." 140-41/BPSS). what proper researchers have always done( nameIy. cal economists. politi~ groups and do in common . This claim remained selective in more than one respect. whose social detenñination (in ac-cordance with the Marxist distinction between the essence and ap. a potential for stabilization was evident. developments such as the emergence of fascism in the Weimar Republic pointed to unexpected. The task of clarifying the nonsynchronic relation between base and superstructure falls to social psychology conceived as an (individualistic) "psychology of the unconscious" ("Geschichte. it was necessary to rethink "the view that cultural disorder is connected with economic Rather. what had to be considered above all were "the pressures tending toward the planned regulation of the economy" ("Vorwort... the United States. . regressive developments in the social superstructure. the psychological development of the individual. to which belong not only the 'intellectual' matters of science. art. alongside economics: "The economic appears as comprehensive and primary. it is a question .. but knowledge of conditionedness in detail. against this background the substantive work of interdisciplinary materialism should center on one question. social psychology was to provide the principal contribution to explaining the "powerlessness of the working class" and. 3 112 Wolfgang BonB The Program of Interdisciplinary Research shortcomings.. the problem of materialist. fashion. making good on this ~was less a theoretical problem than a problem of die organization of science. For precisely these reasons. and historical arguments must e emp oyed alongside economic arguments. and psychologistsjoin together in ongoing working philosophical issues. and the obviously retarding influence of cultural traditions would have to be elucidated. in order to supplement the "subjective" (or psychological) side of the superstructure with a grasp of its "objectiv " (or sociological) structures.(1.. the apparent decline in class consciousness. Psychological." 43).

. which had dealt with the realm of pohocs but dld not regard it as an independent entity:""l . materialistic critique. This· c!~~~ca_~. Rather. the emphasis lay on problems of the . This analysis synthes'izes sciéiltificand philosophical claims to objectivity in such a way that the whole social process becomes visible as a "concrete totality. On thls pomt.. formulates the "theoretical in~ tention ori:n~ed to what is universal and 'essential' " ("Lage.1).It <!~.c.18 ." 41/BPSS). cannot be overcome but can be managed 1: .:! all. t~e Ins~ltute mcluded highly competent specialists' such as Otto Klrchhelmer and Franz Neumann.17 In c?n~rast to the "bourgeois" models. which. sO~IO~~lturalsystem.partl. social psychology. Unlike orthodox Marxism.as a ~I!. but Horkheimer did not feel compelled to accord political sociology or political scienc~ añ independent status wit~in th~ p~0~ram. both ~ro~ramatlcally and factually." 40/BPSS) of the individual dlsclplme~ see~ed possible only to the extent that they were opened up.LtJllSm the. Horkheimer's concept of interdisCIph~ary research was explicitly grounded in social theory. his concept went beyond orthodox m~rialism just as It went beyond those conceptions of interdisciplinary social analysis developed by contemporary sociology from Weber to Tonnies.ferentlated.ar. t~e ~g pomt for SOCIaltheory is social philosophy.. Finally..aporias.' science enters a crisis to the extent that these two defining moments come into conflict with one .115 114 The Program of lnterdisciplinaryResearch WolfgangBonB on . the materialist paradigms.bescientifica!lyreformulated to the extl?nt that the assump5!9-ns.. the bourgeois and .l~ to.. According to Horkheimer. one ~ that is relative to both society and truth. Horkheimer derives the program of interdisciplinary materialism.sof t~e various components of interdisciplinary matenahs~ . The interconnection of these three steps becomes more visible when they are graphically repre-\ sented (figure 5. l' ¡ j¡ i. which acquire a new form through their objectivation in the sciences and receive a deeper grounding. whose differing courses of development lead to the formation of their own aporias..!h~"~:. that is.Its taskis to'" ... Rather. another. The elaboration of this thesis proceeds through a historicalsystematic reconstruction of two types of science. the interdisciplinary model was to make possible a productive handling of aporias that. according to Horkheimer." III) can then arise fro~ the collaborative effort of social philosophy and social research.Wái'K:lñ the iÍÍdividual scíe"itcesresuhs iii. although they ~ ~ot. fonp of ~~neral assumptions about the structure ~ the social totality. and overc~~m~ the chaotic specialization ("Lage." whereas the second major sphere of the "obJectlve s~pers~ructure.:ci:~c:: ." 15Moreover.es.sof individual psychology's presuppositions. conceived in terms that en. I il ." The Revival of Interdisciplinary Materialism-and Its Limits Horkheimer's argument as a whole comes down to three points than comprise the constructive logic of the programo The starting point lies in the thesis that science is a social-cognitive structure.l)J~o.tt~d_at th~ J~vel of economics. sOCIalre~earch.J I '\ ! . that is.the basi. By comparison with other contemporary assessments of the possi-' bility of critical social analysis. this program is meant to reintegrate the mo-/ ments relating to truth and to society. Nevertheless. or t~e cu!t~~I. Horkheimer descnbed the hnk~g~ a~d the social-theoretical turn given to the partial results of the dlsCIplmes more precisely as a process of coordinating res~arch strategy that consists of three elements: social philosophy. .~su€€essfuUy t. 19he does not abandon social-theoretical claims and settle for an epistemological relativism that makes reduced truth-claims. was neglected." and unlike the sociology of knowledge. . an analysis that summarizes me various dimensions of capitalistic relations. these were not even mentl~n~d III hstmg. Of course.1 r.16 In contrast to history..t inl~íá?yc1aim'sci~rÍtificobjectivity." 4iiBps~ ~tandards oí' the individual disciplines and treat them comprehensivel with the availií5remetiro-dolu-gtcaltools:. théy appear with' a ~!.~:ntIfic" status of socIa pIiIlo:--' sop ya ready m<hcatesthe Importance of social reseá"rcn. compass the paradigms. materialist approach. this line of argument is both refined and ambitious. By thiLvi~. to a hlst?ncally sensitive. Horkheimer clearly remained depe~~ent on ~rad1tlonal Marxism. the political system. and the t~eory of the course of history.ª. a defect that ulomately ~ndicates a critical "sociological deficit.ulllversahzablhty b'!-ted upon prescientific experience. a transfonñaiion and securing of the universalizable concepts of social philosophy.-trañsfó~~ "l5igque~"('::Lage. Horkheimer does not treat discussions about science and crisis as a problem limited to "bourgeois science.. such assum Oon _. from the analysis I and reciprocal translation of these .c~~ar~s:1C or subiectivist!c. What Horkheimer calls the "theory of the historical course of the pre~tePOClÍ" ("Várwort.

PreciseIy here lay his decisive." an interpretation that as such can hardly be simply revived. like that of Habermas. the fact that the interdisciplinary program encountered obstacles to its realization in practical research. as yet unrealized in the history of séience. That Horkheimer's program remained bound to those fronts on which it toiled can be seen first of all in a frequently overlooked "rupture" between the critique of science and the proposed solution to it.22But this reservation is generally intended less systematically than historically and can even serve to strengthen c1aimsfor its contemporary significance.2oSuch anticipatory moments have formed the basis for ascribing to interdisciplinary materialism a "very timely and reIevant potential.pistemological structure of interdisciQlinar materialism. both Habermas and others have pointed out that early critical theory was concerned with an "interpretation of Marx's work under conditio·ns that belong irretrievably to the past. chology. such an assessment is too limited. and culture) • theory 01 the course 01 history Figure 5. their seIection and ordering are only indirectly conpected to the preceding critique of science. With resEect_to the e. However plausible the individual elements of interdisciplinary materialism (social philosophy. and ublic administration in the German-speaking world in the early 1930s.116 117 WolfgangBonB The Program of InterdisciplinaryResearch Science and crisis • science as social-<:ognitive andlolruth slruclure • crisis as aporelic conlradiclion and lo Irulh wilh momenls relaling lo society between momenls relaling lo society maleriól-list bourgeois theory-practice separation dilemma laclual and Iheorelical between knowledge 2 theorelical fragmentalion gaps organization Interdisciplinary tween: materialism • social phiJosophy (= within Ihe 01 science as the connection be-· general assumptions about Ihe structure and development 01 society asawhole) • social research (= disciplinary scienlilic search in the domains 01 economics.1. and it seems signifícant that attempts at reactivating it. social research. This rupture becomes more apparent in figure 5. Horkheimer anticipates developmental trends whose systematic formulation first became possible with the methodological turo constitutive of today's versions of critica1theory (Habermas. jurisprudence."21 a potential to e made good on in the present-a c1aimthat Habermas has adopted."23 The implicit thesis is that if these "historical contingencies" are overcome. 'invok. a direct reactivation is possible. With this shift to the organization of science and the redefinition of substantive problems as procedural ones. and thus was silently abandoned at the end of the 1930s. theory of the course of history) may be at first sight. Wellmer). innovative achievement. however.1 re· social psy. is traced not to systematic weaknesses but to "historical contingencies.e Horkheimer more rhetorically than substantivel . Of course. through the organization of science. The directional arrowS between the individual steps in the argument make it c1ear that the transformation of the aporias . This accomplishment is all the more impressive if one bears in mind that the social sciences were still insufficiently differentiated from the domains of philosophy.

smay at first seem to carry conviction. from a methodological point of Vlew. However.linar: rese~rch. as in the case of Habermas. Horkheimer's conception rem~ins largely conventional. socia:I. If his argument is taken seriously..lated trust in the procedural-transformative dynamic of interdisciph~a.>h.¡.)nsofar as the representatives of the various -discIplines join together in a prC)DTem:orientedreariÍ"anddoin com.. ongmated after or apart from Marx's own work. this conception amounts to a tacit upgrading of social philosophy that is both undear and ambiguous. the interdiscipli~ary dai~ amounts to no more than an external formula for integrauon.E!!iJk>so. To be sure. ~hey tran~ .nUsts tha. He was. as Helmut Duble..e figure. since even then Horkheimer's conception amounted to a history of the de- .phkalis.y.:r oLt!:lec01.:pp~r~o_~<~ows ltS~~t ot~~rE?il1Js.1rs:of hisiOrywas not as well thought through as it . for the envIsloned qualltatlvechanges do not result automatically.. the forms of scientific-rational appropriation developed within the context of the Enli~~tenme~t concept of reason are also brought into question. Rather. The cnsls of SClencethus also lll~ans a crisis of its methods.'~ 411BPSS) and almost automatically transforms the condltlons of knowledge. The emphatic formulanón o~ this ~hesi.118 119 WolfgangBonB The Program of lnterdisciplinaryResearch ~n the cent~al. well aware of the se1ect~vity of the work within the individual disciplines. ~n .1has. In light of such experiences. these changes can be realized only by going beyond the mere collaborative \ 1 I I I I i work of various specialized disciplines to interact in a way that transforms the disciplines themselves. apd the _tbe2I.t~e fragmentation of science and contribute to overcoming the Oppos.groups" seems both naive and distorting. since it does not disappear if one attempts. This is all the more true since the magic words interdisciplinary research have lost much of their critical connotation. Horkheimer be!ieves that after Marx philosophy as material theory can no longer be justified.. Apart fram the shared set of problems. apart from a few associative references to historical materialism. but he hardly took mto account that this se!ectivity is conditioned by the way the disciplines constitute their objects and is continually reproduced at the methodologicallevel.).arises"on the basis of current philQsQ.24Horkheimer's concept can be interpreted from this perspectlve as a reformulation of Marx's view of the relation between "researc~" ando"~r~sentation." 411BPSS) as if they were value neutral and would be given a critical turn ex post through their integration with social philosophrl . "theoreti~al" (or foundational) section of the diagram lS ~ot co~tl~u~d be!ow m the presentation of the scientific program of mterdlsClplmary materialism. lSgenerally defined as an "ongoing working group" of 'yanous sCl<:." It is hardly surprising that this "court" remained remarkably vague."25 but this does not begin to explain ho~ the mterdlsclphnary production of knowledge can lead to a soIU~l~nof those aporias that. Horkheimer also faBs short of the leve! on which his own critique of science operates. along with the breakdown of the connection once posited between philosophy and science.. s__ ch-anlie-f~entlx used m_etap~?f ~nter Isqplmary research. in Horkheimer's conception the work of the disciplines remains unchanged. s~~s" ("Lage. and overcoming the aporias Horkheimer described correspondingly presupposes the development of an alternative methodology.. Quite apart from the fact that the reformulauon of maten~lism was achieved at the cost of separating materialist critique (= sOClal philosophy) from material analysis (= social research). philosophy appears as a loose bundle of convictions drawn from the philosophy of history-the normative remains of the critique of political economy. which functions as a kind of "court of final appeal.esea~chers have always done" (ibid. an unarticu. of course.ry "worki~g . a Vlewthaf is certainly vulnerable to objections. Instead. one must assume that. ~ac~_~~?_ of social. to spell out the logic of the interdisciplinary program more pr~Clsely. Horkheimer caBed for social research to go on applying the "most refined scientific methods" ("Lage. according to Horkheimer's own analysis. In the end. but upon sober conslderatlon It can be conceded only limited validity. whát proper .ltlOnbetween positivism and metaphysics..From today's point of view. Nor is this undarity simply an artifact of th. Instead.t. It also indicates decisive weaknesses in t~e program ~s a whole. reduced to the status of an inquiry concerned with justification.research. but in his eyes it was not thereby overcome or. With his "naive" understanding of interdisciplinary research.. The notion of inteJ~iscip. It has long since become fashionable in ~olitic~1~ci~nce'fo immunize oneself against criticism by invoking an mterdlsClphnary orientation.. such a conceptlon seems more than problematic. this issue is never raised.

Whllt . whi h was to research the psychic proeessing of economically induced b • havioral imperatives and their transformation into specifie culturfll meanings..30 Consequently. To the extent that the universalization of the commodity form eliminates the potential of sociallife to oppose the existing structures. these two aspects were carefully separated from one another and assigne? their own jurisdictions. but it can hardly be contested that his argument took Horkheimer's critique of science more seriously and even radicalized it.. The selectivity and the functionalist bias in the analyses of the in· dividual disciplines are also discernable in social psychology. For Horkheimer at the beginning of the 1930s.. action between the apparatus of psychic drives and socio-economi . Notice was taken only of what appeared to be useful for the envisioned explanatory goal. The constitutional issue of the conditions of pos j. and fragments.28 •. the reception of political economy remained ambivalent. splinters." The unclarities and ambiguities this involved can be seen particularly clearly in the case of the economy. knowledge can only be produced negatively. according to the interdisciplinary program. nor w 1'( cóncealed counterstructural attitudes systematicallyinquired into. though none of the members reflected on this contradiction at the time. such as the formulations on class and revolution. in which economic processes were conceived as isolated functional complexes apart from all politieal connotations.. On the other hand. Of interest was less their internal logic (including their respective social-theoretical merits and deficits) than their suitability for being integrated into a theory of the "lost revolution. in turn. and deciphering them requires a concept of "preserving traces" that goes beyond the "most refined scientific methods" in Horkheimer's sense and points to a different form of scientific appropriation.But at the programmatic level. the unpolitical economic functionalism represented by Pollock implicitly ran countcr to this self-conception.Of course. nor could he imagine an autonomous development of so- r J cial research] Fromofthis perspective. Rather. on this point Adorno stood much closer to the "dialectic of enlightenment" than to the concept of "interdisciplinary materialism. ancy between the "objective" economic situation and the "subje tiv'" readiness for action. Pollock worked at developing a conventional. On the one hand. was understood to be fundamentally rational. the social-theoretical implications of political economy. Such an explanation of "ideology as arising from the int 'l'.¡¡ ~ ¡ 11 i 1 120 Wolfgang BonB ¡ I 121 The Program of Interdisciplinary Research 1 cline of philosophY. but the explanation never went beyond prc is Iy this discrepancy. Despite his own postulates Horkheimer was in no position to think t rough the concept of philosophy in a post-Hegelian form. fundamental concept of social theory. As Susan Buck-Morss has shown. In the work of the Institute. he did not draw the consequences. which ultimately appears in two different forms. were integrated into the basie assumptions of Horkheimer's social philosophy. "only history now vouches for the images of • our lives. I ¡ I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I This perspective resulted in a selective perception of the individual disciplines. specialized sciences. He assumed that after the breakdown of the Enlightenment's concept of reason. on the other hand.discussed." Like Adorno. they appeared as a temporary. And the integration of these sciences.26 Adorno interpreted the crisis of science and philosophy as a transformation of the . one may argue whether Adorno's version of the concept of "preserving traces" can be reconciled at all with the program of an interdisciplinary social science. sociallyconditioned regression that was to be illuminated by the positive. conditions of the possibility of knowledge. Thus.. it constitutes an indispensable. inasmuch as the "detour" of analyzing the regression would uncover the possibility of bringing about a realization of reason. Although it constituted a basic element in the theoretical framework as wellas the self-eonception of the Frankfurt circle. it must be identifiable as an individual scientific discipline. conditions"31 seemed indispensable in view of the increasing dis r p. positive economics with a funetionalist stamp. bility of proletarian class consciousness was not ."27They appear only in traces. he saw an increaslng trend toward irrationalism but did not interpret these symptoms of a crisis as an irreversible destruction of reason. in the domain of social research."29 and precisely this emphasis was probably what hindered his line of thought from achieving more influence on the development of early critical theory. Adorno was more consisten lo His "The Actuality Philosophy" (1931) at times suggests an alternative model for the program of interdisciplinary materialism. there could be no question of anticipating the "dialecticof enlightenment.

juni 1973 in Bad-BolI" (unpublished manuscript.~ Given these weaknesses. 2:562/TCA." ZIS 2 (1933): lff. Diimmerung = Diimmerung. 1972). Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. 1930)." in Andrew Arato and Eike Gebhardt. j ürgen Habermas." in BPSS.ilI"usua Iy described in isol~tion as differenLslJ..wa~ n~ith~r acciC!. 1973)." lIS 2 (1933): 161ff. for it attempted to compre ena-fIiéCourseof society as a crisis-~~n n~xü~ ~fy'~~~~salm~sionS1hát 'tc>daya. 1981). 13) (Berlin/ 9. the lack of meth~gical reRection. eds. 7. the hmction~ist bias and s_electivityof the individual disciplines-it becomes cIear that the "capsizing" of interdisciplinary materialism.e s. Alfred Schmidt." inBPSS. the ambiguous concept of philosophy. 1.<.. 7ff. "Traditionelle" = "Traditionelle und kritische Theorie.2:378." in BPSS.ingedel' bürgerlichen Geschichtsphilosophie"(Stuttgart. 5. TheoTÍe des kommunikativen Handelns (Frankfurt. 1987)." lIS 1 (1932): lff. which remain in force. The Dialectical1magination: A History of the Frankfurt School and the 1nstitute ofSocialResearch.-dcritic~!h<:OJY. Referate gehalten auf del' Tagung am 23." lIS 1(1932): 125ff.122 123 WalI'gangBanB The Pragram aI'InterdisciplinaryResearch remained was an analysis af the functional character of consciousness for an oppressive economic base and its one-dimensional channeling ioto authoritarian patterns of thought and behavior. "Die kritische Theorie.dal iystems~-BlÍt tne'1neaiaIon o these systems. 1:489ff." leitschriftfür Sozialforschung [=llSl 1 (1932):lff. Notizen in Deutschland (Frankfurt. 1974). 1978). are cross-refer. 1969). 2:383. Denkmotive von Horkheimer. English translation: Hegel and the French Revolution (Cambridge. Werke 1845-1{J46 (Marx-Engels Werke."Origins t)f 110 • BourgeOls Philosophy of Hlstory.ntal nor historically conting.. Ibid. "Vorwort" = "Vorwort. 1969). (Marx-Engels Werke. "Voraussage" = "Zum Problem del' Voraussage in den Sozialwissenschaften. 1972).). 1972). Notizen in Deutschland. On Lukács's thesis of the speculative identity of proletarian c1assconsciousness and social theory in History and Class Consciousness."(Contains only selections from Diimmerung. "Rationalismusstreit" = "Zum Rationalismusstreit in del' gegenwartigen Philosophie. A direct conoection with early critical theory does not seem promising." in BPSS. 1982). see Lukács. Geschichte und Klassen- . where available. Adorno und Marcuse. "Materialism and Metaphysics. DD = Daum and Decline: Notes 19261931 and 1950-1969 (New York. 1:366ff." lIS 2 (1933): 407ff. "Materialism and Morality." ZIS 6 (1937): 245ff. 2:383. the program -. "Traditional and Critical Theory. Werke 1859-1860 DDR.•• ·d a ording to the following key (in some cases the translations have been modifI'<I): (Cambridge. Martin jay." lIS 3 (1934): lff. 2: 554/Theory of Communicative Action [= TCA] (Boston. "Geschichte" = "Geschichte und Psychologie. "Truth" = "On the Problem ofTruth. 6. 1993). IIP$S • Between Philosophy and Social Science: Selected Early Writings "Lage" = "Die gegenwartige Lage der Sozialphilosophie und die Aufgaben eines Instituts für Sozialforschung. 3) (Berlin/DDR. 8. "The Rationalism Dispute in Current Philosophy. "Metaphysik" = "Materialismus und Metaphysik.32 considering the problema tic points already outlined abovethe "break" between [he critique of science and the s~ieñtlficpragram. 4. Hegel und die franzijsiche Revolution (Frankfurt. 3. "~b ". which first' -l5ecame visible iri Hórkheimer's treatment"of the relationship between' ~tional an. 8. 2. 33ff. The Essential Frankfurt School Reader (New York." in CT..hose epistemoogical inconsistencies should be noted above all-eould hardly have resolved the crisis of science. It would be better to learn fram the shortcomings of ioterdisciplinary materialism and to inquire into epistemologically more adequate means for mastering the fundamental aporías. d. joachim Ritter.. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. vol../"History and Psychology. 1923-1950 (Bostan. 562/TCA." in CT "Moral" = "Materialismus und Moral.. a theme that governed the empirical work of the 1930s as well as the 1940s.7. vol. The interdisciplinary conception remains relevant. cannot be adequately grasped in the manner Horkheimer proposed. "AnP. "The Present Situation of Social Philosophy and the Tasks of an Institute for Social Research.. in Notizen 1950 bis 1969 und Diimmerung.. quite apart from the traumatic experiences of fascism and emigration. n. "Bemerkungen" = "Bemerkungen über Wissenschaft und Krise. 1982).) "Wahrheit" = "Zum Begriff del' Wahrheit.." in BPSS." lIS 4 (1935): 32lff./TCA."33 }!p~~ 7'ranslated by Kenneth Baynes and John MeCole Notes Ilol'kheimcr's texts are cited and English translations. 2.. th~i·v<::' conception of interdisciplinary research. Ibid. "Notes on Science and the Crisis." in Critical Theory: Selected Essays [= Cn (New York." in Sozialphüosophische Studien (Frankfurt. Critical theory is an open-ended project whose solutions must continually be conEronted "with the state oE awareness in which we find ourselves. and thus the social totality.

1977). Adorno. Soziologie in Deutsclúand und Osterreich 19181945.. 356ff. whereas in the aphorisms of Diimmerung (1926-1931) he used primarily materialist language. eds. 49ff.. Seejay. Sóllner. Schmidl. see also Martinjay. see Wolfgang BonG. Dubiel. moreover. Adorno und Marcuse. Fromm. who also made the remarkable comment. the "methodological skeleton" of critical social theory. "Über . In most of his essays. Susan Buck-Morss. W. "'Objectivity' in Social Science and Social Policy.ldeology and Utopía (New York. 342ff. Sozialforsehung als Kritik (Frankfurt. Horkheimer employed an exclusively "bourgeois" terminology in his inaugural address as director of the lnstitute (1931). Horkheimer's concept of social philosophy shows parallels to that of Weber. "Die Kritische Theorie-Denkmotive W~ " " 29. 39ff. 23.. 12. 15. T. 1982): 367ff. Gesammelte Schriften (Frankfurt. 1985). o. ~mpme a~sDechlffnerung von Wlrkhchkelt. Karl Mannheim. English translation: "Positive and Negative Totalities: lmplicit Tensions in Critical Theory's Vision of lnterdisciplinary Research. 18. Die Einübung des Tatsachenblicks. 1979). Thus. See chapter 9 in this book. Adornos Alternativenwurf zur interdisziplinaren Forschung. 220. 165ff.1954)." in Z¡S 1 (1932): 28ff. Gesehuhte und Herrsehaft: Studien zur materia/istisehen Sozialwissensehaft 1929-1942 (Frankfurt." Freibeuter.ik. "Zur geselIschaftlichenLage der Musik. Verfall der Phi- losophie (Reinbek bei Hamburg." in Wolfgang BonG and Axel Honneth. who in rus essay "'Objectivity' in Social Science and Social Policy" characterized social philosophy as a system of "speculative value judgements" that are to be emphatically distinguished from social research.. on the occasion of Adorno's death. eds. See Alfons Sellner. and Rainer M." in Adorno. Sherlock Holmes nimmt die Lupe. English translation: ''The Method and Function of an Analytical Social Psychology. 1967]). Permanent Exiles: Essays on the lntelleetual Migration from Germany to Ammca (New York. English lranslation: "The Actuality of Philosophy." in LudwIg von Fnedeburg and jürgen Habermas." in Wolfgang BonG and Axel Honneth. Zur Methodologie bei Adorno. On the co~cept of )reser~ing traces" in general. 1982). 21. ed. 20. and the Frankfurt lnstitute (New York/London. Emigration und WirkungsgesehUhte (KelnlOpladen. Adorno. esp. "Positive und negative Totalitat. "Max Horkheimer's Original Program: The SociologicalDeficit of Critical Theory. it is perhaps not surprising that the revolutionary transformation in Russia did not succeed but was perverted and collapsed." I 27.. eds. See Erich Fromm. The trend toward method is especially true of Habermas (e. Freud liest Morelh-Dle Wlssenschaft auf der Suche nach sich selbst. 1972). 76ff. 25. ~?r an atte~pt. von Horkheimer. Sozialforsehung als KriJ." 54/ Method and Functlon of an Analytical Social Psychology." in jay. for instance. 1:69.. 477ff. to interpret Ad~rno's project in this way. 16. WissenschaftsMganisation und politisehe Erfahrung. Philosophisehe Terminologie (Frankfurt. Wolfgang BonG." 496." Z¡S 1 (1932): 103ff..however." Telos 31 (1977). "Spurensicheru~g: D~rja. I 11. Zur Struktur und Veranderung empirischer Sozialforsehung (Frankfurt. Adorno-Konl'erenz (Frankfurt 1983) I ¡ 1 I I 14.~Iff. Zur Logik der Sozialwissenschaften [Frankfurt. 4 (1980): . Max Weber. "Die Aktualitat der Philosophie.. 19. eds. "Über Methode und Aufgabe einer analytischen Sozialpsychologie. Empirical Social Research in Weimar Germany (P~rislDen Haag. 1982)." 1. 170ff. See Axel Honneth.." in Andrew Arato and Eike Gebhardt. See.ger enlzlffert dIe Fahrte. 1:325. See C. 1968).i 125 124 I Wolfgang BonB I The Program of Interdisciplinary Research I 11 111 bewuf1tsein (NeuwiedlBerlin. Grossner. Geschichte und Herrschaft. resulting in the well-known "Aesopian language" whose ambiguity was as significant for early critical theory as it was for its reception by the student movement.. I 26. The Origin of Negative Dialeeties: Theodor W. Walter Benjamin. ' 15. that now Adorno's "theoretical veil" would no longer conceal r I I I I I I I 1 . 1982). 13. 69f. Wissenschaftsorganisation und politische Erfahrung.g." in Z¡S 1 (1932): 85ff. Ibid. I 28. Lepsius. 167ff. 1971). Materialien . 17. On the problem of the social-theoretical "neutrality" of Pollock's economics see chapter 9 in this book. T. Viewed in this way. lbid.. ¡ ~I. I 33. 22.Methode und Aufgabe einer analytischen Sozialpsychologie. "Psychoanalyse als Wissenschaft und Kritik. Adorno. "Positive and Negative TOlalities.. From this perspective.zur Entwicklung. 1978)." chapter 8 in this book. English translation: Theory and Politics: Studies in the Development of Critical Theory (Cambridge. See Susanna Schad. 1973). Wolfgang BonG. Helmut Dubiel. 1973). 24. see Carlo Ginzburg. 206. these paradigms appear alongside one another. W. Leo Lewenthal. The Essential Frankfurt School Reader (New York. 1985). I I I 32.. I I 10. "Zur gesellschaftlichen Lage der Literatur. 3. Zum sozialwissensehaftliehen Potential der Kritisehen Theorie (Frankfurt. Adorno. I 30. Studien zur frühen Kritsehen Theorie (Frankfurt." in The Methodology of the Social Sciences (New York. no. 1949). 1982).