For a New Type of Critical Sociology: Morality, Hermeneutic Criticism and Critical Utopia

The reflections exemplified in this paper lay at the intersection of epistemological and moral questions. Philippe Corcuff distinguishes between the two types of moral foundation of critical sociology and more broadly, of social criticism. Th ese are the followings: (1) a hermeneutic or “internal criticism” that draws on the society’s moral and political traditions in order to criticize the society in question; and (2) an “external criticism” that identifies an utopian aim and outlines a radically different social world. This is not to suggest that all “external” criticism would be based on utopia, or that an “internal” criticism could not involve utopian elements. Here and now, however, Corcuff aims at distinguishing at the analytical level the “internal criticism” based on traditions from the “utopian-external criticism” that is open to the thematic formulation of questions refused or not even raised by existing traditions.

Released: Replika 62, 155–165.
Ágoston Fáber