The Institute for Social Research, or Frankfurt School, is an interdisciplinary research center associated with the University of Frankfurt in Germany and responsible for the founding and various trajectories of Critical Theory in the contemporary humanities and social sciences. Three generations of critical theorists have emerged from the Institute. The first generation was most prominently represented in the twentieth century by Max Horkheimer, Herbert Marcuse, Theodor W. Adorno, Walter Benjamin, Leo Löwenthal, and also for some time Erich Fromm. The so-called ‘second generation’ of the Institute is centrally represented by Jürgen Habermas, whose work has functioned as the focal point of a wide range of critical theorists. The third generation of the Frankfurt School is represented by Axel Honneth who emerged as a new center, with different strands or readings of who else belongs to the third generation, some in Germany, some internationally, and some more in sociology and social and political theory than philosophy.
Keywords Adorno  Continental philosophy  Contemporary German thought  Critical theory  Frankfurt school  Habermas  Horkheimer  Marcuse  Modernity  Social theory
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