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Progress, Regression and Social Change

From 17th to 21th July // Berlin

Is there such a thing as moral or social progress? How do we understand phenomena that might be seen as instances of social regression? And how, after all, are we to conceptualize social change?
While some Critical Theorists hold that we need a notion of progressive social change (and its counterpart) in order to understand and evaluate the dynamics of the transformations we undergo, the very notion of progress (as it is entrenched in the self-understanding of western modernity) seems to be ambivalent and is strongly contested.
So, while it is not easy to see how progress – as a certain kind of “learning process” that has played a central role in Critical Theory from its very beginning – could be dispensed with, our understanding of it certainly needs to be reconstructed.
It is not only the normative question in the narrower sense, though, that is at stake here. By asking how we can possibly conceive of social transformations as “change for the better”, we are not only addressing the issue of normative standards for evaluation of “the good society”. If we want to rely on immanent rather than freestanding normative standards, we also have to re-investigate our concepts of history and social transformation. That means: we should take seriously the notion that “progress” as well as “regression” are bound up with some account of social change as a result of the erosion of institutions and social practices that have been outlived or de-legitimized. Whether this amounts to an accumulative process, as the terms “regression” and “progress” seem to suggest, is one of a variety of questions that we mean to address at our summer school.

Organizers: Rahel Jaeggi, Eva von Redecker, Isette Schuhmacher (Humboldt University Berlin) in cooperation with the Frankfurt Institute for Social Research and the New School for Social Research (Alice Crary)

Participants (amongst others): Amy Allen, Jay Bernstein, Hauke Brunkhorst, Axel Honneth, Rahel Jaeggi, Terry Pinkard, Allessandro Pinzani, Martin Saar.

Program


Schedule Summer School “Progress, Regression, and Social Change”
17.07.-21.07.2017

Monday, 17.07


Kant on Progress and Progress in Contemporary Critical Theory

10:00-10:30 Arrival and Coffee

11.00-11.30 Welcome by: Rahel Jaeggi, Axel Honneth and Alice Crary

11:30-13:00 Kant on History and Progress

Alessandro Pinzani and Axel Honneth

Readings:

  • Kant: “Idea for a Universal History with a Cosmopolitan Aim” ” (pp. 9-23);
  • Kant: “An Old Question Raised Again: Is The Human Race Constantly
    Progressing?” (pp. 297-309);
  • Kant: “Conjectures on the Beginning of Human History” (pp. 221-234).

13:00-15:00 lunch break

15:00-16:00 (cont.) Kant on History and Progress

16:00-16:30 break

16:30-18:00 Progress in Honneth’s Critical Theory & Essay-Discussion

Axel Honneth

Readings:

  • Honneth: “Rejoinder”, in: Critical Horizons, vol. 16(2): 204-226;
  • Honneth: The Idea of Socialism: Towards a Renewal, III. Paths of Renewal (I): Socialism as Historical Experimentalism (pp. 51-75).

18:30-20:00 Roundtable: Critical Theory and the urge for progress

participants: Amy Allen, Axel Honneth, Rahel Jaeggi, Terry Pinkard, Robin Celikates

(moderation: Eva von Redecker)

Tuesday, 18.07.

Re-Thinking Hegel’s Philosophy of History

10:00-11:00 Hegel’s philosophy of History

Terry Pinkard and Axel Honneth

11.00-11.30 break

11:30-13:00 (cont.) Hegel’s philosophy of History

Readings:

  • Hegel: Lectures on the Philosophy of World History, Chapter 3:
    Freedom, Individual & State (pp. 31-36); Chapter 4: History in its
    Development (pp. 57-61 + pp. 67-82); The Peloponnesian War (pp. 276-282);
  • Hegel: Philosophy of Mind, Universal History (pp. 147-166).

13:00-15:00 lunch break

15:00-16:00 Does History make sense? Discussion of Pinkard’s Re-Reading of Hegel’s Philosophy of History

& Essay-Discussion

Reading:

  • Pinkard: Does History Make Sense? Hegel on the Historical Shapes of Justice, Introduction, Chapter II: Building an Idealist Conception of History (pp. 39-49); Chapter III: Hegel`s False Start: Non-Europeans as Failed Europeans (pp. 50-67); Chapter V: Infinite Ends at Work in History (pp. 140-168).

16:00-16:30 break

16:30-18:00 Does History Make Sense? Hegelian Influences in Contemporary Critical Theory

& Essay-Discussions

Wednesday, 19.07.

Progress and Regression

10:00-11:00 Adorno, Benjamin and the dialectics of progress

Jay Bernstein

11.00-11.30 break

11:30-13:00 (cont.) Adorno, Benjamin and the dialectics of progress

Readings:

  • Benjamin: “On the Concept of History” (pp. 389-397);
  • Adorno: “Progress” (pp. 143-160);
  • Adorno: History and Freedom, Lecture 10: ‘Negative’ Universal History (pp. 89-98);
  • Lecture 13-14: The History of Nature (I-II) (pp. 115-129); Lecture 15-18: On Interpretation: The Concept of Progress (I-IV) (pp. 133-174);
  • Horkheimer/Adorno: Dialectic of Enlightenment. Philosophical Fragments, Notes and Sketches: On the Critique of the Philosophy of History (pp. 184-187).

13:00-15:00 lunch break

15:00-16:00 Jay Bernstein (Input): „Problems of Progress and the Idea of Human Rights“

& Essay-Discussion

Reading:

  • Bernstein: “Problems of Progress and the Idea of Human Rights”, Ms.

16:00-16:30 break

16:30-18:00 The Problem of Regression and the current political situation

& Essay-Discussion

Thursday, 20.07.

Dialectics of Progress and the Dynamics of Social Change

10:00-11:00 Foucault and the ambivalences of progress

Amy Allen and Martin Saar

11.00-11.30 break

11:30-13:00 (cont.) Foucault and the ambivalences of progress

Readings:

  • Foucault: History of Madness, Preface to the 1961 Edition; Reply to Derrida (pp. 575-590);
  • Foucault: Discipline and Punish. The Birth of the Prison, Part Two Punishment (pp. 73-134);
  • Foucault: “Nietzsche, Genealogy, History” (pp. 369–391).

13:00-15:00 lunch break

15:00-16:00 separate follow-up discussions

16:00-16:30 break

16:30-18:00 The Dialectics of Progress in Contemporary Critical Theory

Amy Allen, Rahel Jaeggi, Martin Saar & Essays-Discussion

Readings:

  • Allen: The End of Progress. Decolonizing the Normative Foundations of Critical Theory, Chapter 1, 5, 6;
  • Jaeggi, “’Resistance to the Perpetual Danger of Relapse’: Moral Progress and Social Change”;
  • Martin Saar: Commentary to Amy Allens „End of Progress“;
  • Allen, Jaeggi, and von Redecker, “Progress, Normativity, and the Dynamics of Social Change. An Exchange between Rahel Jaeggi and Amy Allen” (pp. 225-251).

18.30-20:00 Roundtable : The Dynamics of Social Change

participants: Hauke Brunkhorst, James Ingram, Chris Meckstroth, Eva von Redecker

(moderation: Rahel Jaeggi)

Friday, 21.07.

Historical Materialism and Theories of Social Evolution

10:00-11:00 Habermas’ Reconstruction of Historical Materialism

Hauke Brunkhorst, Rahel Jaeggi

11.00-11.30 break

11:30-13:00 (cont.) Habermas’ Reconstruction of Historical Materialism

Readings

  • Habermas: “Towards a Reconstruction of Historical Materialism” (pp. 130-177);
  • Marx: “Preface” to A Critique of Political Economy (pp. 424-428);
  • Marx/Engels: The German Ideology (pp. 148-163);
  • Engels: “Anti-Dühring: Herr Eugen Dühring’s Revolution in Science”.
  • Brunkhorst: Critical Theory of Legal Revolutions. Evolutionary Perspectives.

13:00-15:00 Lunch Break

15:00-16:00 Hauke Brunkhorst: Theory of Legal Revolution

& Discussion

16:00-16:30 break

16:30–17:30 (cont.) Habermas, Historical Materialism and theories of social evolution

& Discussion

18:30-20:00 Résumé: Progress and Regression

reports by Alice Crary & Anna Katsman

discussion: Hauke Brunkhorst, Rahel Jaeggi, Alessandro Pinzani, Martin Saar
(moderation: Isette Schuhmacher)

21:00- PARTY

Participants

AMY R. ALLEN // PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY

MICHAEL BECKER // NEW SCHOOL FOR SOCIAL RESEARCH NEW YORK

JAY BERNSTEIN // NEW SCHOOL FOR SOCIAL RESEARCH NEW YORK

CAROLIN BOTOS // HUMBOLDT UNIVERSITY OF BERLIN

HAUKE BRUNKHORST // UNIVERSITY OF FLENSBURG

THOMAS CANNADAY // UNIVERSITY OF HAMBURG

GIANFRANCO CASUSO // PONTIFCAL CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY OF PERU

Dissonance, Criticism and Cognitive Progress

JONATHON CATLIN // PRINCETON UNIVERSITY

Catastrophe, Contingency, and Progress in Adorno

GIANLUCA CAVALLO // UNIVERSITY OF TURIN

ROBIN CELIKATES // UNIVERSITY OF AMSTERDAM

VOLKAN CIDAM // BOGAZICI UNIVERSITY ISTANBUL

ANDRÉ DAL’BÓ DA COSTA // UNIVERSITY OF SÃO PAULO

Order and progress as social regression. The case of Brazil

JORDAN DANIELS // EMORY UNIVERSITY ATLANTA

Natural-History and Natural Beauty. Adorno on Objects, Social Truth, and the Possibility of Progress

MARCUS DÖLLER // GOETHE UNIVERSITY FRANKFURT

Progress as Regress in Social Change

ĽUBOMÍR DUNAJ // UNIVERSITY OF PREŠOV

FRIEDRICH ENGELS // LONDON

Anit-Dühring. Socialism

MARVIN ESTER // HUMBOLDT UNIVERSITY OF BERLIN

TAO FENG // NANKAI UNIVERSITY TIANJIN

HANNAH FIEGENBAUM // HUMBOLDT UNIVERSITY OF BERLIN

Artifacts relating to social change

CARSTEN MICHAEL FLAIG // FREE UNIVERSITY OF BERLIN

REBECCA FRITZL // FREE UNIVERSITY OF BERLIN

NAVEH FRUMER // TEL AVIV UNIVERSITY

Pathological Progress? Honneth and the Challenge of Neoliberalism.

DOUGLAS GILES // UNIVERSITY OF ESSEX

STEPHAN GRUBER // PONTIFICAL CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY OF PERU

Dilemmas of progress. From genealogical formalism to a pragmatic-materialist navigation

TIMOTHÉE HAUG // UNIVERSITY OF STRASBOURG & FREE UNIVERSITY OF BERLIN

GEORG W. HEGEL // HUMBOLDT UNIVERSITY OF BERLIN

The Philosophy of History

LEÓN ANTONIO HEIM // LEIPZIG UNIVERSITY

VINCENT HESSLING // COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY NEW YORK

AXEL HONNETH // IFS FRANKFURT & COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY NEW YORK

LEONIE HUNTER // GOETHE UNIVERSITY FRANKFURT

JAMES INGRAM // MCMASTER UNIVERSITY HAMILTON

RAHEL JAEGGI // HUMBOLDT UNIVERSITY OF BERLIN

IMMANUEL KANT // UNIVERSITY OF KÖNIGSBERG

An Old Question Raised Again, Is The Human Race Constantly Progressing

KSENIYA KAPELCHUK // RUSSIAN ACADEMY OF SCIENCES

MANUEL KAPPLER // COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY NEW YORK

ANNA KATSMAN // NEW SCHOOL FOR SOCIAL RESEARCH NEW YORK

Narrative and logic in the history of self-determination. Review of Terry Pinkard’s Does History Make Sense?

ALAN J. KELLNER // NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY EVANSTON

VICTOR KEMPF // GOETHE UNIVERSITY FRANKFURT

JANOS KLOCKE // LEIPZIG UNIVERSITY

MICHAEL KRYLUK // STONY BROOK UNIVERSITY NEW YORK

MITHRA LEHN // NEW SCHOOL FOR SOCIAL RESEARCH NEW YORK

WULF LOH // UNIVERSITY OF STUTTGART

Social Progress with Regard to Collective Actors Short Abstract

KARL MARX // LONDON

Preface to a Critique of Political Economy

MARIAM MATAR // NEW SCHOOL FOR SOCIAL RESEARCH NEW YORK

The Problem of Regression and the Current Political Situation: The Suffering Subject and Political Community

CHRISTOPH MECKSTROTH // UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE

ANDREA MESSNER // HUMBOLDT UNIVERSITY OF BERLIN

SIMONE MILLER // HUMBOLDT UNIVERSITY OF BERLIN

AMIRA MOEDING // HUMBOLDT UNIVERSITY OF BERLIN

CLINT MONTGOMERY // LEIPZIG UNIVERSITY

CHRISTOPHER MORALES // BARCELONA

JOHANNA MÜLLER // HUMBOLDT UNIVERSITY OF BERLIN

SAMI ALEXEJ NENNO // HUMBOLDT UNIVERSITY OF BERLIN

SIMON NEUFFER // TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY OF BERLIN

ESTHER LEA NEUHANN // GOETHE UNIVERSITY FRANKFURT

ZEINAB NOBOWATI // HUMBOLDT UNIVERSITY OF BERLIN

OBDIGO IKE MATHIAS // UNIVERSITY OF ESSEX

AURELIA PEYRICAL  // PARIS NANTERRE UNIVERSITY

TERRY PINKARD // GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY WASHINGTON D.C.

ALESSANDRO PINZANI // FEDERAL UNIVERSITY OF SANTA CATARINA FLORIANÓPOLIS

LEA R. PRIX // HUMBOLDT UNIVERSITY OF BERLIN

SHIVANI RADHAKHRISHNAN // COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY NEW YORK

VANESSA RAMPTON // ETH ZURICH

BEN RANDOLPH // PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY

Two of Adorno’s Arguments for “Construing and Denying” Universal History

MALTE RAUCH // NEW SCHOOL FOR SOCIAL RESEARCH NEW YORK

IYAD RAYA // AMERICAN UNIVERSITY BEIRUT

EVA VON REDECKER // HUMBOLDT UNIVERSITY OF BERLIN

MARTIN SAAR // LEIPZIG UNIVERSITY

RICARDO SAMANIEGO DE LA FUENTE // UNIVERSITY OF ESSEX

Negt and Kluge on the Numbness of Experience

ISETTE SCHUHMACHER // HUMBOLDT UNIVERSITY OF BERLIN

JUSTUS SCHOLLMEYER // LEIBNIZ-INSTITUTE FOR INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIES

On the Potential Benefits of Uniting Paradigm Theory and the Theory of Inventive Problem Solving

CHRISTOPHER SENF // UNIVERSITY OF BERGEN

Conflit Theory in Marx: ‘Science as an Organ of a Movement’

DANIEL SHARP // NEW YORK UNIVERSITY

ANDREW SMITH // RADBOUD UNIVERSITY NIJMEGEN

KATHARINA ANNA SODOMA //  UNIVERSITY OF VIENNA

LEONIE STIBOR // HUMBOLDT UNIVERSITY OF BERLIN

MARIANA TEIXEIRA // BRAZILIAN CENTER FOR ANALYSIS AND PLANNING SAO PAULO

Reconstructing the Lordship and Bondage Dialectics in the Peripheries. Beauvoir and Fanon as Readers of Hegel

NOORA TIENAHO // UNIVERSITY OF HELSINKI

Adorno on Progress in (Electronic) Music

SELANA TZSCHIESCHE // FREE UNIVERSITY BERLIN

TOBIAS WIELAND // FREE UNIVERSITY BERLIN

Speculative Dialectics and the Sense of History

CAMILA YADEU // UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA BERKELEY

JUSTO SERRANO ZAMORA // IFS FRANKFURT  & EHESS PARIS

BART ZANTVOORT // TILBURG UNIVERSITY

ROBERT ZIEGELMANN // HEIDELBERG UNIVERSITY

 

Progress, Regression and Social Change