About the Book
What is critique? How is it used and abused? At a moment when popular discourse is saturated with voices confronting each other about not being critical enough, while academic discourses proclaim to have moved past critique, this provocative book reawakens the foundational question of what 'critique' is in the first place. Roy Ben-Shai inspects critique as an orientation of critical thinking, probing its structures and assumptions, its limits and its risks, its history and its possibilities. The book is a journey through a landscape of ideas, images, and texts from diverse sources—theological, psychological, etymological, and artistic, but mainly across the history of philosophy, from Plato and Saint Augustine, through Kant and Hegel, Marx and Heidegger, up to contemporary critical theory.
Along the way, Ben-Shai invites the reader to examine their own orientation of thought, even at the moment of reading the book; to question popular discourse; and to revisit the philosophical canon, revealing affinities among often antagonistic traditions, such as Catholicism and Marxism. Most importantly, Critique of Critique sets the ground for an examination of alternative orientations of critical thinking, other ways of inhabiting and grasping the world.