Skip to main content

Horkheimer, Max

Max Horkheimer (hôrk´hī´mər, hôr´kī´–), 1895–1973, German philosopher and sociologist. As director (1930–58) of the Institute for Social Research in Frankfurt, he played an important role in the development of critical theory and Western Marxism. In Eclipse of Reason (1947) and Dialectic of Enlightenment (1947, written with Theodor Adorno), he developed a critique of scientific positivism, whose "instrumental rationality" had become a form of domination in both capitalist and socialist countries. Against an older, deterministic Marxism, he argued that culture and consciousness are partly independent of economics, and his ideas about liberation and consumer society continue to influence contemporary empirical sociologists.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Horkheimer, Max." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 25 May. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Horkheimer, Max." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (May 25, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/horkheimer-max

"Horkheimer, Max." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved May 25, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/horkheimer-max

Horkheimer, Max

Horkheimer, Max (1895–1973) A leading member of the Frankfurt Institute for Social Research, he is best known in sociology for his critique of the dominant rationality of late capitalism. His most important books are The Eclipse of Reason (1947) and Critique of Instrumental Reason (1967).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Horkheimer, Max." A Dictionary of Sociology. . Encyclopedia.com. 25 May. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Horkheimer, Max." A Dictionary of Sociology. . Encyclopedia.com. (May 25, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/horkheimer-max

"Horkheimer, Max." A Dictionary of Sociology. . Retrieved May 25, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/horkheimer-max