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Benno Herzog
Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 11 (2): 6-12.
Publication year: 2022

Critique is back on the agenda of mainstream social science. There was a time when only a minority of social scientists considered critique as the aim of academic work. “Serious sciences”, according to the conviction in large parts of academia, has to describe or analyze but does not itself have to be a critical enterprise.

Today, there are pressing problems that are widely understood as social and therefore require social solutions. There seems to be a consensus that phenomena such as racism, sexism, poverty, exploitation, injustice, etc. are not (only) legal, political or psychological problems but also have deep roots in the social organization itself and consequently should be treated as social problems. Equally, the hegemonic opinion about the climate crisis is that we no longer hope for the technological wonder that solves the problem so that we can maintain our ways of life. Instead, the answer to climate change has to consider various fields of social reproduction, from economics to law, from international justice to gender equality, to the rethinking of development ideals and so on….