Sunday, January 17, 2010

Frankfurt School - IOT

Last week BBC's In Our Time delivered a four part series about the history of the Royal Society which, I have to admit, I abandoned in the middle. Somehow it didn't take me in as the single part, 40 minute, concise and too short, regular episodes do. And as did the latest show, which was a normal one again.

Melvyn Bragg and his guests discussed the Frankfurt School and it was good to hear this history again. In addition to the history, it was a challenge to engage in the kind of critical thought the School propagated. I appreciated the idea of being critical of all systems, not only the leading system, but also the alleged alternatives. This was not cheap, cynical criticism but a thrust to think further and beyond, in eternal search for a better place. No wonder such School (of Sociology? Political Science? Philosophy? Art?) had to pass out of existence, but I was a little surprised by one suggestions the best had already been over when the School went into its American Exile.

I thought it had had its heyday in America and an additional heyday in its second period back in Germany. Surely there were several versions of the Frankfurt School. There are not many podcasts that pay attention to them. The only I know of was one issue of New Books In History about The Frankfurt School in Exile, that is, the American part of the story.

More In Our Time:
The history of the Royal Society,
The weekly treat,
New season of In Our Time,
St. Thomas Aquinas,
Logical Positivism.