2020 applicants
Research Cluster

Critical Theory

Sharpening the tools of social critique

This research cluster brings together academics from Philosophy.

We are the largest centre of research on Frankfurt School critical theory in the UK. Many of our staff and students are actively researching philosophers such as Adorno, Habermas and Honneth, as well as a range of related traditions. We regularly offer an MA module on the Frankfurt School and Critical Social Theory.

Themes include Habermas and deliberative democracy, commodification and the moral limits of markets and on realism in political philosophy and on social pathologies.

Every week during term time, academic staff and graduate students interested in critical theory meet at our Critical Theory Colloquium to discuss classic texts or recent work in critical theory, as well as their own works in progress. If you are a member of the University of Essex, readings for the Colloquium are available on Moodle.

You can learn more about our members research and interests through their staff profiles. You can also contact members of staff for information on research supervision opportunities.

Our members

Lorna Finlayson
Lecturer, School of Philosophy and Art History
Fabian Freyenhagen
Professor, School of Philosophy and Art History
Research interests: Theory, history and practice of autonomy; Frankfurt School (especially Adorno); Ethics (particularly Kants and Kantian ethics); Political Philosophy
Steven Gormley
Lecturer, School of Philosophy and Art History
Research interests: Deconstruction; Critical Theory; Democratic Theory; Political Philosophy
Timo Jütten
Head of School - Professor (R), School of Philosophy and Art History
Research interests: Critical Social Theory (Adorno, Habermas, Honneth); Feminism (especially sexual objectification, prostitution, pornography); Philosophical foundations of human rights (the relationship between human dignity and human rights, mental capacity and human rights, human rights and Big Data); The moral status of Capitalism and Markets
Thomas Khurana
Lecturer, School of Philosophy and Art History
Research interests: Kant and German Idealism; Post-Kantian European Philosophy; Critical Theory and French Philosophy; Social and Political Philosophy; Ethics and Aesthetics; Philosophy of Mind and Action; Projects: The Art of Second Nature; Self-Knowledge and Self-Objectification; The Politics of Life
Joerg Schaub
Senior Lecturer, School of Philosophy and Art History
Research interests: Social and Political Philosophy (focus on contemporary theories and 19th century German authors); Frankfurt School and Contemporary Critical Theory; Aesthetics and Politics

Related courses

Are you looking to study a philosophy degree at undergraduate, masters or PhD level? Explore some of the exciting courses below, or visit our subject areas to find out more about the degrees and modules that Essex has to offer. If you're not sure which subject is right for you, you can always search for a course. If you're looking for research opportunities, or to find a supervisor, you can use our research finder by searching for your research interests.


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