Titus Stahl

New article: Ideologiekritik als Kritik sozialer Praktiken

in: Jaeggi, Rahel; Loick, Daniel: Nach Marx. Philosophie, Kritik, Praxis. Suhrkamp, 2013: 228-254

Abstract: This chapter discusses a fundamental ambivalence in Marx’s use of the term “ideology”. On the one hand, he employs a cognitivist critique of ideologies, condemning them in virtue of their epistemic or cognitive insufficiencies. On the other hand, what he so describes as false is a specific second-order belief: The belief that the cognitive is independent from material practice. If this belief is false, however, a merely cognitivist critique of ideologies must miss its very point.

The chapter argues that there is a way out of this dilemma if we assume that ideologies are correct expressions of false practices. Ideological practices are practices which are constituted by norms that deny people the opportunity to legitimately question the categories which express basic distinctions established in these practices. In this case, ideological beliefs are not false, but deficient insofar they can only be expressed by employing concepts that rely on a (practical) limitation of our cognitive abilities.