CFP: Critique: Hegel and Contemporary Critical Theory, ed. by Giovanna Luciano and Armando Manchisi

Verifiche. Rivista di scienze umane will publish a special issue devoted to the topic of ‘Critique: Hegel and Contemporary Critical Theory’. We welcome contributions that investigate the notion of ‘critique’ and its historical and systematic development from Hegel’s philosophy to the most recent interpretations and re-uses in the framework of contemporary Critical Theory.

Rationale of the Issue

This special issue aims to analyze the theoretical and practical dimensions of the concept of ‘critique’. The aim is to address questions such as: What justifies a critical claim and its normative value? What is the relationship between theoretical analysis and transformative action? Is critique an individual or a social practice, specifically philosophical or necessarily interdisciplinary?

Critique is a fundamental and widely spread notion within Classical German Philosophy; from the Enlightenment culture, it goes to Kant and Hegel, and further extends to Marx and Critical Theory. Hegel’s philosophy is generally recognized as a benchmark within the philosophical tradition that through Western European Marxism leads to the various generations of the Frankfurt School and to critical theorists in a broader sense. Nevertheless, especially Hegel’s philosophy has been subjected to severe criticism by critical theorists of different generations and from different disciplinary points of view.

In order to answer the questions of this issue, we invite contributors to examine the specific declination that the concept of ‘critique’ has had in Hegel’s philosophy as well as the appropriations, modifications, and rejections that it has received within the contemporary Critical Theory.

The rationale of the issue is the conviction that Hegel’s philosophical tradition is of primary importance today for an analysis of society and knowledge capable of representing an alternative both to strategies of critique ‘from nowhere’, which impose ideal and abstract categories on reality, and to attempts to provide a mere description of the world, which end up passively accepting the existing state of affairs. In fact, the core of the Hegelian account of critique is the idea that knowledge is neither a mere abstract intellectual possession, nor the assimilation of an external given, but rather an ongoing dialectical process that radically changes and produces both subjectivity and objectivity. Through the mediation of Marxist thought, this conception has had profound effects on the Critical Theory of Horkheimer, Adorno and Marcuse, up to Habermas and the more recent positions of Honneth, Fraser, Jaeggi and Rosa. Examining these effects then allows us not only to reconstruct an important area of contemporary philosophy, but also and especially to understand how philosophy today as a critical activity can contribute to the reflection on the present and to its transformation.


The following is a (non-exhaustive) list of topics and perspectives that could be addressed by contributions:

Theoretical Issues:

  • What is a critical theory?
  • How can a theory be an agent of change?
  • What is the subject and the object of critique?
  • Relationship between dialectics and critique
  • Ideal theory vs. non-ideal theory
  • Forms of critique in Hegel’s philosophy
  • Critique of epistemic universalism

Practical Issues:

  • Social, aesthetic, religious, economic criticism
  • Critical education
  • Emancipation, progress, human development
  • Critique of essentialism and human nature

Historical Issues:

  • Rationality and irrationality of the Modern Age
  • Legacy of Hegel’s philosophy for contemporary Critical Theory
  • Hegel’s Influence on contemporary Critical Human and Social Sciences (e.g., Critical Pedagogy, Critical Feminists Theory, Critical Race Theory)
  • Hegel and Postcolonial Studies


Confirmed Contributors

Federica Gregoratto (University of St. Gallen)

Gunnar Hindrichs (University of Basel)

Heikki Ikäheimo (UNSW Sydney)

Cat Moir (University of Sydney)


Submission Guidelines

Manuscripts must be fully anonymized and no longer than 50.000 characters. Papers should be in English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, or Spanish. Before sending your contribution, please consider the Guidelines for authors and this sample.

Full papers should be received by 30th September, 2022.

A committee will review all papers. Notifications regarding acceptance will be made via email.

Email a copy of your paper, as an attachment, in Microsoft Word (.doc), Rich Text Format (.rtf), or Adobe Portable Document Format (.pdf) to the editors: Giovanna Luciano ( and Armando Manchisi ( Please indicate ‘Call Critique Verifiche’ in the subject line and be sure to include the following information:

(1) Titles of the paper

(2) Name of the author(s)

(3) Author’s email address

(4) Short biography (affiliation, research interests, recent publications, etc.)