Against Instrumental Reason: Neo-Marxism and Spirituality in the Thought of José Luis L. Aranguren and Jesús Aguirre

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Opposition within Spain to the Francoist dictatorship (1939-1975) grew undoubtedly stronger during the last two decades of the regime. However, it is only recently, that attention is being paid to the impact that Critical Theory – as developed by the Frankfurt School – had in Spain during the last stages of the regime and during the ensuing Transition to democracy. The purpose of this book is to readdress the question of the existence Critical Theory in Spanish thought during this period. Its main argument is that, contrary to general belief, Critical Theory was developed in Spain during the second half of the twentieth century influenced by and parallel to the Frankfurt School's own research. Specifically, this book draws attention to the efforts that two leading Spanish thinkers, namely, Jesús Aguirre y Ortiz de Zárate (1934-2001), better known as Duke of Alba (1978-2001), and José Luis López Aranguren (1909-1996), made towards criticizing and desestabilizing instrumental reason. More importantly, it also explores their attempt to develop an alternative reason that would challenge the established framework of rationality.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationPiera
Number of pages539
ISBN (Electronic)9788415507185
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Spanish history of ideas
  • critical theory
  • Francoism
  • J.L. Aranguren
  • J. Aguirre
  • Frankfurt School
  • Spain
  • Franco
  • Fascist Spain

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