Critique & Inspiration Education Innovation

Critical Thinking – An Educational Alternative in One-dimensional Society

by Lisbet Rosenfeldt Svanøe | Master of Arts in Philosophy of Education


Primarily based on Marcuse’s One-Dimensional Man this article describes and analyses a society with excessive production and – consumption. It furthermore examines how the highly developed industrial society through one-dimensional positivistic and scientific thinking alienates man. An alienation that has severe consequences for what Marcuse defines as both internal and external nature. The article sums up Marcuse’s definition of critical/dialectical thinking which, according to Marcuse, has the capacity of changing status quo as it is an alternative to positivism and scientism

Conclusively, the article, based on Klafki’s didactical theory, examines how education of the future generations can approach the problematics, and how Marcuse’s critical theory can be used in practice, as Marcuse himself emphasised that theory and practice must be united to be efficient. The article shows how critical/dialectical thinking and the development of a critical/dialectical judgement can contribute to the restraining of the aforementioned consequences, and hence ought to be part of an educational ideal.

Keywords – Marcuse, nature, alienation, dialectics, critical theory, critical thinking, Klafki, didactics.

Please find downloadable full article available here! 

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