31 Facts About Max Horkheimer


Max Horkheimer was a German philosopher and sociologist who was famous for his work in critical theory as a member of the Frankfurt School of social research.


On 14 February 1895, Max Horkheimer was born the only son of Moritz and Babetta Max Horkheimer.


Max Horkheimer was born into a conservative, wealthy Orthodox Jewish family.


Max Horkheimer's father was a successful businessman who owned several textile factories in the Zuffenhausen district of Stuttgart, where Max was born.


Max Horkheimer was taken out of school in 1910 to work in the family business, where he eventually became a junior manager.


In 1917, his manufacturing career ended and his chances of taking over his family business were interrupted when he was drafted into World War I However, Horkheimer avoided service, being rejected on medical grounds.


In 1925, Max Horkheimer was habilitated with a dissertation entitled Kant's Critique of Judgment as Mediation between Practical and Theoretical Philosophy.


Pollock and Max Horkheimer were partners with Weil in the early activities of the institute.


Max Horkheimer worked to make the Institute a purely academic enterprise.


Max Horkheimer intellectually reoriented the institute, proposing a programme of collective research aimed at specific social groups that would highlight the problem of the relationship of history and reason.


Max Horkheimer emigrated to Geneva, Switzerland and then to New York City the following year, where Horkheimer met with the president of Columbia University, Nicholas Murray Butler, to discuss hosting the institute.


In July 1934, Max Horkheimer accepted an offer from Columbia to relocate the institute to one of their buildings.


In 1940, Max Horkheimer received American citizenship and moved to the Pacific Palisades district of Los Angeles, California, where his collaboration with Adorno would yield the Dialectic of Enlightenment.


In 1942, Max Horkheimer assumed the directorship of the Scientific Division of the American Jewish Committee.


Between 1951 and 1953 Max Horkheimer was rector of the University of Frankfurt.


In 1953, Max Horkheimer stepped down from director of the Institute and took on a smaller role in the institute, while Adorno became director.


Max Horkheimer continued to teach at the university until his retirement in the mid-1960s.


Max Horkheimer returned to the United States in 1954 and 1959 to lecture as a frequent visiting professor at the University of Chicago.


Max Horkheimer remained an important figure until his death in Nuremberg in 1973.


Max Horkheimer's work is marked by a concern to show the relation between affect and concepts.


Max Horkheimer did not think that either was wrong, but he insisted that the insights of each school on its own could not adequately contribute to the repair of social problems.


Max Horkheimer helped to create critical theory through a mix of radical and conservative lenses that stem from radical Marxism and end up in "pessimistic Jewish transcendentalism".


Max Horkheimer developed his critical theory by examining his own wealth while witnessing the juxtaposition of the bourgeois and the impoverished.


Max Horkheimer was convinced of the need to "examine the entire material and spiritual culture of mankind" in order to transform society as a whole.


Max Horkheimer sought to enable the working class to reclaim their power in order to resist the lure of fascism.


Max Horkheimer stated himself that "the rationally organized society that regulates its own existence" was necessary along with a society that could "satisfy common needs".


Max Horkheimer often referenced human struggle and used this example in his speech because it was a topic he understood well.


Nonetheless, Max Horkheimer and Adorno believed that art was an exception, because it "is an open-ended system with no fixed rules"; thus, it could not be an object of the industry.


Rolf Wiggershaus, author of The Frankfurt School believed Max Horkheimer lacked the audacious theoretical construction produced by those like Marx and Lukacs and that his main argument was that those living in misery had the right to material egoism.


Max Horkheimer did not conduct empirical research on capitalism and its crises.


For Max Horkheimer, the working class had been a revolutionary subject only in the abstract.