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A group of social, economic, political, psychological and aesthetic theorists (so-called "critical theorists") that first organized in the 1920s to form the Frankfurt Institute for Social Research. The Frankfurt School comprised the following:

The Institute disbanded in the late 1960s. The writings and lectures of the Frankfurt School were grounded in Marxist thought.

The Essential Frankfurt School Reader
Arato, Andrew and Eike Gebhardt, eds.;
ISBN: 0-8264-0194-5

Frankfurt School: The Institute for Social Research

Founded as an autonomous section of the University of Frankfurt in 1923.

Its first director, Carl Grunberg, saw it as a center for historical and sociological inquiry inspired by Marxist theory.

Within a few years, however, leading members of the Institute, including Max Horkheimer, Theodor Adorno, Walter Benjamin, and Herbert Marcuse were giving equal emphasis to purely theoretical work, incorporating elements of psychoanalysis and existentialism into a new form of Marxism known as critical theory.

Critical theory is centrally concerned with problems of aesthetics, culture and modernism; it is Hegelian in inspiration and strongly opposed to Soviet Marxism and dialectical materialism.

During the Nazi period the school dispersed and eventually regrouped in New York; it moved back to Frankfurt in 1949, where Jürgen Habermas emerged as its leading figure.

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