The Afterlife of Critique: The Communicability of Criticism and the Publicity of Polemic Concerning Public Debate in the Turkish Press

A. Özgür Gürsoy, Gokcen Karanfil


The philosophical activity of critique is intimately connected with the mundane activity of public criticism that takes place in newspapers. Drawing on the Kantian tradition of critical philosophy, we argue that four axes, namely, self-examination, liminal interrogation, concern with legitimacy, and the requirement of communicability, are implied by critical discourse and public debate. We then examine a recent set of polemics (between Doğan Akın, Ali Bayramoğlu, and Etyen Mahçupyan) in the Turkish press with the aid of these axes—as well as techniques for the analysis of informal reasoning—to determine what critical function such polemics may have. We conclude that critique survives as polemic in the Turkish press, but in such a way that the latter’s publicity vitiates the former’s communicability. The result is that polemics ultimately track the balance of power between social forces rather than being a transformative element within them.


critique, polemic, Turkish press, Kant, communicability, publicity

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