From Criticizing Progress to Psychoanalyzing Critical Theory. An Interview with Amy Allen




Psychoanalysis, Critical Theory, Frankfurt School, Melanie Klein, Institute for Social Research, Social critique


The importance of psychoanalysis for Critical Theory is unabated, but controversial. Regressive reactions to the crises of capitalism are currently reviving the debate about its relevance for the Frankfurt School. The interview with Amy Allen follows the focus of her book Critique on the Couch (2020) through questions about the significance of psychoanalysis for Critical Theory as well as the implications of her arguments for a theory of the subject and a critique of eurocentric concepts of progress.

Author Biographies

Tobias Heinze, Institute for Social Research, Frankfurt

Tobias Heinze is a doctoral researcher at the Institute for Social Research and a PhD candidate in Social Philosophy at Goethe University Frankfurt. He studied Sociology and Political Theory in Frankfurt, Darmstadt, Münster, and New York and was a visiting doctoral researcher at the School of Philosophy and Art History at the University of Essex in Autumn 2022. In his PhD thesis, he analyses Schelling’s, Horkheimer’s, and Adorno’s contribution to a Critical Theory of Nature. He also researches contemporary and historical challenges of Critical Theory, such as the relationship between psychoanalysis and social philosophy. He is co-editor, with Martin Mettin, of the volume “Denn das Wahre ist das Ganze nicht...“ Beiträge zur Negativen Anthropologie Ulrich Sonnemanns (Neofelis, 2021).

Judith-Frederike Popp, Akademie der bildenden Künste Wien (Academy of Fine Arts Vienna)

Judith-Frederike Popp, PhD, is FWF senior post-doc at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Austria, leading the research project Mediated Autonomy. Ideal and Reality of Aesthetic Practice. She studied Philosophy, German literature and Psychoanalysis and did her PhD in Philosophy with a thesis titled Irrationalität als Wagnis. Philosophische Theorie und psychoanalytische Praxis at Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany (published as a monograph with Velbrück 2019). She was a visiting researcher in Chicago and Vienna in 2015 and 2020 and a teaching and research post-doc at the Faculty of Design Würzburg, Germany from 2018 till 2022. She currently works on her second monograph with the working title Gestaltete Verhältnisse. Eine Produktionsästhetik des Subjekts. Together with Lioudmila Voropai, she edited the volume Adorno und die Medien. Kritik, Relevanz, Ästhetik (Kadmos 2023).



How to Cite

Heinze, Tobias, and Judith-Frederike Popp. 2024. “From Criticizing Progress to Psychoanalyzing Critical Theory. An Interview With Amy Allen”. Krisis | Journal for Contemporary Philosophy 44 (1):116-24.