Outline of critical theory  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

In the humanities and social sciences, critical theory has two quite different meanings with different origins and histories, one originating in social theory and the other in literary criticism. The former is theory oriented toward critiquing and changing society as a whole, in contrast to traditional theory oriented only to understanding or explaining it. The latter is theory used in the critical analysis and understanding of literature and is discussed in greater detail under literary theory. Basic topics in critical theory include:


Nature of critical theory

Main article: Critical theory

Branches of critical theory

History of critical theory

Main article: History of critical theory

Major works

Basic critical theory concepts

Major theorists

Critical theory lists

Main article: List of critical theory topics

See also

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