Rationalization. Paradoxes of Closure and Openness
PhD-Candidate: Jan Overwijk
Supervisor: prof. dr. René Boomkens; prof. dr. Robin Celikates
10 November 2021 (14:00), University of Amsterdam
My dissertation examines the paradoxical logic of contemporary capitalism via a rehabilitation of the concept of rationalization. This concept was originally coined by Max Weber and developed by Critical Theory as a way to theorize the ‘closure’ of modernity by an instrumental type of rationality that became universalized through the rise of bureaucracies, technologies, and markets. In our current neoliberal world, however, this closure is accompanied by what we might call ‘openness’: the fluidity, flexibility, and open-endedness of social life. In the thesis, I synthesize Niklas Luhmann’s sociocybernetics and critical theory to think through the strange paradoxical relations that exist between closure and openness today.