Max Horkheimer

German philosopher and sociologist

Max Horkheimer (February 14, 1895 – July 7, 1973) was a German-American philosopher and sociologist. He was famous for his work in critical theory as a member of the 'Frankfurt School' of social research.

Max Horkheimer
Max Horkheimer.jpg
Born(1895-02-14)February 14, 1895
DiedJuly 7, 1973(1973-07-07) (aged 78)
NationalityGerman, American
Era20th century philosophy
RegionWestern Philosophy
SchoolFrankfurt School, critical theory, Western Marxism
Notable ideas
Critical theory opposed to traditional theory, the culture industry, authoritarian personality, eclipse of reason

His most important works include The Eclipse of Reason (1947), "Between Philosophy and Social Science" (1930–1938) and, in collaboration with Theodor Adorno, The Dialectic of Enlightenment (1947). Through the Frankfurt School, Horkheimer planned, supported and made other significant works possible.[1]

After Hitler had become Chancellor of Germany, Horkheimer, who was of Jewish descent, emigrated to the United States.


His collected works have been issued in German as Gesammelte Schriften, 19 volumes, edited by Alfred Schmidt and Gunzelin Schmid Noerr. S. Fischer Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 1985-1996.


  1. "Horkheimer, Max" Dictionary of the Social Sciences. Craig Calhoun, ed. Oxford University Press 2002. Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press. College of the Holy Cross. 14 October 2009 Oxford profile