Rancière has never made the question of critical theory his explicit focus, but this chapter traces an important thread concerning this question—a thread that runs across the entirety of Rancière's writings, from his earliest publication in 1965 in the famous seminar of Louis Althusser. The chapter shows how Rancière begins with a notion of critique that rests on the traditional logic of inversion, in which a false appearance is unmasked to locate the true essence underneath. However, Rancière soon comes to reject this logic of inversion (despite sometimes falling back on it himself), and in recent writings he has pointed toward the possibility of a new critical dispositif that does not rely on inversion. This chapter pushes this line of argument far beyond where Rancière has taken it, making the case for a new critical dispositif that rejects inversion and links up with Rancière's radical pedagogy.
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