Memory and Critical Thinking

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The practice of memory as a self-reflexivity that continually questions the dominant order is connected to a philosophical way of thinking that French theorist Henri Lefebvre, in the words of urban cultural studies critic Benjamin Fraser, sees as a challenge to “all attempts to fragment experience into self-sufficient realms” (5). Instead of philosophical thought that seeks to fix knowledge in specialized and closed categories, Fraser argues that “Lefebvre thus makes use of philosophy in order to turn thought back upon itself” (6). That is, Lefebvre folds philosophy’s tendency toward fragmentary knowledge back into a constantly changing process. This oft-forgotten ability to think critically is being remembered and reawakened by the creativity of neighborhood associations, artists, and social movements around the world. The shared call to action is the following: Remember to voluntarily forget preceding totalizing discourses by mapping an alternate reality.

Fraser, Benjamin. “Inaugural editorial: Urban cultural studies – a manifesto (Part 1).” Journal of Urban Cultural Studies 1.1 (2014): 3-17. Print.

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