By Christopher Zurn
With his insightful and wide-ranging idea of popularity, Axel Honneth has decisively reshaped the Frankfurt institution culture of severe social thought. Combining insights from philosophy, sociology, psychology, historical past, political financial system, and cultural critique, Honneth’s paintings proposes not anything below an account of the ethical infrastructure of human sociality and its relation to the perils and promise of latest social life.
This booklet presents an available review of Honneth’s major contributions throughout various fields, assessing the strengths and weaknesses of his proposal. Christopher Zurn truly explains Honneth’s multi-faceted idea of popularity and its relation to various themes: person id, morality, activist routine, development, social pathologies, capitalism, justice, freedom, and critique. In so doing, he areas Honneth’s conception in a extensive highbrow context, encompassing vintage social theorists comparable to Kant, Hegel, Marx, Freud, Dewey, Adorno and Habermas, in addition to modern tendencies in social concept and political philosophy. Treating the whole diversity of Honneth’s corpus, together with his significant new paintings on social freedom and democratic moral existence, this ebook is the main up to date consultant available.
Axel Honneth may be worthy to scholars and students operating around the humanities and social sciences, in addition to somebody looking a transparent advisor to the paintings of 1 of the main influential theorists writing today.
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Extra resources for Axel Honneth
Honneth’s central claim here is that indi viduals gain a sense of self-respect only in and through the individual rights that are granted to members of a legal community. In virtue of having a status under a given legal system, an individual is granted or afforded certain legal protections. Those legal protections, in turn, allow her to understand herself as a full and equal member of that community, capable of and responsible for her own decisions. When acknowledged as bearers of legal rights by the other members of their community through their legal status, individuals are able to gain a sense of self-respect, a sense of their inherent dignity as free and equal among others.
In contrast, when one can publicly insist on one’s rights, one has the socially recognized ability to raise claims to proper treatment that 38 Individuals’ Struggle for Recognition others must acknowledge since they already acknowledge those claims as generically appropriate for all moral agents. One is able to stand up in public and demand acknowledgment as a co-equal member, as a moral person with valid social claims to proper treatment. Finally, this public acknowledgment is then the basis for one’s own self-respect as a free moral agent, equal in legal status to all other free moral agents.
Similar analyses and distinctions can be found in the social psychology developed by Mead a hundred years after Hegel, and in the quite different psychodynamic psychology developed by Winnicott another fifty years on. Honneth in effect takes the quite significant overlap of Hegel’s, Mead’s, and Winnicott’s theo ries of recognition as empirical confirmation of the claims that Hegel originally advanced in a tentative and speculative manner. Honneth’s theory thus performs a kind of inter-translation between the very dif ferent approaches, methods, vocabulary, and focal problems found in the three main theorists he draws on.
Axel Honneth by Christopher Zurn