DisrespectThe Normative Foundations of Critical Theory
The Normative Foundations of Critical Theory
Over the last decade, Axel Honneth has established himself as one of the leading social and political philosophers in the world today. Rooted in the tradition of critical theory, his writings have been central to the revitalization of critical theory and have become increasingly influential. His theory of recognition has gained worldwide attention and is seen by some as the principal counterpart to Habermass theory of discourse ethics.

In this important new volume, Honneth pursues his path-breaking work on recognition by exploring the moral experiences of disrespect that underpin the conduct of social and political critique. What we might conceive of as a striving for social recognition initially appears in a negative form as the experience of humiliation or disrespect. Honneth argues that disrespect constitutes the systematic key to a comprehensive theory of recognition that seeks to clarify the sense in which institutionalized patterns of social recognition generate justified demands on the way subjects treat each other.

This new book by one of the leading social and political philosophers of our time will be of particular interest to students and scholars in social and political theory and philosophy.

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  • May 2007
  • 296 pages
  • 158 x 237 mm / 6 x 9 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $74.95
  • 9780745629056
  • Paperback $29.95
  • 9780745629063
  • Open eBook $29.95
  • 9780745694498
Table of Contents

I. The Tasks of Social Philosophy

Pathologies of the Social: The Past and Present of Social Philosophy

The Possibility of a Disclosing Critique of Society: The Dialectic of Enlightenment in Light of Current Debates in Social Criticism

The Social Dynamics Of Disrespect: On The Location Of Critical Theory Today

Moral Consciousness and Class Domination: Some Problems in the Analysis of Hidden Morality

II. Morality and Recognition

The Other of Justice: Habermas and the Ethical Challenge of Postmodernism.

Between Aristotle and Kant: Recognition and Moral Obligation

Between Justice and Affection: The Family as a Field of Moral Disputes

Love and Morality: On the Moral Content of Emotional Ties

Decentered Autonomy: The Subject After the Fall

III. Problems of Political Philosophy

Is Universalism a Moral Trap? The Presuppositions and Limits of a Politics of Human Rights

Democracy as Reflexive Cooperation: John Dewey and the Theory of Democracy Today

Negative Freedom and Cultural Belonging: An Unhealthy Tension in the Political Philosophy of Isaiah Berlin

Post-traditional Communities: A Conceptual Proposal

About the Author
Axel Honneth is Professor of Philosophy at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University, Frankfurt.
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“For the past few decades Axel Honneth has been developing and defending the concept of recognition as the groundwork for a critical theory of society. In this collection of articles he extends his analysis of recognition in order to show how this informs social philosophy, moral theory, and political philosophy. Honneth has a knack for situating fundamental issues in historical perspective, outlining alternative strategies for dealing with them, and breaking new ground. This superb collection of essays is essential for anyone interested in recent developments in the scope and normative foundations of critical social theory.”

Richard J. Bernstein, New School for Social Research

“This belated translation makes patent what many of us have suspected for a long time: Axel Honneth’s recognition theory constitutes one of the most ambitious philosophical undertakings of our time. These sparkling essays work out its implications for major issues in social philosophy, moral philosophy, and political philosophy.”

Nancy Fraser, New School for Social Research

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