Pathologies of reason : on the legacy of critical theory by Axel Honneth

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By Axel Honneth

Axel Honneth has been instrumental in advancing the paintings of the Frankfurt tuition of serious theorists, rebuilding their attempt to mix radical social and political research with rigorous philosophical inquiry. those 11 essays released over the last 5 years reclaim the proper subject matters of the Frankfurt university, which counted Theodor W. Adorno, Max Horkheimer, Walter Benjamin, Jürgen Habermas, Franz Neumann, and Albrecht Wellmer as participants. in addition they interact with Kant, Freud, Alexander Mitscherlich, and Michael Walzer, whose paintings on morality, heritage, democracy, and individuality intersects with the Frankfurt School's middle concerns.

Collected the following for the 1st time in English, Honneth's essays pursue the unifying issues and theses that help the methodologies and thematics of serious social idea, they usually handle the probabilities of constant this custom via substantially replaced theoretical and social stipulations. in line with Honneth, there's a cohesion that underlies severe theory's a number of ways: the best way cause is either distorted and furthered in modern capitalist society. And whereas a lot is lifeless within the social and mental doctrines of serious social thought, its primary inquiries stay vitally correct.

Is social development nonetheless attainable after the horrors of the 20th century? Does capitalism deform cause and, if this is the case, in what respects? will we justify the connection among legislation and violence in secular phrases, or is it inextricably absolute to divine justice? How do we be loose whilst we are topic to socialization in a hugely advanced and in lots of respects unfree society? For Honneth, agony and ethical fight are departure issues for a brand new ""reconstructive"" kind of social feedback, one who relies solidly within the empirically grounded, interdisciplinary procedure of the Frankfurt School.

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While Horkheimer combines with his concept of work the notion of a rational potential that is to serve subjects directly as an aim of cooperative self-actualization in a “community of free human beings,”11 Habermas understands the idea of communicative understanding no longer as a rational aim but only as the rational form of a successful mode of socialization. 12 Yet this formulation cannot obscure the fact that an ethical idea hides beneath anthropological ways of speaking about an original mode of human action.

Such soothsayings, Kant says with unconcealed irony, are nothing other than self-fulfilling prophecies. 1 The proximity to Walter Benjamin that appears to flash up through such remarks is not accidental, nor is it trivial in relation to Kant’s work. ”2 Like Benjamin, Kant sees historical development up to the present as largely a product of the intentions and deeds of the victors. Under their “unjust coercion,”3 the horrors and “crimes against human nature”4 pile up into veritable mountains, such that all the sensitive historical observer can perceive in this historically unordered material is one singular “sighing” of humanity.

The series aims to renew and advance the program of critical social theory, with a particular focus on theorizing contemporary struggles around gender, race, sexuality, class, and globalization and their complex interconnections. edu Pathologien der Vernuft. Geschichte und Gegenwart der Kritischen Theorie © 2007 Suhrkamp Verlag, Frankfurt am Main Copyright © 2009 Columbia University Press All rights reserved E-ISBN 978-0-231-51837-6 Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Honneth, Axel, 1949- [Pathologies der Vernunft.

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