Gauge symmetries play a central role, both in the mathematical foundations as well as the conceptual construction of modern (particle) physics theories. However, it is yet unclear whether they form a necessary component of theories, or whether they can be eliminated. It is also unclear whether they are merely an auxiliary tool to simplify (and possibly localize) calculations or whether they contain independent information. Therefore their status, both in physics and philosophy of physics, remains to be fully clarified. In this (...) overview we review the current state of affairs on both the philosophy and the physics side. In particular, we focus on the circumstances in which the restriction of gauge theories to gauge invariant information on an observable level is warranted, using the Brout-Englert-Higgs theory as an example of particular current importance. Finally, we determine a set of yet to be answered questions to clarify the status of gauge symmetries. (shrink)
In this pathbreaking study, Axel Honneth argues that "the struggle for recognition" is, and should be, at the center of social conflicts. Moving smoothly between moral philosophy and social theory, Honneth offers insights into such issues as the social forms of recognition and nonrecognition, the moral basis of interaction in human conflicts, the relation between the recognition model and conceptions of modernity, the normative basis of social theory, and the possibility of mediating between Hegel and Kant.
Despite being a new term, ‘fake news’ has evolved rapidly. This paper argues that it should be reserved for cases of deliberate presentation of false or misleading claims as news, where these are misleading by design. The phrase ‘by design’ here refers to systemic features of the design of the sources and channels by which fake news propagates and, thereby, manipulates the audience’s cognitive processes. This prospective definition is then tested: first, by contrasting fake news with other forms of public (...) disinformation; second, by considering whether it helps pinpoint conditions for the proliferation of fake news. (shrink)
In this paper, Axel Honneth replies to the five critical accounts of Freedom's Right contained in this issue of Critical Horizons. He first discusses the methodological and systematic objections raised by Schaub and Freyenhagen, and then defends his approach vis-à-vis the other three critical accounts with reference to two social spheres – the sphere of personal relationships in the case of McNeill and McNay, and the market sphere in the case of Jütten. Among the significant clarifications of his account, (...) Honneth accepts that he should allow for the possibility of institutional revolutions and that there could be social pathologies in the spheres of social freedom. He also distinguishes more explicitly between capitalism and market societies, suggesting that market socialism might be more institutionally suited to realize social freedom in the social spheres of production and consumption than capitalism is. He insists on the distinctiveness of modern friendships; the moral superiority of modern societies based on social freedom; and the need for a teleological orientation in our critical engagement with social phenomena such as gender inequality. (shrink)
Questo volume raccoglie alcuni dei più importanti scritti pubblicati da Axel Honneth nel periodo precedente a "Lotta per il riconoscimento". Essi documentano i passaggi fondamentali dell'itinerario filosofico attraverso il quale Honneth è giunto ad elaborare la sua teoria del riconoscimento: le riflessioni sul lavoro sociale e sul conflitto di classe svolte in un orizzonte di pensiero ancora marxista, l'interlocuzione con la teoria di Habermas, l'indagine sulle forme della moralità quotidiana, il progressivo emergere della "logica morale del riconoscimento". Tutti questi (...) elementi, le cui tracce sono ancora chiaramente ravvisabili negli scritti honnethiani della maturità, compongono un panorama teorico ricco e interessante, che i testi qui raccolti (per la prima volta resi disponibili in traduzione italiana) consentono di conoscere nella sua evoluzione. (shrink)
With his insightful and wide-ranging theory of recognition, Axel Honneth has decisively reshaped the Frankfurt School tradition of critical social theory. Combining insights from philosophy, sociology, psychology, history, political economy, and cultural critique, Honneth’s work proposes nothing less than an account of the moral infrastructure of human sociality and its relation to the perils and promise of contemporary social life. This book provides an accessible overview of Honneth’s main contributions across a variety of fields, assessing the strengths and weaknesses (...) of his thought. Christopher Zurn clearly explains Honneth’s multi-faceted theory of recognition and its relation to diverse topics: individual identity, morality, activist movements, progress, social pathologies, capitalism, justice, freedom, and critique. In so doing, he places Honneth’s theory in a broad intellectual context, encompassing classic social theorists such as Kant, Hegel, Marx, Freud, Dewey, Adorno and Habermas, as well as contemporary trends in social theory and political philosophy. Treating the full range of Honneth’s corpus, including his major new work on social freedom and democratic ethical life, this book is the most up-to-date guide available. _Axel Honneth_ will be invaluable to students and scholars working across the humanities and social sciences, as well as anyone seeking a clear guide to the work of one of the most influential theorists writing today. (shrink)
Taking scientific practice as its starting point, this book charts the complex territory of models used in science. It examines what scientific models are and what their function is. Reliance on models is pervasive in science, and scientists often need to construct models in order to explain or predict anything of interest at all. The diversity of kinds of models one finds in science – ranging from toy models and scale models to theoretical and mathematical models – has attracted attention (...) not only from scientists, but also from philosophers, sociologists, and historians of science. This has given rise to a wide variety of case studies that look at the different uses to which models have been put in specific scientific contexts. By exploring current debates on the use and building of models via cutting-edge examples drawn from physics and biology, the book provides broad insight into the methodology of modelling in the natural sciences. It pairs specific arguments with introductory material relating to the ontology and the function of models, and provides some historical context to the debates as well as a sketch of general positions in the philosophy of scientific models in the process. (shrink)
What do people learn when they do not know that they are learning? Until recently, all of the work in the area of implicit learning focused on empirical questions and methods. In this book, Axel Cleeremans explores unintentional learning from an information-processing perspective. He introduces a theoretical framework that unifies existing data and models on implicit learning, along with a detailed computational model of human performance in sequence-learning situations.
The theory of justice is one of the most intensely debated areas of contemporary philosophy. Most theories of justice, however, have only attained their high level of justification at great cost. By focusing on purely normative, abstract principles, they become detached from the sphere that constitutes their “field of application” - namely, social reality. Axel Honneth proposes a different approach. He seeks to derive the currently definitive criteria of social justice directly from the normative claims that have developed within (...) Western liberal democratic societies. These criteria and these claims together make up what he terms “democratic ethical life”: a system of morally legitimate norms that are not only legally anchored, but also institutionally established. Honneth justifies this far-reaching endeavour by demonstrating that all essential spheres of action in Western societies share a single feature, as they all claim to realize a specific aspect of individual freedom. In the spirit of Hegel’s _Philosophy of Right_ and guided by the theory of recognition, Honneth shows how principles of individual freedom are generated which constitute the standard of justice in various concrete social spheres: personal relationships, economic activity in the market, and the political public sphere. Honneth seeks thereby to realize a very ambitious aim: to renew the theory of justice as an analysis of society. (shrink)
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. (shrink)
In evolutionary biology, niche construction is sometimes described as a genuine evolutionary process whereby organisms, through their activities and regulatory mechanisms, modify their environment such as to steer their own evolutionary trajectory, and that of other species. There is ongoing debate, however, on the extent to which niche construction ought to be considered a bona fide evolutionary force, on a par with natural selection. Recent formulations of the variational free-energy principle as applied to the life sciences describe the properties of (...) living systems, and their selection in evolution, in terms of variational inference. We argue that niche construction can be described using a variational approach. We propose new arguments to support the niche construction perspective, and to extend the variational approach to niche construction to current perspectives in various scientific fields. (shrink)
_Axel Honneth: Critical Essays_ brings together critical interpretations of the work of Axel Honneth, from his earliest to his most recent writings, together with a comprehensive reply by Honneth that provides significant insights and clarifications into his project overall.
Cuando pensamos en el análisis de un concepto, de una teoría o de un argumento, de inmediato nos vienen a la mente metáforas descomposicionales: pensamos en descomponer el concepto en sus condiciones necesarias y suficientes, la teoría en sus teoremas o conceptos y el argumento en sus premisas y conclusiones. Si bien esta metáfora ha sido muy útil a lo largo de la historia de la filosofía occidental, no podemos basar sobre ella una buena metodología filosófica, sino que necesitamos una (...) caracterización más rigurosa, una que no sólo revele los alcances y límites de la metáfora descomposicional, sino que también nos indique cómo podemos superarlos y desarrollar una herramienta de análisis más poderosa. En este libro, Axel Barceló ofrece precisamente eso: una teoría del análisis que hace justicia tanto a las fortalezas y debilidades de la concepción clásica en términos de condiciones necesarias y suficientes, como a los métodos de análisis más recientes que, con base en nociones como las de orden, estructura y escala nos permiten generar análisis más complejos y sofisticados de fenómenos como la vaguedad, la estructura lógica de los colores y las relaciones no simétricas, entre otros. (shrink)
69 Thompson-Schill, S.L. _et al. _(1997) Role of left inferior prefrontal cortex 59 Buckner, R.L. _et al. _(1996) Functional anatomic studies of memory in retrieval of semantic knowledge: a re-evaluation _Proc. Natl. Acad._ retrieval for auditory words and pictures _J. Neurosci. _16, 6219–6235 _Sci. U. S. A. _94, 14792–14797 60 Buckner, R.L. _et al. _(1995) Functional anatomical studies of explicit and 70 Baddeley, A. (1992) Working memory: the interface between memory implicit memory retrieval tasks _J. Neurosci. _15, 12–29 and cognition (...) _J. Cogn. Neurosci. _4, 281–288 61 Bäckman, L. _et al. _(1997) Brain activation in young and older adults 71 Petrides, M. (1994) Frontal lobes and behavior _Curr. Opin. Neurobiol._ during implicit and explicit retrieval _J. Cogn. Neurosci. _9, 378–391. (shrink)
The first book since Coady's 1992 'Testimony: A Philosophical Study' to offer a thorough survey and a philosophical introduction to testimony and its epistemological problems, while at the same time advancing a novel view that proposes independent justificatory pathways for the acceptance and rejection of testimony, respectively. // Table of Contents: // Introduction / 1. What is Testimony? / 2. The Testimonial Conundrum / 3. Testimony, Perception, Memory, and Inference / 4. Testimony and Evidence / 5. Reductionism and Anti-Reductionism / (...) 6. Hybrid Theories of Testimony / 7. Testimonial Knowledge: Transmission and Generation / 8. Trust and Assurance / 9. Expert Testimony / 10. Pathologies of Testimony / 11. Testimony and the Value of Knowledge / Glossary / Bibliography / Index. (shrink)
Axel Honneth desenvolve o conceito de reconhecimento, encarado como uma necessidade fundamental do ser-humano, de forma a constituir-se no núcleo de uma teoria da justiça que procura especificar as condições intersubjetivas de autorrealização individual. Apresenta-se uma teoria da justiça assente na reconstrução das práticas e condições de reconhecimento já institucionalizadas, analisando as instituições sociais em um sentido amplo. Pretende-se aproximar a concepção normativa da justiça da análise sociológica das sociedades modernas, através da reconstrução normativa e ao colocar a ênfase (...) na liberdade social, baseada na dimensão intersubjetiva das instituições de reconhecimento. A liberdade social prevê o acesso às instituições de reconhecimento. Um dos objetivos é esboçar os problemas desse avanço interpretativo da teoria crítica do reconhecimento, pelo que iremos convocar a teoria da luta pelo reconhecimento de Honneth, incluir a sua reactualização mais recente do Direito de Hegel e explorar a sua proposta normativa para as condições de uma vida ética. (shrink)
Autism Spectrum Condition presents a challenge to social and relational accounts of the self, precisely because it is broadly seen as a disorder impacting social relationships. Many influential theories argue that social deficits and impairments of the self are the core problems in ASC. Predictive processing approaches address these based on general purpose neurocognitive mechanisms that are expressed atypically. Here we use the High, Inflexible Precision of Prediction Errors in Autism approach in the context of cultural niche construction to explain (...) atypicalities of the relational self, specifically its minimal, extended, and intersubjective aspects. We contend that the social self in ASC should not be seen as impaired, but rather as an outcome of atypical niche construction. We unpack the scientific, ethical, and practical consequences of this view, and discuss implications for how the challenges that autistic persons face should be approached. (shrink)
The topic of recognition has come to occupy a central place in debates in social and political theory. Developed by George Herbert Mead and Charles Taylor, it has been given expression in the program for Critical Theory developed by Axel Honneth in his book The Struggle for Recognition. Honneth's research program offers an empirically insightful way of reflecting on emancipatory struggles for greater justice and a powerful theoretical tool for generating a conception of justice and the good that enables (...) the normative evaluation of such struggles. This 2007 volume offers a critical clarification and evaluation of this research program, particularly its relationship to the other major development in critical social and political theory; namely, the focus on power as formative of practical identities proposed by Michel Foucault and developed by theorists such as Judith Butler, James Tully, and Iris Marion Young. (shrink)
Over the last 30 years, representationalist and dynamicist positions in the philosophy of cognitive science have argued over whether neurocognitive processes should be viewed as representational or not. Major scientific and technological developments over the years have furnished both parties with ever more sophisticated conceptual weaponry. In recent years, an enactive generalization of predictive processing – known as active inference – has been proposed as a unifying theory of brain functions. Since then, active inference has fueled both representationalist and dynamicist (...) campaigns. However, we believe that when diving into the formal details of active inference, one should be able to find a solution to the war; if not a peace treaty, surely an armistice of a sort. Based on an analysis of these formal details, this paper shows how both representationalist and dynamicist sensibilities can peacefully coexist within the new territory of active inference. (shrink)
Axel Honneth has been instrumental in advancing the work of the Frankfurt School of critical theorists, rebuilding their effort to combine radical social and political analysis with rigorous philosophical inquiry.
Corroborating upper echelons theory, this study picks up the notion that narcissistic chief executive officers take advantage of accounting choices to enhance their firms’—and inherently their own—personal track records. Using a set of 15 indicators, reflecting the narcissistic trait of 1126 CEOs for the period 1992 to 2012, we find evidence of highly narcissistic CEOs engaging in accrual-based earnings management. In contrast to prior research, the results show evidence not only for income-increasing but also for income-decreasing ABEM. This indicates that (...) highly narcissistic CEOs not only strive to influence stakeholders’ perception of current performance. We conclude that they also assess their potential to influence perception of current and future earnings. The results imply that highly narcissistic CEOs’ accounting choices are driven by self-serving behavior rather than by the intention to provide additional information to the market. When earnings management techniques are used to derive personal advantage from the presentation of a firm’s earnings, the literature refers to this as a case of low earnings quality reflecting unethical behavior. Accordingly, this study contributes to the field of business ethics by showing that CEO narcissism is related to low earnings quality in that it is associated to discretionarily decreasing accruals. (shrink)
In the early 20th century, Marxist theory was enriched and rejuvenated by adopting the concept of reification, introduced by the Hungarian theorist Georg Lukács to identify and denounce the transformation of historical processes into ahistorical entities, human actions into things that seemed part of an immutable "second nature." For a variety of reasons, both theoretical and practical, the hopes placed in de-reification as a tool of revolutionary emancipation proved vain. In these original and imaginative essays, delivered as the Tanner Lectures (...) at the University of California, Berkeley in 2005, the distinguished third-generation Frankfurt School philosopher Axel Honneth attempts to rescue the concept of reification by recasting it in terms of the philosophy of recognition he has been developing over the past two decades. Three distinguished political and social theorists: Judith Butler, Raymond Geuss, and Jonathan Lear, respond with hard questions about the central anthropological premise of his argument, the assumption that prior to cognition there is a fundamental experience of intersubjective recognition that can provide a normative standard by which current social relations can be judged wanted. Honneth listens carefully to their criticism and provides a powerful defense of his position. (shrink)
While the study of implicit learning is nothing new, the field as a whole has come to embody — over the last decade or so — ongoing questioning about three of the most fundamental debates in the cognitive sciences: The nature of consciousness, the nature of mental representation (in particular the difficult issue of abstraction), and the role of experience in shaping the cognitive system. Our main goal in this chapter is to offer a framework that attempts to integrate current (...) thinking about these three issues in a way that specifically links consciousness with adaptation and learning. Our assumptions about this relationship are rooted in further assumptions about the nature of processing and of representation in cognitive systems. When considered together, we believe that these assumptions offer a new perspective on the relationships between conscious and unconscious processing and on the function of consciousness in cognitive systems. (shrink)
In this volume Axel Honneth deepens and develops his highly influential theory of recognition, showing how it enables us both to rethink the concept of justice and to offer a compelling account of the relationship between social reproduction and individual identity formation. Drawing on his reassessment of Hegel’s practical philosophy, Honneth argues that our conception of social justice should be redirected from a preoccupation with the principles of distributing goods to a focus on the measures for creating symmetrical relations (...) of recognition. This theoretical reorientation has far-reaching implications for the theory of justice, as it obliges this theory to engage directly with problems concerning the organization of work and with the ideologies that stabilize relations of domination. In the final part of this volume Honneth shows how the theory of recognition provides a fruitful and illuminating way of exploring the relation between social reproduction and identity formation. Rather than seeing groups as regressive social forms that threaten the autonomy of the individual, Honneth argues that the ‘I’ is dependent on forms of social recognition embodied in groups, since neither self-respect nor self-esteem can be maintained without the supportive experience of practising shared values in the group. This important new book by one of the leading social philosophers of our time will be of great interest to students and scholars in philosophy, sociology, politics and the humanities and social sciences generally. (shrink)
Implicit learning is the process through which we become sensitive to certain regularities in the environment (1) in the absence of intention to learn about those regularities (2) in the absence of awareness that one is learning, and (3) in such a way that the resulting knowledge is difficult to express.
In this essay, I consider a kind of social group that I call ‘epistemic’. It is constituted by its members’ possession of perceptually grounded common knowledge, which endows them with a particular kind of epistemic authority. This authority, I argue, is invoked in the activity of ‘joint reminiscing’—of remembering together a past jointly experienced event. Joint reminiscing, in turn, plays an important role in the constitution of social and personal identity. The notion of an epistemic group, then, is a concept (...) that helps explain an important aspect of a subject’s understanding of who she is. (shrink)
This book offers a critical assessment of Axel Honneth’s complex and growing opus in social and political philosophy. It examines this in the context of the history and future of the Frankfurt School and in its relation to contemporary analytic approaches to social and political philosophy as well as postmodernist critics.
Should the current members of a community compensate the victims of their ancestor’s emissions of greenhouse gases? I argue that the previous generation of polluters may not have been morally responsible for the harms they caused.I also accept the view that the polluters’ descendants cannot be morally responsible for their ancestor’s harmful emissions. However, I show that, while granting this, a suitably defined notion of moral free-riding may still account for the moral obligation of the polluters’ descendants to compensate the (...) current victims of their ancestors’ actions. A concept of transgenerational free-riding is defined. Objections to the idea of using free-riding as part of a theory of justice are rejected. Two different views of moral free-riding are contrasted, with consequences for the amount of compensation to be exigible from the polluters’ descendants. Some final considerations are devoted to the possible relevance of this free-riding-based view for other issues of historical injustice. (shrink)
Over the past few years numerous proposals have appeared that attempt to characterize consciousness in terms of what could be called its computational correlates: Principles of information processing with which to characterize the differences between conscious and unconscious processing. Proposed computational correlates include architectural specialization (such as the involvement of specific regions of the brain in conscious processing), properties of representations (such as their stability in time or their strength), and properties of specific processes (such as resonance, synchrony, interactivity, or (...) information integration). In exactly the same way as one can engage in a search for the neural correlates of consciousness, one can thus search for the computational correlates of consciousness. The most direct way of doing is to contrast models of conscious versus unconscious information processing. In this paper, I review these developments and illustrate how computational modeling of specific cognitive processes can be useful in exploring and in formulating putative computational principles through which to capture the differences between conscious and unconscious cognition. What can be gained from such approaches to the problem of consciousness is an understanding of the function it plays in information processing and of the mechanisms that subtend it. Here, I suggest that the central function of consciousness is to make it possible for cognitive agents to exert ?exible, adaptive control over behavior. From this perspective, consciousness is best characterized as involving (1) a graded continuum de?ned over quality of representation, such that availability to consciousness and to cognitive control correlates with properties of representation, and (2) the implication of systems of meta-representations. (shrink)
Consciousness has many elements, from sensory experiences such as vision and bodily sensation, to nonsensory aspects such as memory and thought. All are presented as experiences of a single subject, and all seem to be contained within a unified field of experience. This unity raises many questions: How do diverse systems in the brain co-operate to produce a unified experience? Are there conditions under which this unity breaks down? Is conscious experience really unified at all? Such questions are addressed in (...) this thought-provoking book. (shrink)
Is it fair to leave the next generation a public debt? Is it defensible to impose legal rules on them through constitutional constraints? From combating climate change to ensuring proper funding for future pensions, concerns about ethics between generations are everywhere. In this volume sixteen philosophers explore intergenerational justice. Part One examines the ways in which various theories of justice look at the matter. These include libertarian, Rawlsian, sufficientarian, contractarian, communitarian, Marxian and reciprocity-based approaches. In Part Two, the authors look (...) more specifically at issues relevant to each of these theories, such as motivation to act fairly towards future generations, the population dimension, the formation of preferences through education and how they impact on our intergenerational obligations, and whether it is fair to rely on constitutional devices. (shrink)