The selectionsfrom the work of fourteen contemporary philosophers not only display the multiplicity of approachesbeing pursued since the breakup of any consensus on what philosophy is, but also help to clarifythis proliferation of views and ...
This book is a comparative study of Kant, Rawls, and Habermas and a critical survey of recent theories of justice. It defends the thesis that the normative ground or basis of social criticism is found in a concept of the person as a free and equal moral being.
Jürgen Habermas is one of the most important German philosophers and social theorists of the late twentieth and early twenty-first century. His work has been compared in scope with Max Weber’s, and in philosophical breadth to that of Kant and Hegel. In this much-needed introduction Kenneth Baynes engages with the full range of Habermas’s philosophical work, addressing his early arguments concerning the emergence of the public sphere and his initial attempt to reconstruct a critical theory of society in _Knowledge and (...) Human Interests_. He then examines one of Habermas’s most influential works, _The Theory of Communicative Action, _including his controversial account of the rational interpretation of social action. Also covered is Habermas’s work on discourse ethics, political and legal theory, including his views on the relation between democracy and constitutionalism, and his arguments concerning human rights and cosmopolitanism. The final chapter assesses Habermas’s role as a polemical and prominent public intellectual and his criticism of postmodernism in _The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity_, in addition to his more recent writings on the relationship between religion and democracy. Habermas is an invaluable guide to this key figure in contemporary philosophy, and suitable for anyone coming to his work for the first time. (shrink)
This article examines two recent alternatives to the traditional conception of human rights as natural rights: the account of human rights found in discourse ethics and the ‘political conception’ of human rights influenced by the work of Rawls. I argue that both accounts have distinct merits and that they are not as opposed to one another as is sometimes supposed. At the same time, the discourse ethics account must confront a deep ambiguity in its own approach: are rights derived in (...) a strong sense from the conditions of ‘communicative freedom’ or are they developed from the participants’ own reflection upon their ongoing and continuously changing practices and institutions? The political conception recently proposed by Joshua Cohen can, I argue, contribute to the resolution of this ambiguity, though not without some modifications of its own. Keywords: human rights; discourse ethics; The ‘political conception’ of rights; Seyla Benhabib; John Rawls; Rainer Forst; Michael Ignatieff; Thomas Pogge; Joshua Cohen (Published: 10 March 2009) Citation: Ethics & Global Politics. DOI: 10.3402/egp.v2i1.1938. (shrink)
Human rights have become a wider and more visible feature of our political discourse, yet many have also noted the great discrepancy between the human rights invoked in this discourse and traditional philosophical accounts that conceive of human rights as natural rights. This article explores an alternative approach in which human rights are conceived primarily as international norms aimed at securing the basic conditions of membership or inclusion in a political society. Central to this `political conception' of human rights is (...) the idea of human rights as special (in contrast to general) rights that individuals possess in virtue of specific associative relations they stand in to one another. This view is explored and defended through a critical review of four recent political conceptions — Michael Ignatieff, John Rawls, Thomas Pogge and Joshua Cohen. (shrink)
Jurgen Habermas is one of the most important German philosophers and social theorists of the 20 th century. His work has been compared in scope with Max Weber’s and in philosophical breadth to that of Kant and Hegel. This much-needed introduction engages with the full range of Habermas’s philosophical work, addressing his early arguments concerning the emergence of the public sphere, assessing the origins of his thinking about deliberative democracy and his criticisms of positivism and technocracy. It then examines one (...) of Habermas’s most influential works, The Theory of Communicative Action, before examining his theories of meaning and truth. Also covered is Habermas's work on discourse ethics, political and legal theory, as well as his comparison between democracy and constitutionalism, and his arguments concerning human rights and cosmopolitanism. The final chapter assesses Habermas’s role as a polemical and prominent public intellectual and his criticism of postmodernism in The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity , in addition to his more recent writings on the relationship between religion and democracy. Including an overview of Habermas's life and work, a chronology, chapter summaries, annotated further reading and a glossary, Habermas is a superb guide for anyone coming to his work for the first time. (shrink)
Contrary to some popular interpretations, I argue that Hegel and Habermas share many basic assumptions in their respective accounts of freedom. In particular, both respond to weaknesses in Kant's idea of freedom as acting from (certain kinds of) reasons by explicating this idea with reference to specific social practices or 'forms of recognition' that in turn express suppositions and expectations that actors adopt with respect to one another. I illustrate this common strategy in each and suggest that it may offer (...) an alternative to Rawls's 'political' account of public reason. Key Words: freedom • Habermas • Hegel • intersubjectivity • Kant • positive liberty • practical reason • public reason • rational action • Rawls • recognition. (shrink)
For all contract theorists, including Kant, political legitimacy is based upon the consent of the governed. The differences amongst them begin to emerge when we inquire into the motivations and considerations which lead up to the agreement. For Kant, consent to the social contract is not based upon considerations of rational self-interest or prudence, nor upon a natural right to self-preservation and the guarantee of absolute property rights, but upon a moral obligation to institutionalize and make peremptory in a social (...) contract property rights that in the state of nature have only a provisional character. Whether this approach ultimately makes the idea of a voluntary agreement superfluous is a question I will address below. First I would like to consider the unique status Kant assigns to property rights in his theory of the social contract. This status has for the most part not been observed in the secondary literature, and Kant has even been accused of falling behind the achievements of Locke and Rousseau by grounding property rights on an element of brute force. However, since Kant himself espoused a labor theory of property rights in his earlier writings, it is important to consider carefully the basis for its subsequent rejection in the Rechtslehre. Further, since Kant’s theory of property rights constitutes an alternative to Locke, it may be possible to find within the contract tradition an alternative to the view of property rights found in some of its contemporary versions. (shrink)
Axel Honneth's Critique of Power is a rich interpretation of the history of critical theory, which clarifies its central problems and emphasizes the "social" factors that should provide that theory with a normative and practical orientation.Honneth focuses on the dialog between French and German social theory that was beginning at the time of Michel Foucault's death. It traces the common roots of the work of Foucault and Jürgen Habermas to a basic text of the last generation of critical theorists - (...) Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno's Dialectic of Enlightenment - and draws from this connection the outline of a program that might unite and surpass their seemingly irreconcilable methods of critiquing power structures. In doing so, Honneth provides a constructive and nonpolemical framework for comparisons between the two theorists. And he presents a novel interpretation of Foucault's analysis of social systems.Honneth traces the internal contradictions in critical theory through an analysis of Horkheimer's early programmatic writings, the Dialectic of Enlightenment, and Adorno's later social-theoretical writings. He shows how Habermas and Foucault in their distinctive ways reinserted the social world into critical theory but argues that neither operation has been wholly successful. His cogent analysis redirects critical social theory in ways that can draw on the strengths and avoid the weaknesses of the two approaches.Axel Honneth is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Konstanz. (shrink)
This essay argues that Rawls's recent constructivist approach waivers between a relativist defense and a more Kantian account which grounds his conception of justice in the idea of an agreement between free and equal moral persons. It is suggested that this ambiguity lies at the center of his attempt to provide a "political not metaphysical" account which is also not "political in the wrong way".
The article considers some of the methodological commitments - specifically, what Brandom calls Gadamerian platitudes - defended in Tales of the Mighty Dead . I argue that, given his commitment to Gadamers model of dialogue and Vorgriff der Vollkommenheit (anticipation of completeness), Brandom should also accept Habermas position on the ineliminability of the second-person or performative perspective concerning our interpretive claims. Key Words: first person Hans Georg Gadamer Jürgen Habermas hermeneutics inferential semantics performative pragmatics (...) second person third person. (shrink)
O artigo reexamina as concepções habermasianas de política deliberativa e democracia procedimental à luz de outras teorias deliberativas, de forma a explorar as suas semelhanças e diferenças e investigar o quanto devem à ideia de razão pública e as implicações práticas daquela ideia.
This essay explores two largely distinct discussions about equality: the 'luck egalitarian' debate concerning the appropriate metric of equality and the 'equality and difference' debate which has focused on the need for egalitarianism to consider the underlying norms in light of which the abstract principle to 'treat equals equally' operates. In the end, both of these discussions point to the importance of political equality for egalitarianism more generally and, in the concluding section, an attempt is made to show how the (...) ideal of 'equal concern and respect' might best be pursued given the results of these important discussions. (shrink)
_The Philosopher's Annual_ attempts to select the ten best articles published in philosophy the previous year. Impossible? Yes. By attempting the impossible this collection calls attention to truly exceptional critiques from the philosophical field. This is the 22nd volume of the series, collecting outstanding work from the philosophy literature of 1999. Each year the members of the distinguished nominating board are asked to name three papers that most impressed them from the literature of the previous year. No limitations are placed (...) on sources from which articles may be nominated, on subject matter, or on mode of treatment. The process delivers a diverse collection of engaging, high caliber work that stands as a valuable sample of contemporary work in philosophy. (shrink)
Each year, _The Philosopher's Annual_ presents the ten best articles published in the field of philosophy during the previous twelve months—with the absence of limits on the articles' sources, subject matter, or modes of treatment making for a very diverse collection of engaging, high-caliber work. This year's volume includes papers by Katalin Balog, Tyler Burge, Cheshire Calhoun, Sally Haslanger, Thomas Hofweber, Philip Kitcher, Charles G. Morgan, Thomas W. Pogge, James Pryor, and Elliott Sober.
This chapter explores the thesis that John Rawls′ political philosophy stands much closer to the tradition of critical theory (from Max Horkheimer to Jürgen Habermas) than it does to some more recent trends in normative moral and political theory. According to Rawls, conceptions of justice must be justified by the conditions of our life as we know it or not at all. This observation reveals Rawls's proximity at a deep level to what is called “immanent critique” in the tradition of (...) critical theory. The chapter briefly outlines a “practice‐based” approach in early critical theory, Rawls and Habermas. It discusses the “family quarrel” between Habermas and Rawls, on the relation between justice and democracy, to illustrate some of their deeper affinities. The chapter highlights some remarks about their respective views on the public role of philosophy especially in connection with the debate about the place of religion in the public square. (shrink)
In Modernism as a Philosophical Problem Robert Pippin offers an interpretation of post-Kantian continental philosophy that locates the project of autonomy or self-determination at the center of the modernity/postmodernity debate and presents Hegel as a kind of radical, post-Kantian modernist, whose philosophical "experiment" is preferable to more recent attempts to overcome or deconstruct metaphysics. I raise some questions about the adequacy of Pippin's interpretation of Hegel's notion of a rational justification, at least as it bears on his argument in the (...) Philosophy of Right, and I express some reservations about Pippin's own attempt to view modernity in terms of the project of autonomy. I conclude with some reasons for preferring Habermas's account of modernity which, without abandoning the project of autonomy, relinquishes the idea of a self-grounding of reason and proposes a more modest role for philosophy within the current division of intellectual labor. (shrink)
O artigo procura mostrar que a idéia liberal de assegurar uma igual liberdade para todos deve ser reexaminada em dois âmbitos de discussões acerca de um desejável equilíbrio entre liberdade e igualdade, de forma a evitar a separação tanto da liberdade e da igualdade como dos domínios opondo reivindicações formais e substantivas. Estas devem antes ser consideradas em suas condições correlatas, exigidas para um exercício democrático efetivo da autonomia privada e pública dos cidadãos, como foi sugerido por Habermas.O artigo mostra (...) que a questão da igualdade de condição não pode evitar as difíceis questões suscitadas pelo chamado debate sobre a “diferença” e tentativas de ir “além da igualdade e da diferença “ ou de “reconstruir” um ideal de igual cidadania numa democracia. Deve lidar com aspectos levantados em discussões sobre a igualdade de condição e o respeito. PALAVRAS-CHAVE – Democracia. Habermas. Igualdade. Liberdade. Respeito. (shrink)