Axel Honneth by Christopher Zurn

By Christopher Zurn

With his insightful and wide-ranging concept of popularity, Axel Honneth has decisively reshaped the Frankfurt tuition culture of severe social thought. Combining insights from philosophy, sociology, psychology, heritage, political economic climate, 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 up to date social life.
 
This e-book presents an obtainable evaluation of Honneth’s major contributions throughout numerous fields, assessing the strengths and weaknesses of his suggestion. Christopher Zurn basically explains Honneth’s multi-faceted concept of popularity and its relation to various issues: person identification, morality, activist hobbies, growth, social pathologies, capitalism, justice, freedom, and critique. In so doing, he locations Honneth’s idea in a extensive highbrow context, encompassing vintage social theorists equivalent to Kant, Hegel, Marx, Freud, Dewey, Adorno and Habermas, in addition to modern tendencies in social idea and political philosophy. Treating the complete variety of Honneth’s corpus, together with his significant new paintings on social freedom and democratic moral existence, this e-book is the main updated advisor available.
 
Axel Honneth should be useful to scholars and students operating around the humanities and social sciences, in addition to someone looking a transparent advisor to the paintings of 1 of the main influential theorists writing today.

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Like Aristotle and Hegel, Honneth is convinced that “intersubjectively practiced customs and not cognitive beliefs are what define the homestead of morality” (FR: 7); hence his insistence on the method of reconstructive social analysis. Further, the theory is not just about the obligations of interpersonal morality or the demands of justly distributing goods through political communities – but about the fabric of intersubjective relations since those both make possible and impede freedom and self-realization.

Although both are forms of regard for others, the one registers in and through affect, the other in and through rational understanding. Second, the potential scope of love is restricted to a small group of particular others in concrete and ongoing relationships with one. By contrast, rights are in principle unlimited in scope: while legal rights can usually extend to all of the legal citizens or subjects of a large contemporary nationstate, persons the world over can be regarded as having human rights.

1 Rights and moral autonomy Whereas self-confidence is gained through the medium of close inti­ mate relationships of love and friendship, the practical relation-to-self Honneth identifies as “self-respect” is achieved through the medium of distant and anonymous relationships between members of a legal community. In virtue of having a generic legal status in a given com­ munity, an individual is afforded certain legal rights. Legal rights are Individuals’ Struggle for Recognition 35 predicated on two basic assumptions: individuals are capable of con­ trolling their conduct toward others to a sufficient extent that they can be held responsible for that conduct, and individuals have basic nor­ mative obligations toward others that can be legitimately enforced by legal institutions.

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