Freedom and recognition in Hegel and Habermas

Philosophy and Social Criticism 28 (1):1-17 (2002)
Abstract
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.
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