Anthropology, social theory, and politics: Axel Honneth's theory of recognition

Inquiry 45 (4):433 – 446 (2002)
This article presents and discusses Axel Honneth's theory of recognition as a specific constellation, i.e. as a theoretical endeavour spanning over and interrelating positions in the fields of anthropology, social theory, and politics. As essential components in this constellation I discern an anthropology of recognition, a social philosophy of different forms of recognition, a morality of recognition, a theory of democratic ethical life as a social ideal, and a notion of political democracy as an ambitious reflexive form of social cooperation. A tentative attempt is also made to elucidate the motivational history that underlies and animates Honneth's theoretical endeavour and accounts for its specific 'spirit'.
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