Being Oneself in Another: Recognition and the Culturalist Deformation of Identity

Inquiry 55 (2):148-170 (2012)
Abstract Nancy Fraser raises serious doubts about the critical potential of identity theories of recognition on the ground that they encourage the reduction of personal identity to cultural identity. Based on a comparative analysis of Charles Taylor's and Axel Honneth's theories of recognition, this paper argues that Fraser's critique is justified with respect to some aspects of Taylor's theory of identity, but not with respect to his conception of recognition, or to Honneth's conception of both identity and recognition. Taylor's theory of identity recognition is vulnerable to Fraser's critique because under certain conditions of pathological socialization it cannot prevent the normative subordination of strong evaluation to whatever dominant goods are acquired through acculturation. Honneth's theory of identity recognition overcomes this normative weakness in three ways. First, Honneth differentiates between three types of self-relation that cannot be reduced to cultural identity. Second, he operates with a mixed, attributive?responsive model of recognition that normatively underwrites all these types of self-relation. Third, he makes the condition of reciprocity in recognition the criterion for successful self-realization that enables one to distinguish between misrecognition and non-normative experiences of human suffering
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/0020174X.2012.661579
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,667
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

View all 38 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Simon Thompson (2005). Is Redistribution a Form of Recognition? Comments on the Fraser–Honneth Debate. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 8 (1):85-102.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

20 ( #142,353 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #369,877 of 1,726,249 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.