David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Social Philosophy Today 17:253-263 (2001)
Axel Honneth has outlined a critical social theory in terms of recognition. He has recently argued that his theory is superior to the communications framework ofHabermas in that it better achieves the goals of providing normative criticism of society's ability to foster genuine and full sell-realization and explaining how emancipatory social movements can emerge within existing society. After exploring these arguments and their implications for critical theory, this paper concludes that Honneth's criticisms of Habermas fail and that the former's recognition theory cannot provide an adequate free-standing alternative critical framework. lnstead, it is argued that recognition theory is best seen as a complement of a critical theory for which the normative basis remains Habermasian discourse ethics
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