Economic theories are systems of beliefs about the world. Models formalize parts or aspects of theories but leave much of their content out. An example of a component of theories not contained in models are the instructions for how to proceed when a model fails (in Lakatos? terms the ?positive heuristic?). Mathematization gives precision of statement but not of empirical reference. The emphasis on explicit models as the main vehicle for journal communication among economists is questioned. The tendency for top (...) talent to cluster in a few universities is much stronger in economics than in most other fields. The reason is the need to talk and listen and not just write and read. (shrink)
This text represents an exploration of the possible significance of Bernard S. Cohn's 1980 essay, `History and Anthropology: The State of Play', for understanding the present of historical anthropology and its futures. My discussion has two aims: (1) to reflect on both Bernard S. Cohn's pedagogy and mode of inquiry; and (2) to explore the complexity and nuance of citationality as a generative principle within the constitution of historical anthropology's subject. Toward this, I examine Cohn's notion of `the colonial situation' (...) and reflect on how the emergence of the human sciences is intertwined with the proliferation of colonialism's enduring legacy within postcoloniality. (shrink)
This paper is discusses some central points in a dissertation for the degree of dr. phil., "Regulation as Productive Tool Use - a Participatory Observation in the Control Room of a District Heating System." An earlier version of the paper was presented by the author as part of the defense of the dissertation at Roskilde University Center June 14 2002. As suggested by the title, the dissertation was an empirical study of regulation in a control room. The object of the (...) authors participatory observation was how the operators in the control room followed rules when they regulated a highly automated plant. When I was shown the plant I was told that the technology ran smoothly and without error. Its control structures are based on formal logic and mechanical principles, all the same human beings are required in the control room to take care of anomalies. Among other things, the observations provide an opportunity to discuss the limitations of psychologies that study human beings on the basis of formal principles. The present paper focuses on two characteristic aspects of this discussion in the dissertation. First, it takes its point of departure in some practical problems of the control structures of the control room. It will demonstrate that the practical problems are problems of principle, and that formal principles are not adequate to study the object of human sciences, namely, human beings. Second, it sketches out what is required of a conception of human beings. As human beings are trusted to handle anomalies, we must explain how they are able to act on an incomplete understanding of the situation. And since they are able to identify what is wrong, we must explain how they develop new knowledge. The paper presented at the defense summarized the main arguments of the dissertation and alluded to an expansion of the main point using a particular instance. Here the weight is shifted to the latter expansion. (shrink)
During spring 2009 a Swedish senior paediatric intensivist and associate professor was detained and later prosecuted for mercy-killing a child with severe brain damage. The intensivist was accused of having used high doses of thiopental after having withdrawn life-sustaining treatment when the child was imminently dying. After more than 2.5 years of investigation the physician was acquitted by the Stockholm City Court. The court additionally stated that the physician had provided good end-of-life care. Since the trial it has become evident (...) that the accusation was based on a problematic medicolegal report. Nevertheless, the event has had severe negative consequences for the physician personally and professionally, and probably also, in general, for patients in the final stage of life. This case illustrates, together with other cases, that there is a lack of correspondence between ethical soft law/healthcare law and the Penal Code. To optimise medical practice we suggest that the criminal law be carefully examined and if possible changed. Furthermore, we suggest a peer-review system for assessing medicolegal reports in cases of suspected homicide. (shrink)
An individual is in the lowest phase of moral development if he thinks only of his own personal interest and has only his own selfish agenda in his mind as he encounters other humans. This lowest phase corresponds well with sixteenth century British moral egoism which reflects the rise of the new economic order. Adam Smith (1723–1790) wanted to defend this new economic order which is based on economic exchange between egoistic individuals. Nevertheless, he surely did not want to support (...) the moral theory of British egoism. His book The Wealth of Nations suits well into the world view of British moral egoism, but in the book The Theory of Moral Sentiments, he presents a moral theory which is the total opposite of moral egoism. Contemporary German intellectuals saw contradiction in Adam Smith’s moral (social) philosophy which they called as Das Adam - Smith - Problem . Smith himself didn’t think that there is any contradiction in a situation where in economic sphere (civil society) individual act egoistically and in ethical sphere (encounter with the imagined Other) he feels humanity and compassion toward his fellow men. Hegel was a passionate reader of Adam Smith and he acknowledged Das Adam - Smith - Problem . He set the task of his social philosophy to overcome this paradox. He wanted to create a theory of a social totality where economic egoism and feelings of humanity are not in contradiction. In the same time Hegel wanted to create a theory on Bildung process where human spirit develops from moral un-freedom (heteronomy) to moral freedom and maturity (autonomy) taking care both aspect of love and reason. In certain Hegel’s texts notion of recognition plays crucial role. That is why modern Hegelians Ludwig Siep, Axel Honneth and Robert Williams consider the notion of recognition to be elementary in Hegel’s threefold theory of developing human spirit from family via civil society to sittliche state . For Hegel family is a sphere where people love their “concrete other” and where feeling surpasses reason. Civil Society is a sphere of private contracts and economic exchanges where cold egoistic and calculative reason surpasses feelings. In the sphere of State the contradiction between family and Civil Society ( Das Adam - Smith - Problem ) is solved by “rational feeling”. According to Hegel State should protect citizens from alienating effect of egoistic reason of Civil Society and cultivate “family-feelings” to rational feelings which integrate citizen into “sittliche community” through reciprocal process of recognition. In this article I want to consider Hegelians Honneth’s and Williams’s relevance to the theory of moral development. (shrink)
O artigo apresenta os argumentos centrais da política deliberativa de Jürgen Habermas (1), e as perspectivas críticas de Axel Honneth (2) e Nancy Fraser (3) de forma a conferir à política habermasiana uma dimensão mais realista, um conteúdo político de vínculo mais concreto com a orientação emancipatória da práxis, e capaz de lidar melhor com a diferença, a diversidade e o conflito.
L’objet de la philosophie sociale développée ces dernières années par Honneth, le successeur d’Habermas à Francfort, est de penser la vie sociale comme intrinsèquement conflictuelle et de montrer que ce conflit ne la détruit pas parce qu’elle est animée par une lutte pour la reconnaissance. Celle-ci se décline en trois grandes formes, l’amour, le droit et la solidarité, qui conditionnent la découverte et l’épreuve que chacun fait comme individu (confiance), comme personne (respect) et comme sujet (estime). Réduit à trois aspects (...) principaux, le mépris subi par chacun atteint l’une ou l’autre de ses relations pratiques. Il lui révèle la forme de reconnaissance dont il manque et le précipite dans la lutte. La philosophie sociale d’Honneth met donc à jour la dimension morale des luttes sociales. (shrink)
Axel Honneth draws a distinction between three types of recognition: (1) love, (2) respect and (3) social esteem. In his The Struggle for Recognition, the recognition of cultural particularity is situated in the third sphere. It will here be argued that the logic of recognition of cultural identity also demands a non-evaluative recognition, namely a respect for difference. Difference-respect is formal because it is a recognition of the value of a particular culture not "for society" or "as such", but (...) for the social group involved. Yet, although it is formal, difference-respect cannot be reduced to respect for personal autonomy and its preconditions, as Honneth wrongly suggests in Redistribution or Recognition? It is argued here that difference-respect is oriented towards another dimension of the person, namely social attachments. This kind of respect entails a separate register of formal recognition with a corresponding concept of personal identity and a parallel category of social disrespect. What morally justifies difference-respect from a recognition-theoretic approach is the practical relation-to-self that thus becomes possible, namely self-respect as a sense of belonging. The formal conception of the good life that Honneth articulates should include the insight that this sense of belonging is as much a necessary condition for the good life as is personal autonomy. (shrink)
The topic of recognition has come to occupy a central place in contemporary debates in social and political theory. Rooted in Hegel's work, developed by George Herbert Mead and Charles Taylor, it has been given renewed expression in the recent program for Critical Theory developed by Axel Honneth in his book The Struggle for Recognition. Honneth's research program offers an empirically insightful way of reflecting on emancipatory struggles for greater justice and a powerful theoretical tool for generating a conception (...) of justice and the good that enables the normative evaluation of such struggles. (shrink)
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'. (shrink)
In this paper I criticise Axel Honneth's reactualization of reification as a concept in critical theory in his 2005 Tanner Lectures and argue that he ultimately fails on his own terms. His account is based on two premises: (1) reification is to be taken literally rather than metaphorically, and (2) it is not conceived of as a moral injury but as a social pathology. Honneth concludes that reification is “forgetfulness of recognition”, more specifically, of antecedent recognition, an emphatic and (...) engaged relationship with oneself, others and the world, which precedes any more concrete relationship both genetically and categorially. I argue against this conception of reification on two grounds. (1) The two premises of Honneth's account cannot be squared with one another. It is not possible to literally take a person as a thing without this being a recognisable moral injury, and, therefore, I suggest that there are no cases of literal reification. (2) Honneth's account is essentially ahistorical, because it is based on an anthropological model of recognition that tacitly equates reification with autism. In conclusion, I suggest that any successful account of reification must (i) take reification metaphorically and (ii) offer a social-historical account of the origin(s) of reification. (shrink)
The origins of Axel Honneth's theory of recognition lie in his earlier project to correct the conceptual confusions and empirical shortcomings of historical materialism for the purpose of an adequate post-Habermasian critical social theory. Honneth proposed to accomplish this project, most strikingly, by reconnecting critical social theory with one of its repressed philosophical sources, namely anthropological materialism. In its mature shape, however, recognition theory operates on a narrow concept of interaction, which seems to lose sight of the material mediations (...) with which intersubjective relations are imbricated. The paper argues that a circumspect return to this twofold materialist heritage could substantively correct and enrich contemporary critical theory. The paper provides an illustration of this with the paradigmatic example of work. (shrink)
In this paper, I take issue with Axel Honneth's proposal for renewing critical theory in terms of the normative ideal of 'self-realisation'. Honneth's proposal involves a break with critical theory's traditional preoccupation with the meaning and potential of modern reason, and the way he makes that break depletes the critical resources of his alternative to Habermasian critical theory, leaving open the question of what form the renewal of critical theory should take.
The concept of respect plays a central role in several recent attempts to re-actualise the programme of a critical social theory. In Axel Honneth's most prominent version of that concept, respect is closely tied to the sphere of law, and it is limited to the recognition of a Kantian-type moral autonomy of the individual. So interpreted, the concept of respect can only have a very limited application in the field of education, where concern for the particular desires, intentions and (...) beliefs of mostly immature persons is at stake.However, more than forty years ago R. S. Peters did develop an extended concept of respect as a central component in education. This concept focuses exactly on those desires, intentions and beliefs, instead of on the very demanding capability of practical reasoning orientated towards the Kantian Categorical Imperative. My task in this paper is to explore the potential of Peters' concept of respect for the identification and description of educational pathologies and ultimately for the founding of a critical theory of education. (shrink)
This paper analyses the model of interaction at the heart of Axel Honneth's social philosophy. It argues that interaction in his mature ethics of recognition has been reduced to intercourse between human persons and that the role of nature is now missing from it. The ethics of recognition takes into account neither the material dimensions of individual and social action, nor the normative meaning of non-human persons and natural environments. The loss of nature in the mature ethics of recognition (...) is made visible through a comparison with Honneth's initial formulation of his project. As an anthropology of intersubjectivity combining the teaching of the German philosophical anthropologists and G.H. Mead, his first model sought to ground social theory in the natural preconditions of human action. The last part of the article argues that a return to Mead's theory of practical intersubjectivity informed by Merleau-Ponty's germane theory of intercorporeity provides essential conceptual tools to enable the integration of the natural and the material within the theory of recognition. (shrink)
The paper applies insights from Axel Honneth's recent book, The Struggle for Recognition , to the South African situation. Honneth argues that most movements for justice are motivated by individuals' and groups' felt need for recognition. In the larger debate over the relative importance of recognition compared with distribution, a debate framed by Taylor and Fraser, Honneth is presented as the best of both worlds. His tripartite schema of recognition on the levels of love, rights and solidarity, explains (...) how concerns for equality and difference are two separate needs, even though both must be satisfied. Past and ongoing struggles in South Africa can be understood as struggles for recognition. The African Renaissance itself, to be successful, must address economic and recognition issues simultaneously. Key Words: African Renaissance recognition social movements. (shrink)
In 1910–11 Axel Hägerström introduced an emotive theory of ethics asserting moral propositions and valuations in general to be neither true nor false. However, it is less well known that he modified his theory in the following year, now making a distinction between what he called primary and secondary valuations. From 1912 onwards, he restricted his emotive theory to primary valuations only, and applied an error theory to secondary ones. According to Hägerström, secondary valuations state that objects have special (...) value properties, that we believe we become acquainted with in primary valuations. But, in fact, we do not have any such acquaintance. There are no, and cannot be any such, properties in objects. What we take to be a property is a projection of a feeling. Therefore, all secondary valuations are false. In 1917 he developed his theory further and distinguished between different types of secondary valuations with different structures. Yet he argued that they all are false. Hägerström's discussion is interesting because, among other reasons, it is historically a very early version of error theory in ethics. In a way it can also be said to be a precursor to later versions, e.g., John Mackie's (1946 and 1977). There are obvious resemblances between their accounts. Mackie's discussion is, of course, independent of Hägerström's. (shrink)
In this paper I criticise Axel Honneth's reactualization of reification as a concept in critical theory in his 2005 Tanner Lectures and argue that he ultimately fails on his own terms. His account is based on two premises: (1) reification is to be taken literally rather than metaphorically, and (2) it is not conceived of as a moral injury but as a social pathology. Honneth concludes that reification is ?forgetfulness of recognition?, more specifically, of antecedent recognition, an emphatic and (...) engaged relationship with oneself, others and the world, which precedes any more concrete relationship both genetically and categorially. I argue against this conception of reification on two grounds. (1) The two premises of Honneth's account cannot be squared with one another. It is not possible to literally take a person as a thing without this being a recognisable moral injury, and, therefore, I suggest that there are no cases of literal reification. (2) Honneth's account is essentially ahistorical, because it is based on an anthropological model of recognition that tacitly equates reification with autism. In conclusion, I suggest that any successful account of reification must (i) take reification metaphorically and (ii) offer a social-historical account of the origin(s) of reification. (shrink)
In dialogue with his interlocutor, Axel Honneth summarizes the way his work on recognition has unfolded over the past two decades. While he has retained his principal insights, some important parts of his theory have changed. He comments that if he were to rewrite The Struggle for Recognition today, he would focus more on institutions and the historicization of recognition patterns. He clarifies his stance on some contemporary controversial issues, including the crisis of capitalism, gay marriage, and his quarrel (...) with Peter Sloterdijk. Finally, he sheds some light on topics much discussed within Critical Theory, such as the relation between theory and praxis and the possibility of politicizing recognition, and on lesser-known aspects of his theory, namely, the relationship between his work and literature. (shrink)
¿Puede un filósofo, sin más, tomar el lado de las víctimas, cuando se trata de situaciones de justicia e injusticia? ¿Puede carecer de un punto de vista objetivo acerca de lo que es moralmente bueno o malo? Si el filósofo sostiene que lo que las víctimas demandan, en lugar de redistribución, es reconocimiento, ¿debe proveer una convincente teoría de lo que es el reconocimiento y del modo como él juega un papel en las situaciones de justicia e injusticia? Este artículo (...) contrasta las teorías de Iris Marion Young, Nancy Fraser y Axel Honneth, filósofos que establecen un nexo entre justicia y reconocimiento y que coinciden, además, en inscribirse en la tradición teórico-crítica. Ellos difieren en explicar cómo el reconocimiento está implicado en los conflictos y las demandas políticas. El artículo trata de proveer una explicación para estas diferencias a partir de diferencias meta-filosóficas sobre la filosofía política como empresa intelectual. When talking about justice and injustice, can philosophers, simply, take the victims' side? Even when these philosophers belong to the critical theoretical perspective, can they be excused from providing an objective account of what is morally wrong? If, for instance, they hold that victims are demanding recognition, instead of redistribution, don't they need a social theory about how recognition plays its role in the shaping of justice and injustice? This article addresses these questions in regard to Iris Marion Young, Nancy Fraser and Axel Honneth. Although they subscribe to the critical theory's tradition, as well as involve recognition when talking about justice, their paths go in different directions when they have to explain how recognition is involved in social conflicts and political demands. The main purpose is to show that their differences have to do, mainly, with two different understandings of political philosophy as an intellectual enterprise. (shrink)
Toward the conclusion of his study, Axel Pichler likens Nietzsche’s writings to the actions of a suicide bomber, for whom fulfillment of purpose necessarily entails self-destruction. Such explosive imagery is certainly not alien to Nietzsche, who notoriously claims to be dynamite, tearing a rift between philosophy’s past and future, and when we speak with Richard Rorty of “post-Nietzschean philosophy,” we breathe the fumes of this blast. Descriptions of this rupture have largely focused on Nietzsche’s attacks on the pillars of (...) systematic philosophy, which tremble at his accounts of the arbitrariness of language, the unavoidably perspectival nature of all knowledge, the irreducible contingency of truth, and the .. (shrink)
As teorias feministas de gênero passaram nas ultimas décadas de uma concepção pós-marxistas a partir dos novos estudos de cultura e identidade, baseando-se no movimento de redistribuição, para o de reconhecimento. Este artigo mostra esse processo de mudança de paradigma. Nele não se procura uma análise de gênero ampla o bastante para abrigar todas as variedades das preocupações feministas. Mostra a concepção de justiça de Nancy Fraser que abrange tanto a redistribuição quanto o reconhecimento, pois reparar a injustiça certamente requer (...) uma política de reconhecimento. Traz a ideia de Reconhecimento de Axel Honneth que estabelece os padrões de reconhecimento inter-sugestivo: o amor (que gera autoconfiança – amizade, relações no trabalho), o direito (auto-respeito) e a solidariedade (auto-estima - reconhecimento, interação social). Conclui-se com uma tentativa de conceitos de redistribuição e reconhecimento de Fraser e Honneth para contribuir na correção da má redistribuição ou o não reconhecimento de gênero. (shrink)
Jean-Philippe Deranty, Beyond Communication: A Critical Study of Axel Honneth's Social Philosophy Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 497-500 Authors Jørgen Pedersen, The Centre for the Study of the Sciences and the Humanities, Bergen, Norway Journal Critical Horizons: A Journal of Philosophy & Social Theory Online ISSN 1568-5160 Print ISSN 1440-9917 Journal Volume Volume 11 Journal Issue Volume 11, Number 3 / 2010.
Dos de las respuestas a la pregunta sobre la naturaleza de la comprensión lingüística —el comunitarismo y el interpretativismo—, las cuales discuto ampliamente en Escepticismo del significado y teorías de conceptos, son objeto de la crítica de Axel Barceló en su comentario al libro. En esta réplica respondo a sus objeciones mostrando que la concepción comunitarista de la comprensión de palabras está en condiciones de distinguir entre una comprensión divergente y la no comprensión, y que el enfoque interpretativista no (...) exige el conocimiento previo de las intenciones comunicativas del hablante para dar cuenta de la fijación interpretativa de su comprensión lingüística. Two answers to the question about the nature of linguistic understanding —the community view and the interpretive stance—, which I discuss in my book Escepticismo del significado y teorías de conceptos, are criticized by Axel Barceló in his short commentary. Here, I address his objections by showing that, within the community view, distinguishing between a deviant understanding and no understanding at all is possible, and that the interpretive stance does not require previous knowledge of the speaker's communicative intentions in order to explain how an interpreter could determine the meaning of his words. (shrink)
In this paper I analyze interpersonal and institutional recognition and discuss the relation of different types of recognition to various principles of social justice (egalitarianism, meritarianism, legitimate favouritism, principles of need and free exchange). Further, I try to characterize contours of good autonomous life, and ask what kind of preconditions it has. I will distinguish between five kinds of preconditions: psychological, material, cultural, intersubjective and institutional. After examining what the role of recognition is among such preconditions, and how they figure (...) in the work of Axel Honneth, Nancy Fraser and Charles Taylor, I suggest a somewhat complex and hopefully rich picture of interpersonal and institutional recognition as a precondition of autonomous good life. (shrink)
Honneth's fundamental claim that the normativity of social orders can be found nowhere but in the very experience of those who suffer injustice leads, I argue, to a radical theory and critique of society, with the potential to provide an innovative theory of social movements and a valid alternative to political liberalism.