Oxford University Press (2018)

Todd Hedrick
Michigan State University
The critical theory tradition has, since its inception, sought to distinguish its perspective on society from more purely descriptive or normative approaches by maintaining that persons have a deep-seated interest in the free development of their personality—an interest that can only be realized in and through the rational organization of society, but which is systematically stymied by existing society. Yet it has struggled to specify this emancipatory interest in a way that avoids being either excessively utopian or overly accommodating to existing society. Despite the fact that Hegel’s concept of reconciliation is normally thought to run aground on the latter horn of this dilemma, this book argues that reconciliation is the best available conceptualization of this emancipatory interest. It presents Hegel’s idea of freedom as something actualized in individuals’ lives through their becoming reconciled to how society shapes their roles, prospects, and sense of self; it presents reconciliation as being less a matter of philosophical cognition, and more of inclusion in a responsive, transparent political process. It then introduces the concept of reification, which—through its development in Marx and Lukács, through Horkheimer and Adorno—substantiates an increasingly cogent critique of reconciliation as something unachievable within the framework of modern society. Giving equal attention to psychoanalysis and legal theory, the second half critically appraises the writings of Rawls, Honneth, and Habermas as efforts to spell out what a concept of reconciliation more democratic and inclusive than Hegel, yet sensitive to the reifying effects of legal systems, might mean.
Keywords freedom  critical theory  psychoanalysis  constitutionalism  reification  reconciliation  legitimacy  Hegel  Habermas  Honneth
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2019
Buy this book $65.85 used (31% off)   $76.85 new (19% off)   $95.00 from Amazon    Amazon page
ISBN(s) 0190634022   9780190634025
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 65,740
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

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Verdinglichung und Freiheit.Timo Jütten - 2011 - Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie 59 (5):717-730.
Philosophy and the Logic of Modernity.Simon Lumsden - 2009 - Review of Metaphysics 63 (1):55-89.
On the Dialectics of Reification and Freedom.Dirk Quadflieg - 2013 - Symposium: Canadian Journal of Continental Philosophy/Revue canadienne de philosophie continentale 17 (1):131-149.


Added to PP index

Total views
20 ( #544,812 of 2,462,870 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #299,182 of 2,462,870 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes