Philosophy and Social Criticism 35 (3):287-314 (2009)

Habermas charges that Foucault's work `cannot account for its normative foundations'. Responses to Habermas have consisted mostly of, on one hand, attempts to identify foundational normative assumptions implicit in Foucault's work, and, on the other hand, attempts to show that Foucault's work discredits the very idea of normative foundations. These attempts have suffered from a lack of clarity about Habermas' notion of normative foundations. In this article I clarify the terms of the debate by considering Habermas' critique of Foucault in light of his moral philosophy. I examine three representative responses to Habermas on Foucault's behalf, which attempt to identify normative foundations in Foucault's work, and I show why none of them meets Habermas' requirements. Finally, I argue that while Foucault's political judgments cannot have normative foundations, Foucault does adhere to the principles of Habermas' discourse ethics, and his doing so does not conflict with his genealogical approach
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1177/0191453708100232
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: 68,944
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

Cryptonormative Judgments.Alex Worsnip - 2017 - European Journal of Philosophy 25 (1):3-24.
Social Philosophy: A Reconstructive or Deconstructive Discipline?Jørgen Pedersen - 2012 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 38 (6):619-643.
Truth and the 'Politics of Ourselves'.Russell Anderson & James Wong - 2013 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 51 (4):419-444.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views
66 ( #171,655 of 2,497,999 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #428,301 of 2,497,999 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes