Analyzing Recognition: Identification, Acknowledgement and Recognitive Attitudes Towards Persons

In Bert van den Brink & David Owen (eds.), Recognition and Power. Cambridge University Press. pp. 33-56 (2007)
There is today a wide consensus that ‘recognition’ is something that we need a clear grasp of in order to understand the dynamics of political struggles, and, perhaps the constitution and dynamics of social reality more generally. Yet, the discussions on ‘recognition’ have so far often been conceptually rather inexplicit, in the sense that the very key concepts have remained largely unexplicated or undefined. Since the English word ‘recognition’ is far from unambiguous, it is possible, and to our mind also actually the case, that different authors have meant partly different things with this word. In what follows, we will make a number of conceptual distinctions and clarificatory proposals that are meant to bring to sharper focus the field of phenomena that are being discussed under the catchword ‘recognition’. This is meant to serve a dual purpose: to suggest a number of distinctions which are of help in formulating rival views, and to propose what strikes us as the best overall position formulated in terms of those distinctions.
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