H. C. B. Liu
University of California, Berkeley
This paper critically evaluates Habermas's social-philosophical exploration of the public sphere in the age of mass communication, which addresses a key question: "Is the public possible in the sociohistorical formation of the mass public sphere?" In his genealogical analysis of different public spheres from feudal to modern times, Habermas indicates that the emergence of inter-subjectivity is historically based upon the dichotomy of private / public (subjective/objective). He emphasizes the opposition of the "subjective side" of rationality to its "objective side" while dealing with the public spheres in different historical periods. Habermas points out that the notion of the public can exist only at the face-to-face level communication. It is impossible for the (impersonal) masses to construct any sense of publicness, since there are no historical and social conditions in which the masses of working class can establish an "autonomous private sphere" outside of material production and consumption, as the bourgeoisie did. In this way, Habermas ambivalently argues that the public is not possible in the mass public sphere
Keywords Conference Proceedings  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.5840/wcp2120062102
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: 53,742
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

The Public Sphere.Jostein Gripsrud (ed.) - 2011 - Sage Publications.
The Prudential Public Sphere.David Randall - 2011 - Philosophy and Rhetoric 44 (3):205-226.
Milestones in the Critique of the Public Sphere: Dewey and Arendt.Codruţa Cuceu - 2011 - Journal for Communication and Culture 1 (2):99-110.
Separating the Press and the Public.David Allen - 1995 - Journal of Mass Media Ethics 10 (4):197 – 209.
The 'Public Sphere' and the Problem of 'Information'.D. Beybin Kejanlioğlu - 2007 - The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy 6:43-50.


Added to PP index

Total views
50 ( #191,577 of 2,349,887 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #511,368 of 2,349,887 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes