Social Freedom and Progress in the Family: Reflections on Care, Gender and Inequality

Critical Horizons 16 (2):170-186 (2015)

Abstract
The paper focuses on the discussion of social freedom in the family in Axel Honneth's most recent book Freedom's Right. I argue, on the one hand, that radical democrats have much to learn from Honneth's method of normative reconstruction because it provides a much needed corrective to the “social weightlessness” that characterizes their thought about democracy. In contrast to the current preoccupation with rarefied issues of political ontology, Freedom's Right exemplifies a type of sociologically attuned thinking that is essential for addressing issues of power and inequality. On the other hand, I argue that Honneth's reliance on a teleological notion of historical progress has deeply constraining effects on his critique of power. First, in so far as it underestimates the impact of growing social inequality on personal and intimate relations, it fails to acknowledge just how extensive, radical and, potentially deeply contentious the political measures needed to realize social freedom in the family may have to be. Second, Honneth's teleological reconstruction provides too thin a basis to generate substantive normative solutions to issues of social justice in the family. Third, teleology tends to depoliticize the process of emancipatory social change by construing it in terms of impersonal mechanisms and developmental tendencies rather than as open-ended, often polemical and deeply contested forms of political struggle.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s)
DOI 10.1179/1440991715z.00000000046
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 43,883
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

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Social Freedom as Ideology.Karen Ng - 2018 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 45 (7):795-818.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Gender Context of Personalism in Bioethics.Giovanni Grandi Jimoh Amzat - 2011 - Developing World Bioethics 11 (3):136-145.
Gender Context of Personalism in Bioethics.Jimoh Amzat & Giovanni Grandi - 2011 - Developing World Bioethics 11 (3):136-145.
Family Autonomy and Class Fate.Gideon Calder - 2016 - Symposion: Theoretical and Applied Inquiries in Philosophy and Social Sciences 3 (2):131-149.
Childhood Body, Teaching and Ethics of Self-Care.Márcia Buss-simão - 2010 - Childhood and Philosophy 6 (12):297-312.
On Hegel, Women, and the Foundation of Ethical Life: Why Gender Doesn’T Belong in the Family.Laura Wildemann Kane - 2015 - Clio: A Journal of Literature, History, and the Philosophy of History 44 (1):1-17.
Gender in the Liberal Tradition: Hobhouse on the Family.G. Gerson - 2004 - History of Political Thought 25 (4):700-726.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2016-06-30

Total views
16 ( #524,179 of 2,266,170 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #596,389 of 2,266,170 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature