Social philosophy: A reconstructive or deconstructive discipline?

Philosophy and Social Criticism 38 (6):619-643 (2012)

Social philosophy is a somewhat broad and imprecise term. In this article I discuss the social philosophy of Habermas, Foucault and Honneth, arguing that the latter’s work is an interesting, but not unproblematic, conception of the discipline. Following Habermas and Honneth, I argue that social philosophy should be reconstructive, but incorporate insights from Foucault. Specifically, reconstructive social philosophy can be both normative and descriptive, and at the same time establish a dialectical relationship between philosophy and the social sciences, thus fulfilling the ambition for social philosophy originally put forward by Horkheimer. The thesis I defend in this article is that reconstructive social philosophy in Habermasian or Honnethian fashion has the resources available to accomplish this ambitious task
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DOI 10.1177/0191453712442143
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Philosophy and Real Politics.Raymond Geuss - 2008 - Princeton University Press.
Moral Consciousness and Communicative Action.David M. Rasmussen - 1993 - Philosophical Quarterly 43 (173):571.
Communication and the Evolution of Society.Jürgen Habermas - 1983 - Philosophy and Rhetoric 16 (2):130-136.
Grounding Recognition: A Rejoinder to Critical Questions.Axel Honneth - 2002 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 45 (4):499 – 519.

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