In the pre-history of the concept of recognition Spinoza’s social philosophy deserves a special place. Although we rarely think of Spinoza as a social philosopher, Spinoza understood well the ways in which individual subjectivity is shaped by the social forces. I will argue that Spinoza offers a mechanism to understand the way in which recognition works, in order to untangle the web of affect, desire and ideas, which support the recognitions and misrecognitions at the foundation of social life. (...) Spinoza sets out this mechanism in Book Three of the Ethics, but his extended example of the first Hebrew Kingdom in the Theological-Political Treatise, shows how he applied his theory of social recognition to the great problem of his times – the debate between faith and reason, and the need to unify a commonwealth. Social unity based on shared religion, for Spinoza, could be powerful, though not so powerful as democracy. Only through understanding Spinoza’s views of social subjectivization can we understand why. (shrink)
The article defines the boundaries of social and institutional power clearly; it argues that all institutional power rests finally on the acceptance of sanctioning authority and thus on mutual recognition.
In this paper recognition is taken to be a question of social ontology, regarding the very constitution of the social space of interaction. I concentrate on the question of whether certain aspects of the theory of recognition can be translated into the terms of a socio-ontological paradigm: to do so, I make reference to some conceptual tools derived from John Searle's social ontology and Robert Brandom's normative pragmatics. My strategy consists in showing that recognitive phenomena cannot be isolated (...) at the level of human interaction, and are, rather, in part proper to animal interaction as well. Furthermore, it is argued that recognitive powers are constitutive powers more basic than deontic ones and play a role much broader than the one they in fact assume in Searle and in Brandom. (shrink)
"The Nordic welfare states have arguably been successful in terms of social solidarity – although the heavily institutional and state-driven solutions as opposed to community- or family-based ones in various issues from child to elderly care may have made it seem as mere ‘quasi-solidarity’ in comparison to more communitarian ideals. This essay approaches such social solidarity in terms of Axel Honneth’s recognition-theoretical framework – arguing that there’s much more potential in Honnethian ideas of recognition and esteem than in (...) Honneth’s official view in Struggle for Recognition linking social solidarity only to social esteem based on contributions to the shared good. The first section briefly introduces Honneth’s three forms of recognition and also distinguishes social solidarity from other relevant notions of solidarity. It points out that there is far from perfect overlap between the ideas of social solidarity and social esteem. Of the three main forms of Honnethian recognition, one can link the notion of social solidarity to respect and care as well, and not primarily to esteem. In the final section these forms of mutual recognition will be discussed in the context of justifying basic income which arguably institutionalises high solidarity, yet is prima facie more straightforward to justify in terms of respect or care than in terms of esteem. The reason is that esteem is supposed to be conditional on differential merits, capacities, contributions or achievements whereas basic income is supposed to be unconditional. Furthermore, section two points out that there may be varieties of esteem and some of such varieties of “politics of esteem” may not that centrally be related to social solidarity. It distinguishes between three contexts of social esteem. One is related to the minimum standing as free from discrimination in terms of disesteem, another is related to one’s being a contributor to the shared social ends in some publicly defined role, and the third is related to excellence in one’s personal projects of self-realisation. The third section articulates some challenges to any kind of ‘politics of esteem’: how to decide whether something is or is not esteem? How would a good society respond to these kinds of cases – especially ones compatible with the modern universalistic ethos? What to think of the positive duties and permissions to engage in the “esteem services” of actually forming opinions and giving recognition? And finally, how to see the relation between social esteem and social solidarity? The sections four to six then go through the three kinds of cases (non-discrimination, contributions, self-realisation), answering the four questions: is this really a kind of esteem? Is it compatible with the ethos of universalism? How to distribute the related duties and permissions? How is it related to social solidarity? These sections map the ethical and political consequences of the claim that full human agency is dependent on positive relations to self, including self-esteem, and that these relations are deeply dependent on the recognition from other individuals and institutions such as the state. The basic Honnethian idea is that a good society is sensitive to the dynamics of self-relations and recognition. For example, the invisible housework by women should get due recognition, and welfare services should not be delivered in a stigmatising or demeaning fashion as stigmatising practices may lead to an internalised sense of inferiority and low self-esteem. Section seven finally takes up the question of basic income in light of the various forms of recognition and esteem, to be followed by a brief conclusion. ". (shrink)
In this chapter I distinguish between a) recognition of persons, b) normative acknowledgement and c) institution-creating acceptance. All of these go beyond a fourth, merely descriptive sense of the word “recognition,” namely identiﬁcation or re-identiﬁcation of something as something. I distinguish four aspects of "taking someone as a person": R1 A Belief that the other is a person, and can engage in agency-regarding relations.R2 Moral Opinion that the choice whether and when to engage with persons is ethically signiﬁcant.R3 (...) Willingness to refrain from wronging the other person, and to respond adequately to the normatively relevant features of the other (regardless of whether the willingness is ultimately selﬁsh or not).R4 Unselﬁsh Recognitive Attitudes explaining such willingness; such as genuine respect or genuine concern or solidarity. The second section asks: is mutual recognition between individuals necessary, sufﬁcient, paradigmatic or desirable for group agency? I also ask: is interaction or communication necessary for mutual recognition? I also ask what kinds of groups emerge from mutual recognition as persons? The third section studies more briefly acknowledgement and normativity (Reasons, Values, and Principles). The fourth section discusses the nature of acceptance necessary for the existence of institutions. -/- . (shrink)
A conflict arises from two basic insights concerning what recognition is. I call them the mutuality–insight and the adequate regard–insight. The former is the idea that recognition involves inbuilt mutuality: ego has to recognize the alter as a recognizer in order that the alter’s views may count as recognizing the ego. There always needs to be two–way recognition for even one–way recognition to take place. The adequate regard –insight in turn is that we do not merely (...) desire to be classified as recognizers, but to be treated adequately, in the light of any and all of our normatively relevant features. Both of these insights build on a third central idea, that recognition from others matters because it is relevant to one’s practical relations–to–self: say, respect from others is relevant for self–respect. But crucially for this paper, the two insights pull in different directions – they are in tension when it comes to deciding the scope of “recognition”. This paper is an attempt to negotiate the tension by comparing and assessing more and less restricted views on “recognition”. I discuss four issues on which definitions of recognition may be more or less restricted. The first question concerns the scope of possible recipients of recognition, and the second question possible recipient-dependent conceptual restrictions on whether recognition has taken place at all. On these questions I try to be true to both of the two conflicting insights. The mutuality–insight leads naturally to a strict conception of recognition (only recognizers can be recognized; recognition takes place only when two–way recognition takes place). By contrast, the adequate regard –insight leads to an unrestricted view (also other beings than recognizers can be treated adequately, and one–way adequate regard is conceptually possible). I argue that the tension between these is best negotiated by a two–part story, which will distinguish terminologically recognizing (and being recognized) from successfully giving and getting recognition. It is slightly unfortunate to have to draw such technical terminological distinctions, but drawing this distinction helps to make substantive points that upon reflection need to be made, given the mutuality–insight and adequate regard–insight. Or so I argue. The other two questions are: what sort of responses to what sort of features amount to recognition. Again, the adequate regard –insight would lead to an unrestricted normativist view: any kinds of responses that are normatively called for by any normatively relevant features may be cases of recognition. The mutuality – insight might motivate a narrower suggestion developing the idea that only other recognizers (or persons) can be recipients of recognition : only the kind of features that can only be had by other recognizers (or persons) can serve as the basis of recognition, and only the kind of responses, which are forms of taking the other as a recognizer (or a person) count as recognizing . I will argue that while such responses to such features are an important subclass of recognition, the unrestricted normativist view captures the full scope of recognition better. We should not in advance define recognition in a restricted way which rules some cases out (even though the mutuality–insight might seem to motivate some restrictions). We can fully preserve the force of the mutuality–insight with the two–part story, without restricting the scope of features and responses that amount to recognition. (shrink)
This paper motivates the idea that social robots should be credited as moral patients, building on an argumentative approach that combines virtue ethics and social recognition theory. Our proposal answers the call for a nuanced ethical evaluation of human-robot interaction that does justice to both the robustness of the social responses solicited in humans by robots and the fact that robots are designed to be used as instruments. On the one hand, we acknowledge that the instrumental nature of robots (...) and their unsophisticated social capabilities prevent any attribution of rights to robots, which are devoid of intrinsic moral dignity and personal status. On the other hand, we argue that another form of moral consideration—not based on rights attribution—can and must be granted to robots. The reason is that relationships with robots offer to the human agents important opportunities to cultivate both vices and virtues, like social interaction with other human beings. Our argument appeals to social recognition to explain why social robots, unlike other technological artifacts, are capable of establishing with their human users quasi-social relationships as pseudo-persons. This recognition dynamic justifies seeing robots as worthy of moral consideration from a virtue ethical standpoint as it predicts the pre-reflective formation of persistent affective dispositions and behavioral habits that are capable of corrupting the human user’s character. We conclude by drawing attention to a potential paradox drawn forth by our analysis and by examining the main conceptual conundrums that our approach has to face. (shrink)
Congdon (2017), Giladi (2018), and McConkey (2004) challenge feminist epistemologists and recognition theorists to come together to analyze epistemic injustice. I take up this challenge by highlighting the failure of recognition in cases of testimonial and hermeneutical injustice experienced by victims of sexual harassment and sexual assault. I offer the #MeToo movement as a case study to demonstrate how the process of mutual recognition makes visible and helps overcome the epistemic injustice suffered by victims of sexual harassment (...) and sexual assault. I argue that in declaring “me too,” the epistemic subject emerges in the context of a polyphonic symphony of victims claiming their status as agents who are able to make sense of their own social experiences and able to convey their knowledge to others. (shrink)
Challenging the fundamental tenet of the multicultural movement -- that social struggles turning upon race, gender, and sexuality are struggles for recognition -- this work offers a powerful critique of current conceptions of identity and ...
Just as humans can draw conclusions responsibly or irresponsibly, so too can computers. Machine learning systems that have been trained on data sets that include irresponsible judgments are likely to yield irresponsible predictions as outputs. In this paper I focus on a particular kind of inference a computer system might make: identification of the intentions with which a person acted on the basis of photographic evidence. Such inferences are liable to be morally objectionable, because of a way in which they (...) are presumptuous. After elaborating this moral concern, I explore the possibility that carefully procuring the training data for image recognition systems could ensure that the systems avoid the problem. The lesson of this paper extends beyond just the particular case of image recognition systems and the challenge of responsibly identifying a person’s intentions. Reflection on this particular case demonstrates the importance (as well as the difficulty) of evaluating machine learning systems and their training data from the standpoint of moral considerations that are not encompassed by ordinary assessments of predictive accuracy. (shrink)
What is dignity? My starting point is that dignity is one of those philosophical primitives that admit of no informative analysis. Nonetheless, I suggest, dignity might yield to indirect illumination when we consider the kind of experience we have (or rather find it fitting to have) in its presence. This experience, I claim, is what is sometimes known as recognition-respect. Through an examination of a neglected aspect of the phenomenology of recognition-respect, I argue that the possession of inner (...) consciousness is a precondition for the possession of dignity. The reason for this, I suggest, is that the ultimate privacy of the contents of our consciousness grounds a kind of inviolability characteristic of dignity. (shrink)
In an era of heightened concern about injustice in relations of identity and difference, political theorists often prescribe equal recognition as a remedy for the ills of subordination. Drawing on the philosophy of Hegel, they envision a system of reciprocal knowledge and esteem, in which the affirming glance of others lets everyone be who they really are. This book challenges the equation of recognition with justice. Patchen Markell mines neglected strands of the concept's genealogy and reconstructs an unorthodox (...) interpretation of Hegel, who, in the unexpected company of Sophocles, Aristotle, Arendt, and others, reveals why recognition's promised satisfactions are bound to disappoint, and even to stifle.Written with exceptional clarity, the book develops an alternative account of the nature and sources of identity-based injustice in which the pursuit of recognition is part of the problem rather than the solution. And it articulates an alternative conception of justice rooted not in the recognition of identity of the other but in the acknowledgment of our own finitude in the face of a future thick with surprise. Moving deftly among contemporary political philosophers, the close interpretation of ancient and modern texts, and the exploration of rich case studies drawn from literature, history, and modern politics, Bound by Recognition is at once a sustained treatment of the problem of recognition and a sequence of virtuoso studies. (shrink)
In this significant contribution to Hegel scholarship, Robert Williams develops the most comprehensive account to date of Hegel's concept of recognition. Fichte introduced the concept of recognition as a presupposition of both Rousseau's social contract and Kant's ethics. Williams shows that Hegel appropriated the concept of recognition as the general pattern of his concept of ethical life, breaking with natural law theory yet incorporating the Aristotelian view that rights and virtues are possible only within a certain kind (...) of community. He explores Hegel's intersubjective concept of spirit as the product of affirmative mutual recognition and his conception of recognition as the right to have rights. Examining Hegel's Jena manuscripts, his _Philosophy of Right_, the _Phenomenology of Spirit_, and other works, Williams shows how the concept of recognition shapes and illumines Hegel's understandings of crime and punishment, morality, the family, the state, sovereignty, international relations, and war. A concluding chapter on the reception and reworking of the concept of recognition by contemporary thinkers including Derrida, Levinas, and Deleuze demonstrates Hegel's continuing centrality to the philosophical concerns of our age. (shrink)
This book is the first comprehensive study of Rousseau's rich and complex theory of the type of self-love (amour proper) that, for him, marks the central difference between humans and the beasts. Amour proper is the passion that drives human individuals to seek the esteem, approval, admiration, or love--the recognition--of their fellow beings. Neuhouser reconstructs Rousseau's understanding of what the drive for recognition is, why it is so problematic, and how its presence opens up far-reaching developmental possibilities for (...) creatures that possess it. One of Rousseau's central theses is that amour proper in its corrupted, manifestations--pride or vanity--is the principal source of an array of evils so widespread that they can easily appear to be necessary features of the human condition: enslavement, conflict, vice, misery, and self-estrangement. Yet Rousseau also argues that solving these problems depends not on suppressing or overcoming the drive for recognition but on cultivating it so that it contributes positively to the achievement of freedom, peace, virtue, happiness, and unalienated selfhood. Indeed, Rousseau goes so far as to claim that, despite its many dangers, the need for recognition is a condition of nearly everything that makes human life valuable and that elevates it above mere animal existence: rationality, morality, freedom--subjectivity itself--would be impossible for humans if it were not for amour proper and the relations to others it impels us to establish. (shrink)
In this article I intend to show the strict relation between the notions of “second nature” and “recognition”. To do so I begin with a problem (circularity) proper to the theory of Hegelian and post- Hegelian Anerkennung. The solution strategy I propose is signifi cant also in terms of bringing into focus the problems connected with a notion of “space of reasons” that stems from the Hegelian concept of “Spirit”. I thus broach the notion of “second nature” as a (...) bridgeconcept that can play a key role both for a renewal of the theory of Anerkennung and for a rethinking of the “space of reasons” within the debate between Robert Brandom and John McDowell. Against this background I illustrate the novelties introduced by the dialectical conception of the relation between fi rst and second nature developed by Hegel and the contribution this idea can make to a revisited theory of recognition as a phenomenon articulated on two levels. I then return to the question of the space of reasons to show the contribution the renewed conception of recognition as second nature makes to the definition of its intrinsic sociality as something that is not in principle opposed to a sense of naturalness. (shrink)
Top-down feedback does not benefit speech recognition; on the contrary, it can hinder it. No experimental data imply that feedback loops are required for speech recognition. Feedback is accordingly unnecessary and spoken word recognition is modular. To defend this thesis, we analyse lexical involvement in phonemic decision making. TRACE (McClelland & Elman 1986), a model with feedback from the lexicon to prelexical processes, is unable to account for all the available data on phonemic decision making. The modular (...) Race model (Cutler & Norris 1979) is likewise challenged by some recent results, however. We therefore present a new modular model of phonemic decision making, the Merge model. In Merge, information flows from prelexical processes to the lexicon without feedback. Because phonemic decisions are based on the merging of prelexical and lexical information, Merge correctly predicts lexical involvement in phonemic decisions in both words and nonwords. Computer simulations show how Merge is able to account for the data through a process of competition between lexical hypotheses. We discuss the issue of feedback in other areas of language processing and conclude that modular models are particularly well suited to the problems and constraints of speech recognition. Key Words: computational modeling; feedback; lexical processing; modularity; phonemic decisions; reading; speech recognition; word recognition. (shrink)
My aim in this paper is to make use of Edith Stein’s phenomenological analyses of empathy, emotion, and personhood to clarify and critically assess the recent suggestion by Axel Honneth that a basic form of recognition is affective in nature. I will begin by considering Honneth’s own presentation of this claim in his discussion of the role of affect in recognitive gestures, as well as in his notion of ‘elementary recognition,’ arguing that while his account contains much of (...) value it also generates problems. On the basis of this analysis, I will try to show that Stein’s account of empathy demarcates an elementary form of recognition in a less problematic fashion than does Honneth’s own treatment of this issue. I will then spell out the consequences of this move for the emotional recognition thesis, arguing that Stein’s treatment lends it further credence, before ending with some remarks on the connection between recognition and emotional personality. (shrink)
Visual self-recognition is often controversially cited as an indicator of self-awareness and assessed with the mirror-mark test. Great apes and humans, unlike small apes and monkeys, have repeatedly passed mirror tests, suggesting that the underlying brain processes are homologous and evolved 14-18 million years ago. However, neuroscientific, developmental, and clinical dissociations show that the medium used for self-recognition (mirror vs photograph vs video) significantly alters behavioral and brain responses, likely due to perceptual differences among the different media and (...) prior experience. On the basis of this evidence and evolutionary considerations, we argue that the visual self-recognition skills evident in humans and great apes are a byproduct of a general capacity to collate representations, and need not index other aspects of self-awareness. (shrink)
In the course of the last thirty years, feminist theories of gender have shifted from quasi-Marxist, labor-centered conceptions to putatively “post-Marxist”culture- and identity-based conceptions. Reflecting a broader political move from redistribution to recognition, this shift has been double-edged. On the one hand, it has broadened feminist politics to encompass legitimate issues of representation, identity, and difference. Yet, in the context of an ascendant neoliberalism, feminist struggles for recognition may be serving to less to enrich struggles for redistribution than (...) to displace the latter. I aim to resist that trend. In this essay, I propose an analysis of gender that is broad enough to house the full range of feminist concerns, those central to the old socialist-feminism as well as those rooted in the cultural turn. I also propose a correspondingly broad conception of justice, capable of encompassing both distribution and recognition, and a non-identitarian account of recognition, capable of synergizing with redistribution. I conclude by examining some practical problems that arise when we try to envision institutional reforms that could redress gender maldistribution and gender misrecognition simultaneously. (shrink)
Thus far, the recognition approach as described in the works of Axel Honneth has not systematically engaged with the problem of poverty. To fill this gap, the present contribution will focus on poverty conceived as social exclusion in the context of the European Union and probe its moral significance. It will show that this form of social exclusion is morally harmful and wrong from the perspective of the recognition approach. To justify this finding, social exclusion has to fulfil (...) three conditions: (i) it has to be experienced as harmful by the socially excluded, (ii) it has to meet certain objective criteria, and (iii) it has to violate normative claims embedded within society. (shrink)
Edited by Hans-Christoph Schmidt am Busch & Christopher Zurn. This volume collects original, cutting-edge essays on the philosophy of recognition by international scholars eminent in the field. By considering the topic of recognition as addressed by both classical and contemporary authors, the volume explores the connections between historical and contemporary recognition research and makes substantive contributions to the further development of contemporary theories of recognition.
In this volume Axel Honneth deepens and develops his highly influential theory of recognition, showing how it enables us both to rethink the concept of justice and to offer a compelling account of the relationship between social reproduction and individual identity formation. Drawing on his reassessment of Hegel’s practical philosophy, Honneth argues that our conception of social justice should be redirected from a preoccupation with the principles of distributing goods to a focus on the measures for creating symmetrical relations (...) of recognition. This theoretical reorientation has far-reaching implications for the theory of justice, as it obliges this theory to engage directly with problems concerning the organization of work and with the ideologies that stabilize relations of domination. In the final part of this volume Honneth shows how the theory of recognition provides a fruitful and illuminating way of exploring the relation between social reproduction and identity formation. Rather than seeing groups as regressive social forms that threaten the autonomy of the individual, Honneth argues that the ‘I’ is dependent on forms of social recognition embodied in groups, since neither self-respect nor self-esteem can be maintained without the supportive experience of practising shared values in the group. This important new book by one of the leading social philosophers of our time will be of great interest to students and scholars in philosophy, sociology, politics and the humanities and social sciences generally. (shrink)
This essay defends a three-dimensional response-model theory of recognition of persons, and discusses the related phenomenon of recognition of reasons, values and principles. The theory is three-dimensional in endorsing recognition of the equality of persons and two kinds of relevant differences: merits and special relationships. It defends a ‘response-model’ which holds that adequacy of recognition of persons is a matter of adequate responsiveness to situation-specific reasons and requirements. This three-dimen- sional response-model is compared to Peter Jones’s (...) view, which draws the distinction between status and merit recognition, and mediated and unmediated recognition. The essay discusses a number of questions related to how recognition of situation-specific reasons, and more general values and principles, is related to recognition of persons. The three- dimensional response-model of recognition of persons is in principle compatible with a constructivist view, which holds that the validity of values and principles is dependent on acknowledgement or endorsement. But even if one is a realist on that issue and thinks of validity as independent of acknowledgement, acknowledging relevant values, reasons and principles is a hugely important precondition of actual interpersonal recognition. The essay analyses these connections. (shrink)
Introduction : A Republican Theory of (Global) Justice.- Chapter One: The Nature of Free Rational Agency -- Chapter Two: Analysing Freedom & Autonomy Recognition, Responsibility and Threats to Agency -- Chapter Three: Needs, Interests and Rights -- Chapter Four: Capabilities, Freedom and Sufficiency -- Chapter Five: Collective Agency, Democracy and Political Institutions -- Chapter Six: Global Justice and Non-Domination -- Conclusion: Freedom, Recognition & Non-Domination.
This paper explores the ambivalent effects of recognition through a critical examination of Axel Honneth’s theory of recognition. I argue that his underlying perfectionist account and his focus on the psychic effects of recognition lead him to overlook important connections between recognition and power. These claims are substantiated through Butler’s theory of gender performativity and recognition; and issues connected to the socio-institutional recognition of transgender identities. I conclude by suggesting that certain problems with Butler’s (...) own position can corrected by drawing more from the Foucauldian aspects of her work. I argue that this is the most promising way to conceptualise recognition and its complex, ambivalent effects. (shrink)
We explore the formal foundations of recent studies comparing aural pattern recognition capabilities of populations of human and non-human animals. To date, these experiments have focused on the boundary between the Regular and Context-Free stringsets. We argue that experiments directed at distinguishing capabilities with respect to the Subregular Hierarchy, which subdivides the class of Regular stringsets, are likely to provide better evidence about the distinctions between the cognitive mechanisms of humans and those of other species. Moreover, the classes of (...) the Subregular Hierarchy have the advantage of fully abstract descriptive (model-theoretic) characterizations in addition to characterizations in more familiar grammar- and automata-theoretic terms. Because the descriptive characterizations make no assumptions about implementation, they provide a sound basis for drawing conclusions about potential cognitive mechanisms from the experimental results. We review the Subregular Hierarchy and provide a concrete set of principles for the design and interpretation of these experiments. (shrink)
Category-specific impairments of object recognition and naming are among the most intriguing disorders in neuropsychology, affecting the retrieval of knowledge about either living or nonliving things. They can give us insight into the nature of our representations of objects: Have we evolved different neural systems for recognizing different categories of object? What kinds of knowledge are important for recognizing particular objects? How does visual similarity within a category influence object recognition and representation? What is the nature of our (...) semantic knowledge about different objects? We review the evidence on category-specific impairments, arguing that deficits even for one class of object cannot be accounted for in terms of a single information processing disorder across all patients; problems arise at contrasting loci in different patients. The same apparent pattern of impairment can be produced by damage to different loci. According to a new processing framework for object recognition and naming, the hierarchical interactive theory, we have a hierarchy of highly interactive stored representations. HIT explains the variety of patients in terms of lesions at different levels of processing and different forms of stored knowledge used both for particular tasks and for particular categories of object. Key Words: category-specific deficits; functional imaging; hierarchical models; interactive activation models; neuropsychology; object recognition; perceptual and functional knowledge. (shrink)
David Schmidtz's reconstruction of morality advances Hart-type recognition rules for a “personal” and an “interpersonal” strand of morality. I argue that his view does not succeed for reasons owed both to the way in which Schmidtz construes of the task of reconstructing morality and the content of the moral recognition rules that he proposes. For Schmidtz, this task must be approached from a Hart-type “internal” perspective, but this leaves his reconstruction with an unresolved problem of parochiality. He reconstructs (...) morality as a pursuit of the aim of the flourishing of individuals as reflectively rational agents. However, while it is plausible to see reflective rationality as a good, it does not seem to be a morally fundamental good. Ways to instantiate or pursue it depend for their moral value on other, more fundamental moral values that are beyond the normative space mapped by Schmidtz's moral recognition rules. (shrink)
In recent years the term ‘recognition’ has been used in ever more variegated theoretical contexts. This article contributes to the discussion of how the concept(s) expressed by this term in different debates should be explicated and understood. For the most part it takes the concept itself as its topic rather than making theoretical use of it. Drawing on important work by Ikäheimo and Laitinen and taking Honneth’s tripartite distinction of recognition into love, respect, and esteem as a starting (...) point it introduces the conceptual distinction between recognitive attitudes, recognitive relations, and recognitive acts, discusses Brandom’s attempt at explaining self-consciousness in terms of reflexive recognition mediated by intersubjective recognitive relations and suggests some critical points on how Butler puts the concept of recognition to work in her conception of ethics. (shrink)
The topic of recognition has come to occupy a central place in debates in social and political theory. Developed by George Herbert Mead and Charles Taylor, it has been given expression in the program for Critical Theory developed by Axel Honneth in his book The Struggle for Recognition. Honneth's research program offers an empirically insightful way of reflecting on emancipatory struggles for greater justice and a powerful theoretical tool for generating a conception of justice and the good that (...) enables the normative evaluation of such struggles. This 2007 volume offers a critical clarification and evaluation of this research program, particularly its relationship to the other major development in critical social and political theory; namely, the focus on power as formative of practical identities proposed by Michel Foucault and developed by theorists such as Judith Butler, James Tully, and Iris Marion Young. (shrink)
The construct of moral intensity, proposed by Jones (1991), was used to predict the extent to which individuals were able to recognize moral issues. We tested for the effects of the six dimensions of moral intensity: social consensus, proximity, concentration of effect, probability of effect, temporal immediacy and magnitude of consequences. A scenario-based study, conducted among business individuals in Singapore, revealed that social consensus and magnitude of consequences influenced the recognition of moral issues. The study provided evidence for the (...) effects of temporal immediacy. There was marginal support for the impact of proximity and probability of effect but no evidence that concentration of effect influenced recognition of moral issues. The paper concludes with a discussion of the implications of these results for researchers and organisational practitioners. (shrink)
Judith Butler is often referred to as a thinker who disputes the positive view of recognition shared by many social and political philosophers today and advances a more "ambivalent" account of recognition. While I agree with this general characterization of Butler’s account, I think that it is not yet adequately understood what precisely makes recognition ambivalent for Butler. Usually, Butler is read as providing an ethical critique of recognition. According to this reading, Butler believes that it (...) is important for persons to be recognized but that recognition is at the same time experienced as oppressive and hence is ethically ambivalent. Against this reading, I advance the view that Butler does not develop an ethical critique but rather an ideology critique of recognition. What makes recognition ambivalent for Butler is, as I will argue, that it can serve social functions behind the backs of the participants and be implicated in the reproduction of problematic social orders. I elaborate this argument by drawing on Butler’s analyses of the violent exclusion of genders that are not unambiguously male or female from the social realm, which, on my reading, is directly connected to the recognition of persons as male or female in everyday life. (shrink)
The paper proposes a reconstruction of some fragments of Hegel’s Jena manuscripts concerning the natural genesis of recognitive spiritual consciousness. On this basis it will be argued that recognition has a foothold in nature. As a consequence, recognition should not be understood as a bootstrapping process, that is, as a self-positing and self-justifying normative social phenomenon, intelligible within itself and independently of anything external to it.
Stephane Savanah provides a critique of theories of self-recognition that largely mirrors my own critique that I began publishing two decades ago. In addition, he both misconstrues my kinesthetic-visual matching model of mirror self-recognition in multiple ways , and misconstrues the evidence in the scientific literature on MSR. I describe points of agreement in our thinking about self-recognition, and criticize and rectify inaccuracies.
I would like to present a two part response to the following question that Seyla Benhabib posed at a conference at Harvard University in 1999: “Is there a Transition from Distribution to Recognition?” The first part proposes that issues of distribution and recognition should be seen as aspects of political struggles, rather than distinct types of struggle, and thus a form of analysis is required that has the capacity to study political struggles under both aspects. The second part (...) suggests that struggles over multicultural and multinational recognition are undergoing an important change in practice which requires a corresponding change in the prevailing forms of analysis. These two recommendations rest on and follow from an underlying orientation. The primary but not exclusive orientation would be practices of freedom rather than theories of justice. The aim of such an aspectival political philosophy and corresponding democratic political practice would not be to discover and constitutionalize thejust and definitive form of recognition and distribution, but to ensure that ineliminable, agonic democratic games over recognition and distribution, with their rival theories of distribution and recognition, can be played freely, with a minimum of domination. (shrink)
This article examines the ethical framing of employment in contemporary human resource management (HRM). Using Axel Honneth's theory of recognition and classical critical notions of reification, I contrast recognition and reifying stances on labor. The recognition approach embeds work in its emotive and social particularity, positively affirming the basic dignity of social actors. Reifying views, by contrast, exhibit a forgetfulness of recognition, removing action from its existential and social moorings, and imagining workers as bundles of discrete (...) resources or capacities. After discussing why reification is a problem, I stress that recognition and reification embody different ethical standpoints with regards to organizational practices. Thus, I argue paradoxically that many current HRM best practices can be maintained while cultivating an attitude of recognition. If reification is a type of forgetting, cultivating a recognition attitude involves processes of "remembering" to foster work relations that reinforce employee dignity. (shrink)
This research project seeks to discover whether certain characteristics of a moral issue facilitate individuals’ abilities to detect violators of a conditional rule. In business, conditional rules are often framed in terms of a social contract between employer and employee. Of significant concern to business ethicists is the fact that these social contracts are frequently breached. Some researchers in the field of evolutionary psychology argue that there is a biological basis to social contract formation and dissolution in business. However, although (...) it is inescapable that biological forces shaped a fixed neural structure that guides and limits humans’ abilities, we argue that characteristics of the situation in which the person finds himself or herself moderate the activation of these neural circuits in ordinary business social contract situations. Specifically, the moral intensity associated with the social contract conditional rule is likely to influence peoples’ abilities to detect violators of the rule. This study utilizes adapted versions of the Wason selection task and manipulates the issue-contingent moral intensity characteristics of magnitude of consequences, proximity, and social consensus to assess if moral intensity facilitates detection of rule violators. Results from this empirical study indicate no relationship between moral intensity characteristics and issue recognition but do provide insights into the evolutionary psychology approach. (shrink)
It has been recently argued that some machine learning techniques known as Kernel methods could be relevant for capturing cognitive and neural mechanisms (Jäkel, Schölkopf, & Wichmann, 2009). We point out that ‘‘String kernels,’’ initially designed for protein function prediction and spam detection, are virtually identical to one contending proposal for how the brain encodes orthographic information during reading. We suggest some reasons for this connection and we derive new ideas for visual word recognition that are successfully put to (...) the test. We argue that the versatility and performance of String kernels makes a compelling case for their implementation in the brain. (shrink)
This article attempts to show, first, that for Hegel the role of property is to enable persons both to objectify their freedom and to properly express their recognition of each other as free, and second, that the Marx of 1844 uses fundamentally similar ideas in his exposition of communist society. For him the role of ‘true property’ is to enable individuals both to objectify their essential human powers and their individuality, and to express their recognition of each other (...) as fellow human beings with needs, or their ‘human recognition’. Marx further uses these ideas to condemn the society of private property and market exchange as characterised by ‘estranged’ forms of property and recognition. He therefore uses a structure of ideas which Hegel had used to justify the institutions of private property and market exchange, in order to condemn those same institutions. (shrink)
Abstract The view that mirror self-recognition (MSR) is a definitive demonstration of self-awareness is far from universally accepted, and those who do support the view need a more robust argument than the mere assumption that self-recognition implies a self-concept (e.g. Gallup in Socioecology and Psychology of Primates, Mouton, Hague, 1975 ; Gallup and Suarez in Psychological Perspectives on the Self, vol 3, Erlbaum, Hillsdale, 1986 ). In this paper I offer a new argument in favour of the view (...) that MSR shows self-awareness by examining the nature of the mirror image itself. I argue, using the results of ‘symbol-mindedness’ experiments by Deloache (Trends Cogn Sci 8(2):66–70, 2004) , that where self-recognition exists, the mirror image must be functioning as a symbol from the perspective of the subject and the subject must therefore be ‘symbol-minded’ and hence concept possessing. Further to this, according to the Concept Possession Hypothesis of Self-Consciousness (Savanah in Conscious Cogn 2011 ), concept possession alone is sufficient to demonstrate the existence of self-awareness. Thus MSR as a demonstration of symbol-mindedness implies the existence of self-awareness. I begin by defending the ‘mark test’ protocol as a robust methodology for determining self-recognition. Then follows a critical examination of the extreme views both for and against the interpretation of MSR as an indication of self-awareness: although the non-mentalistic interpretation of MSR is unconvincing, the argument presented by Gallup is also inadequate. I then present the symbol-mindedness argument to fill in the gaps in the Gallup approach. Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-17 DOI 10.1007/s10539-012-9318-2 Authors Stephane Savanah, ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders (CCD), Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW 2109, Australia Journal Biology and Philosophy Online ISSN 1572-8404 Print ISSN 0169-3867. (shrink)
Research on mirror self-recognition where animals are observed for mirror-guided self-directed behaviour has predominated the empirical approach to self-awareness in nonhuman primates. The ability to direct behaviour to previously unseen parts of the body such as the inside of the mouth, or grooming the eye by aid of mirrors has been interpreted as recognition of self and evidence of a self-concept. Three decades of research has revealed that contrary to monkeys, most great apes have convincingly displayed the capacity (...) to recognize self by mirrors. The putative discontinuity in phylogeny of the ability suggests the existence of a so-called cognitive gap between great apes and the rest of the animal kingdom. However, methodological and theoretical inconsistencies regarding the empirical approach prevail. For instance, the observation of self-directed behaviour might not be as straightforward as it seems. In addition, the interpretation of mirror self-recognition as an index of self-awareness is challenged by alternative explanations, raising doubt about some assumptions behind mirror self-recognition. To evaluate the significance of the test in discussions of the concept of self this paper presents and analyses some major arguments raised on the mirror task. (shrink)
This article provides a phenomenological analysis of the difference between self-recognition and recognition of another, while referring to some contemporary neuroscientific studies on the rubber hand illusion. It examines the difference between these two forms of recognition on the basis of Husserl’s and Merleau-Ponty’s work. It argues that both phenomenologies, despite their different views on inter-subjectivity, allow for the specificity of recognition of another. In explaining self-recognition, however, Husserl’s account seems less convincing. Research concerning the (...) rubber hand illusion has confirmed that self-recognition involves more than an immediate experience of oneself. Merleau-Ponty’s later work, describing self-recognition as the result of assimilative identification, will be used to explain the possibility of illusion between one’s “hereness” and “thereness”. The possibility of this illusion is inherent to self-recognition, while it is lacking in recognition of another. (shrink)
Multiculturalist theories of recognition consist of explanatory-descriptive social theoretical accounts of the position of the minorities whose predicaments the theories seek to address, together with normative principles generating political implications. Although theories of recognition are often based on illiberal principles or couched in illiberal-sounding language, it is possible to combine proper liberal principles with the kind of social theoretical accounts of minority groups highlighted in multiculturalism. The importance of ‘the social bases of self-respect’ in Rawls’s political liberalism is (...) used to illustrate how a liberal theory of recognition might be constructed, and it is argued that such a theory can capture some, though not all, of the concerns of multiculturalism, even though the resulting ‘politics of recognition’ is neither a ‘politics of difference’ nor a kind of ‘identity politics’. (shrink)
This chapter introduces Axel Honneth's theory of recognition and discusses some criticisms of it, especially in relation to the third dimension of recognition and its relationship to the market economy.
In this paper I present an interpretation of J. G. Fichte's transcendental argument for the necessity of mutual recognition in Foundations of Natural Right. Fichte's argument purports to show that, as a condition of the possibility of self-consciousness, we must take ourselves to stand in relations of mutual recognition with other agents like ourselves. After reconstructing the steps of Fichte's argument, I present what I call the ‘modal dilemma’, which highlights a serious ambiguity in Fichte's deduction. According to (...) the modal dilemma, the conclusion to Fichte's transcendental argument—that as a condition of the possibility of our self-consciousness, we must recognize and be recognized by others—expresses either metaphysical or normative necessity. However, no normative conclusion follows from Fichte's premises, and the metaphysical claim that does follow from his argument appears to be implausibly strong. Thus the argument looks like a failure on either interpretation of the conclusion's modality. In the penultimate section of the paper, I propose a new interpretation of the argument that avoids the modal dilemma and provides a normative grounding of Fichte's concept of right. (shrink)
The question I want to answer is if and how the recognition approach, taken from the works of Axel Honneth, could be an adequate framework for addressing the problems of global justice and poverty. My thesis is that such a globalization of the recognition approach rests on the dialectic of relative and absolute elements of recognition. (1) First, I will discuss the relativism of the recognition approach, that it understands recognition as being relative to a (...) certain society or a set of institutions. The same is true for various forms of disrespect such as denigration or exclusion. The recognition approach is a form of internal reconstructive critique, which does not want to refer to absolute or ahistorical standards. (2) Second, I show that this relative understanding of recognition and disrespect rests on an absolute core of recognition, which transcends any given society. In short, this core is the possibility of undistorted self-realization, which is the main and universal element of a good life. Such an absolute core is necessary for distinguishing between justified and unjustified claims of relative recognition. It also serves as the normative benchmark for any society. (3) Finally, I will discuss the relation of these relative and absolute elements of recognition against the background of global justice. Claims of recognition can refer to this absolute core and demand that intersubjective conditions and social relations should change in order to make undistorted self-realization possible. This is the main point of reference for a recognition-based concept of global justice. (shrink)