This article argues that Axel Honneth's ethics of recognition offers a robust model for a renewed critical theory of society, provided that it does not shy away from its political dimensions. First, the ethics of recognition needs to clarify its political moment at the conceptual level to remain conceptually sustainable. This requires a clarification of the notion of identity in relation to the three spheres of recognition, and a clarification of its exact place in a politics of recognition. We suggest that a return to Hegel's mature theory of subjectivity helps specify the relationship between the normative demand for autonomous identity and its realization in and through politics.
KEYWORDS experience of injustice • Honneth • identity • politics • struggle for recognitionOne striking feature of Axel Honneth's theory of recognition is that, despite its fundamental normative and critical dimensions, Honneth makes a conscious effort to avoid referring to it as a politics of recognition. His reluctance to discuss the political and his focus on the ethical has good reasons within his theory. The driving intuition of his model is that social progress is based on the normative expectations of individuals, which must be construed as moral claims, rather than as socio-economic interests. Consequently, the political model to be derived from the framework of a struggle for recognition is a form of 'ethical life' (Sittlichkeit), in the precise Hegelian sense of a multi-layered social morality, not just an institutional framework designed by legal principles, but the structural model of a 'decent society' in which all aspects of individual demands for recognition are met.Still, this avoidance of the term political is symptomatic of a weakness (Foster, 1999). Honneth's project is to devise a normative theory of society that will rejuvenate the original project of critical theory (Horkheimer, 1972):
International audienceThis paper begins by defending the twofold relevance, political and theoretical, of the notion of social suffering. Social suffering is a notion politics cannot do without today, as it seems indispensable to describe all the aspects of contemporary injustice. As such, it has been taken up in a number of significant research programmes in different social sciences (sociology, anthropology, social psychology). The notion however poses significant conceptual problems as it challenges disciplinary boundaries traditionally set up to demarcate individual and social phenomena. I argue that philosophy has a role to play in the attempt to integrate the diverging perspectives stemming from the social sciences. I attempt to show that, as it engages with the social sciences to account for the conceptual and normative issues thrown open by the question of social suffering, philosophy in fact retrieves the very idea of critical theory, as a conjugated critique of social reality and of its knowledge. I conclude by showing how the question of social suffering then becomes a useful criterion to distinguish between the different existing approaches in critical theory
REsumEneste artículo contribuye al debate sobre el reconocimiento a través de un análisis de la relación entre reconocimiento y conflicto social, y explica por qué las teorías del reconocimiento son de importancia hoy en día para la teoría política. en un primer momento, el artículo presenta las contribuciones de taylor, fraser y honneth al debate sobre el reconocimiento. en segundo lugar, se introduce la distinción entre conflictos de reconocimiento de tipo agonístico y los de tipo consensuado. finalmente, el artículo ilustra las relaciones entre instituciones y reconocimiento y los diversos tipos de problemas que un análisis de las demandas de reconocimiento debe de enfrentar.Palabras clave: política del reconocimiento, política agonística, identidad, movimientos sociales, institucionalización.
This article intervenes in the debate going on in philosophy and
The purpose of this article is to bridge the gap between critical theory as understood in the Frankfurt school tradition on the one hand, and social ontology understood as a reflection on the ontological presuppositions of social sciences and social theories on the other. What is at stake is the type of social ontology that critical theory needs if it wants to tackle its main social ontological issue: that of social transformation. This paper’s claim is that what is required is neither a substantial social ontology, nor a relational social ontology, but a processual one. The first part of this article elaborates the distinction between substantial, relational and processual social ontologies. The second part analyzes the various ways in which this distinction can be used in social ontological discussions. Finally, the third part focuses on the various possible social ontological approaches to the issue of social transformation.
scite is a Brooklyn-based startup that helps researchers better discover and understand research articles through Smart Citations–citations that display the context of the citation and describe whether the article provides supporting or contrasting evidence. scite is used by students researchers from around the world and is funded in part by the National Science Foundation and the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health.