The Critical Theory of Axel Honneth

The Critical Theory of Axel Honneth

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The Critical Theory of Axel Honneth provides a comprehensive study of the work of Axel Honneth, tracing the theoretical trajectory from his earliest writings on philosophical anthropology to the development of a theory of recognition. The book argues that Honneth's early work provides important insights for the reconstruction of the normative project of critical theory and the articulation of a conceptual framework for analyzing social relations of power and domination. Danielle Petherbridge contends, however, that these aims are not fully realized in Honneth's more mature project and that central insights recede as his project develops. Petherbridge seeks to demonstrate that the basis for an alternative theory of intersubjectivity that can account for both an adequate theory of power and normative forms of subject-formation can be immanently reconstructed from within Honneth's own work. By contextualizing Honneth's project in relation to its theoretical influences, The Critical Theory of Axel Honneth provides a critical study and excellent entry point that will be essential reading for both students and scholars who work in the areas of European philosophy, critical theory, social and political philosophy, or social and political theory.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 264 pages
  • 152.4 x 231.14 x 25.4mm | 498.95g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739172034
  • 9780739172032
  • 1,714,202

About Danielle Petherbridge

Danielle Petherbridge is an Irish Research Council research fellow in the school of philosophy at University College Dublin. She is editor of Axel Honneth: Critical Essays, (2011), co-editor of Recognition, Work, Politics: New Direction in French Critical Theory, (2007); Contemporary Perspectives in Critical and Social Philosophy, (2004); and coordinating editor of the journal Critical Horizons: A Journal of Philosophy and Social Theory.show more

Review quote

Danielle Petherbridge's book is an expansive and insightful reconstruction of Axel Honneth's critical social theory. It is alert to the dialectical shifts in his conception as he responds to new conversation partners, and it highlights fundamental issues that explain the trajectory of his work. Petherbridge has made a valuable contribution to the literature on contemporary Critical Theory. Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews Danielle Petherbridge's impressive study...offers an encompassing, systematic, and critical reconstruction of Honneth's theory, with an emphasis on his theory of intersubjectivity and its relation to his understanding of power and critique. In a highly original way, she highlights the important, yet ambivalent and at times subterranean role philosophical anthropology has played in the development of Honneth's thought... In addition to being an indispensable critical guide to Honneth's work up to Freedom's right, Petherbridge's monograph provides a good basis for a critical assessment of these more recent developments in Honneth's thought and begins to provide such an assessment itself. Journal of Political Power In the last decade, the work of Axel Honneth has been internationally recognized as one of the most prominent positions in contemporary social philosophy and critical theory. Danielle Petherbridge's fine monograph is the most extensive treatment of his entire oeuvre in English so far and it combines a highly accessible introduction to his theory with a fair and critical discussion of its main features, among them Honneth's conceptions of intersubjectivity, recognition, and power. This volume will clearly set the standard for further debates on the future of critical social theory. -- Martin Saar, Professor of Political Theory, Leipzig University The Critical Theory of Axel Honneth is a systematic reconstruction and sympathetic yet incisive critique of Honneth's social theory. Petherbridge productively and insightfully reads Honneth in relation to his most important theoretical sources, including Hegel, Marx, Mead, Habermas, Foucault, and Winnicott. This book is an indispensable resource for readers of Honneth, and should be of interest to anyone working in the Frankfurt School tradition of critical social theory. -- Amy Allen, Dartmouth Collegeshow more

Table of contents

Introduction Part 1: Honneth's Reconstruction of Critical Theory Chapter 1: The Intersubjective Grounds of Critique: From Mutual Understanding to Mutual Recognition Chapter 2: Reading Marx after habermas Part 2: Unfinished Studies on a Theory of Power Chapter 3: The Social as a Field of Struggle: Foucault's Action-Theoretic View Chapter 4: Regimes of Discipline: Foucault's Domination-Theoretic View Chapter 5: Intersubjectivity in the Condition of Power: Re-reading Foucault Part 3: Honneth's Intersubjectivist Reading of Hegel Chapter 6: From the Contingency of Struggle to the Primacy of Recognition Chapter 7: The Normative Ground of Conflict and Sociality Part 4: Intersubjective Dependency and Socialization: Mead and Winnicott Chapter 8: Practical Intersubjectivity and Sociality in Mead Chapter 9: Intersubjectivity or Primary Affectivity? Honneth's Reading of Winnicott Part 5: Anthropology, Recognition & Critique Chapter 10: A Critical Theory of Recognition: Anthropological, Historical or Ontological Justification? Chapter 11: The Power of Critique Bibliographyshow more