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FF

Honneth, Axel

Recognition or Disagreement

Axel Honneth is best known for his critique of modern society centered on a concept of recognition. Jacques Ranci re has advanced an influential theory of modern politics based on disagreement. Underpinning their thought is a concern for the logics of exclusion and domination that structure contemporary societies. In a rare dialogue, these two philosophers explore the affinities and tensions between their perspectives to provoke new ideas for social and political change. Honneth sees modern society as a field in which the logic of recognition provides individuals with increasing possibilities for freedom and is a constant catalyst for transformation. Ranci re sees the social as a policing order and the political as a force that must radically assert equality. Honneth claims Ranci re´s conception of the political lies outside of actual historical societies and involves a problematic desire for egalitarianism. Ranci re argues that Honneth´s theory of recognition relies on an overly substantial conception of identity and subjectivity. While impassioned, their exchange seeks to advance critical theory´s political project by reconciling the rift between German and French post-Marxist traditions and proposing new frameworks for justice.

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