Thursday, September 15, 2005

Honneth interview

"Probably no election campaign in the last 20 years was as dominated – below the surface – by social questions as the one now coming to an end", says Axel Honneth, director of the Institute for Social Research in Frankfurt, in an interview with Harry Nutt. "The problem is that none of the parties has a concept of social justice complex enough to bring equal opportunities, work-dependency, generational discrimination and ecological considerations together in a rational and comprehendable framework. Almost all the parties are still operating with one-dimensional concepts of justice that concentrate for example on performance, equal opportunities or need, instead of taking the step to a multi-dimensional concept that is indispensable for the future. Much more intellectual work remains to be done here, over and above what party theoreticians can point to today."

from here

Honneth interview here

Ein mehrdimensionaler Gerechtigkeitsbegriff ist unverzichtbar

Für den Philosophen Axel Honneth haben allein die Grünen die intellektuellen Ressourcen, um den gegenwärtigen Strukturwandel der Politik zu begreifen

1 comment:

Gary E. Davis said...

The Future of Critical Theory: In Your Face

Now there's a man who needs a public relations consultant.

He's displaying either:
• a clueless sense of the camera—perhaps metonymic of the future of Critical Theory; see Honneth's own estimation of Critical Theory as the last chapter of The Cambridge Companion to Critical Theory—Honneth is the last chapter of Critical Theory? See also: James Bohman's conclusion to his “critical theory” article in the online Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Critical Theory disappears into cultural studies ("critical theory" with a small 'c', like the article itself, which is largely about Critical Theory)


• deliberately, in the photo, representing the above condition: Critical Theory's lack of hope, due to its being more or less left behind by history.

Contrary some self-designated "Critical Theorists" (not thinking of you, Ali; I have no idea what your affinity is for "Critical Theory") showing fetishism for 20th century problematics, Habermas isn't trying to keep Critical Theory per se alive. Rather, he's working at the leading edge of 21st century thought: cosmopolitan law, the future of human nature, and the interface of religion and late modernity. The point is for Critical Theory to take its lead from 21st century problematics. Critical Theory has no future that doesn't really go through Habermas' work; but few "Critical Theorists" get beyond the surface of Habermasian work.

Consider the Honneth quote above: Is it a "multi-dimensional concept" and "more intellectual work" that's needed by government? Or is this really needed by Critical Theory itself, i.e., Critical Theory doesn't comprehend how the multi-dimensionality of government really looks relative to the complexity of social systems. The very notion of "party theoreticians" is bankrupt.



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