Foucault and Habermas by Anonymous

Foucault and Habermas

byAnonymous

Kobo ebook | September 12, 2006

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Seminar paper from the year 2002 in the subject Philosophy - Philosophy of the Present, grade: 1,7, Brandeis University (Department of Philosophy), course: Sem.: European Political Thought, 4 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: Max Weber's thesis that the rationalization of Western societies in the course of the Enlightenment has been an irreversible process is one of the central and most consequential discoveries in modern European political thought. Its significance lies in the fact that any philosopher or social thinker who engages in an analysis of western societies must come to grips with the question what 'Enlightenment' means and involves. The various contemporary political theories of action can be distinguished in regard to their specific answers to that question, for these answers define the realm of that which is politically possible under the conditions of Modernity. Michel Foucault and Jürgen Habermas, who represent two of the most influential theories, both present powerful arguments for their respective assessments of the Enlightenment. However, these assessments are rather incompatible. Foucault, who devoted much of his life to the struggle against the hidden workings of an apparently ubiquitous and suppressive power, presents a decisively pessimistic account. For him, the Enlightenment has increased and sophisticated the techniques of power, which pervades and - more significantly - constitutes societies and their members as an invisible force while shaping the forms of knowledge that are generally accepted as given by them. Habermas, whose social philosophy has repeatedly proven its applicability to (foremost German social democratic) concrete governmental questions, is not as monistic as Foucault. There is no central category such as 'power' in his thought. This seems to be related to Habermas's objects of study as opposed to Foucault's. Foucault likes to look at the borders of society, at the psychiatric clinic, the prison, and defamed sexuality. Habermas, while not denying the existence of these, rather focuses on the development of middle class life and its institutions, foremost the public sphere and political institutions such as the parliament. Both of them are historical thinkers, and certainly both fill the empirical vacuum left by the Frankfurt school's masterpiece on the Enlightenment, Adorno's and Horkheimer's Dialektik der Aufklärung,with historical scrutiny. Significantly, though, Foucault's assessment of the Enlightenment stays much closer to theDialektik der Aufklärungthan Habermas. [...]

Title:Foucault and HabermasFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:September 12, 2006Publisher:GRIN PublishingLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:3638543838

ISBN - 13:9783638543835

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