Freedom's Right: The Social Foundations of Democratic Life

Paperback | December 15, 2015

byAxel Honneth

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Theories of justice often fixate on purely normative, abstract principles unrelated to real-world situations. The philosopher and theorist Axel Honneth addresses this disconnect, and constructs a theory of justice derived from the normative claims of Western liberal-democratic societies and anchored in morally legitimate laws and institutionally established practices.

Honneth's paradigm-which he terms "a democratic ethical life"-draws on the spirit of Hegel's Philosophy of Right and his own theory of recognition, demonstrating how concrete social spheres generate the tenets of individual freedom and a standard for what is just. Using social analysis to re-found a more grounded theory of justice, he argues that all crucial actions in Western civilization, whether in personal relationships, market-induced economic activities, or the public forum of politics, share one defining characteristic: they require the realization of a particular aspect of individual freedom. This fundamental truth informs the guiding principles of justice, enabling a wide-ranging reconsideration of its nature and application.

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Theories of justice often fixate on purely normative, abstract principles unrelated to real-world situations. The philosopher and theorist Axel Honneth addresses this disconnect, and constructs a theory of justice derived from the normative claims of Western liberal-democratic societies and anchored in morally legitimate laws and inst...

Axel Honneth is professor of philosophy at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University of Frankfurt and the Jack C. Weinstein Professor for the Humanities at Columbia University. His books include Pathologies of Reason: On the Legacy of Critical Theory; The Struggle for Recognition: The Moral Grammar of Social Conflicts; Philosophical Inter...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:448 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.68 inPublished:December 15, 2015Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231162472

ISBN - 13:9780231162470

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Table of Contents

ForewordIntroduction: A Theory of Justice as an Analysis of SocietyPart I. Historical Background: The Right to Freedom1. Negative Freedom and the Social Contract2. Reflexive Freedom and Its Conception of Justice3. Social Freedom and the Doctrine of Ethical LifeTransition: The Idea of Democratic Ethical LifePart II. The Possibility of Freedom4. Legal Freedom5. Moral FreedomPart III. The Reality of Freedom6. Social FreedomNotesIndex

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Honneth has provided us with a central reference point for future debates on the nature of modernity, freedom, justice, and the social world.