Recognition or Disagreement: A Critical Encounter on the Politics of Freedom, Equality, and Identity

Hardcover | May 10, 2016

byAxel Honneth, Jacques RancièreEditorKatia Genel

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Axel Honneth is best known for his critique of modern society centered on a concept of recognition. Jacques Rancière 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. Rancière sees the social as a policing order and the political as a force that must radically assert equality. Honneth claims Rancière's conception of the political lies outside of actual historical societies and involves a problematic desire for egalitarianism. Rancière 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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Axel Honneth is best known for his critique of modern society centered on a concept of recognition. Jacques Rancière 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, ...

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. He is also the author of the Columbia University Press books Pathologies of Reason: On the Legacy of Critical Theory (2009) and Freedom's Right: The Social Foundat...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:240 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.98 inPublished:May 10, 2016Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:023117716X

ISBN - 13:9780231177160

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Table of Contents

Part I. Setting the Stage1. Jacques Rancière and Axel Honneth: (Two?) Critical Approaches to the Political, by Katia Genel2. Between Honneth and Rancière: Problems and Potentials of a Contemporary Critical Theory of Society, by Jean-Philippe DerantyPart II. A Critical Encounter3. Critical Questions: On the Theory of Recognition, by Jacques Rancière4. Remarks on the Philosophical Approach of Jacques Rancière, by Axel Honneth5. A Critical DiscussionPart III. The Method of Critical Theory: Propositions6. The Method of Equality: Politics and Poetics, by Jacques Rancière7. Of the Poverty of Our Liberty: The Greatness and Limits of Hegel's Doctrine of Ethical Life, by Axel HonnethNotesBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

In this fascinating and groundbreaking exchange, the eminent thinkers Axel Honneth and Jacques Rancière discuss the differences between their respective paradigms of recognition and disagreement. Is social struggle driven by the desire for inclusion within established democratic forms or by a more radical impulse to challenge the legitimacy of the dominant order itself? Is the task of the theorist to reveal hidden forms of social suffering or to bear witness to the agency of the oppressed in the fight for equality? As well as clarifying their differences, the thinkers converge on the shared conviction that the experience of injustice must be of paramount concern for political theorizing rather than, as is more often the case nowadays, being regarded as a surprising deviation from the norm of justice. For anyone interested in the continuing encounter between French and German critical theory, this is an indispensable and thought-provoking read.