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Critical Theory and Recognition
Critical Theory and Recognition
Richard Gunn Adrian Wilding

For most of the twentieth century, academic political theory addressed liberal themes. It has operated, that is, with a conception of human individuals as beings who possess an ‘area of personal freedom’ (Miller, 2006: 40–7) – the area itself being clear-cut and hard-edged. Perhaps for this reason, the notion of ‘recognition’ has not found favour in it. Whoever speaks of ‘recognition’ sees individual identity as socially constructed and not as something self-enclosed or atomistic.

This said, the term ‘recognition’ found acceptance in political theory in the last decade of the twentieth century. In an influential article of 1992, Charles Taylor turned to this concept as a means of ...

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