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Axel Honneth and Critical Theory
Axel Honneth and Critical Theory
Michael J. Thompson
Introduction

The work of Axel Honneth has been seen by many as effecting a major shift in the tradition of critical theory. With its emphasis on recognition, a reflexive theory of democracy, and its defense of modernity as a mode of self-realization and social freedom, his ideas have become highly influential for those sympathetic to a post-Habermasian critical theory which has sought for an alternative foundation for normative philosophical questions. If Habermas and the Kantian-pragmatist program for critical theory that he initiated struck many critical theorists during the 1980s and 1990s as too epistemic and ideal-typical with respect to human rationality and social action, Honneth offers a more humane, ...

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