Jürgen Habermas | Wikipedia audio article

Jürgen Habermas | Wikipedia audio article


Jürgen Habermas (UK: , US: ; German: [ˈjʏɐ̯ɡn̩
ˈhaːbɐmaːs]; born 18 June 1929) is a German philosopher and sociologist in the tradition
of critical theory and pragmatism. He is perhaps best known for his theories on communicative
rationality and the public sphere. In 2014, Prospect readers chose Habermas as one of
their favourites among the “world’s leading thinkers”.Associated with the Frankfurt School,
Habermas’s work focuses on the foundations of epistemology and social theory, the analysis
of advanced capitalism and democracy, the rule of law in a critical social-evolutionary
context, and contemporary politics, particularly German politics. Habermas’s theoretical system
is devoted to revealing the possibility of reason, emancipation, and rational-critical
communication latent in modern institutions and in the human capacity to deliberate and
pursue rational interests. Habermas is known for his work on the concept of modernity,
particularly with respect to the discussions of rationalization originally set forth by
Max Weber. He has been influenced by American pragmatism, action theory, and even poststructuralism.==Biography==
Habermas was born in Düsseldorf, Rhine Province, in 1929. He was born with a cleft palate and
had corrective surgery twice during childhood. Habermas argues that his speech disability
made him think differently about the importance of deep dependence and of communication.As
a young teenager, he was profoundly affected by World War II. Until his graduation from
gymnasium, Habermas lived in Gummersbach, near Cologne. His father, Ernst Habermas,
was Executive director of the Cologne Chamber of Industry and Commerce, and was described
by Habermas as a Nazi sympathizer. He was brought up in a staunchly Protestant milieu,
his grandfather being the director of the seminary in Gummersbach. He studied at the
universities of Göttingen (1949/50), Zurich (1950/51), and Bonn (1951–54) and earned
a doctorate in philosophy from Bonn in 1954 with a dissertation written on the conflict
between the absolute and history in Schelling’s thought, entitled, Das Absolute und die Geschichte.
Von der Zwiespältigkeit in Schellings Denken (“The Absolute and History: On the Schism
in Schelling’s Thought”). His dissertation committee included Erich Rothacker and Oskar
Becker.From 1956 on, he studied philosophy and sociology under the critical theorists
Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno at the Goethe University Frankfurt’s Institute for Social
Research, but because of a rift between the two over his dissertation—Horkheimer had
made unacceptable demands for revision—as well as his own belief that the Frankfurt
School had become paralyzed with political skepticism and disdain for modern culture—he
finished his habilitation in political science at the University of Marburg under the Marxist
Wolfgang Abendroth. His habilitation work was entitled Strukturwandel der Öffentlichkeit;
Untersuchungen zu einer Kategorie der Bürgerlichen Gesellschaft (published in English translation
in 1989 as The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: An Inquiry into a Category
of Bourgeois Society). It is a detailed social history of the development of the bourgeois
public sphere from its origins in the 18th century salons up to its transformation through
the influence of capital-driven mass media. In 1961 he became a Privatdozent in Marburg,
and—in a move that was highly unusual for the German academic scene of that time—he
was offered the position of “extraordinary professor” (professor without chair) of philosophy
at the University of Heidelberg (at the instigation of Hans-Georg Gadamer and Karl Löwith) in
1962, which he accepted. In this same year he gained his first serious public attention,
in Germany, with the publication of his habilitation. In 1964, strongly supported by Adorno, Habermas
returned to Frankfurt to take over Horkheimer’s chair in philosophy and sociology. The philosopher
Albrecht Wellmer was his assistant in Frankfurt from 1966 to 1970.
He accepted the position of Director of the Max Planck Institute for the Study of the
Scientific-Technical World in Starnberg (near Munich) in 1971, and worked there until 1983,
two years after the publication of his magnum opus, The Theory of Communicative Action.
He was elected a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
in 1984.Habermas then returned to his chair at Frankfurt and the directorship of the Institute
for Social Research. Since retiring from Frankfurt in 1993, Habermas has continued to publish
extensively. In 1986, he received the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft,
which is the highest honour awarded in German research. He also holds the position of “Permanent
Visiting” Professor at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, and “Theodor Heuss
Professor” at The New School, New York. Habermas was awarded The Prince of Asturias
Award in Social Sciences of 2003. Habermas was also the 2004 Kyoto Laureate in the Arts
and Philosophy section. He traveled to San Diego and on 5 March 2005, as part of the
University of San Diego’s Kyoto Symposium, gave a speech entitled The Public Role of
Religion in Secular Context, regarding the evolution of separation of church and state
from neutrality to intense secularism. He received the 2005 Holberg International Memorial
Prize (about €520,000). In 2007, Habermas was listed as the seventh most-cited author
in the humanities (including the social sciences) by The Times Higher Education Guide, ahead
of Max Weber and behind Erving Goffman.Jürgen Habermas is the father of Rebekka Habermas,
historian of German social and cultural history and professor of modern history at the University
of Göttingen.===Teacher and mentor===
Habermas is a famed teacher and mentor. Among his most prominent students were the pragmatic
philosopher Herbert Schnädelbach (theorist of discourse distinction and rationality),
the political sociologist Claus Offe (professor at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin),
the social philosopher Johann Arnason (professor at La Trobe University and chief editor of
the journal Thesis Eleven), the social philosopher Hans-Herbert Kögler (Chair of Philosophy
at University of North Florida), the sociological theorist Hans Joas (professor at the University
of Erfurt and at the University of Chicago), the theorist of societal evolution Klaus Eder,
the social philosopher Axel Honneth (the current director of the Institute for Social Research),
the political theorist David Rasmussen (professor at Boston College and chief editor of the
journal “Philosophy & Social Criticism”), the environmental ethicist Konrad Ott, the
anarcho-capitalist philosopher Hans-Hermann Hoppe (who came to reject much of Habermas’s
thought), the American philosopher Thomas McCarthy, the co-creator of mindful inquiry
in social research Jeremy J. Shapiro, and the assassinated Serbian prime minister Zoran
Đinđić.==Philosophy and sociology==
Habermas has constructed a comprehensive framework of philosophy and social theory drawing on
a number of intellectual traditions: the German philosophical thought of Immanuel
Kant, Friedrich Schelling, G. W. F. Hegel, Wilhelm Dilthey, Edmund Husserl and Hans-Georg
Gadamer the Marxian tradition—both the theory of
Karl Marx himself as well as the critical neo-Marxian theory of the Frankfurt School,
i.e. Max Horkheimer, Theodor Adorno and Herbert Marcuse.
the sociological theories of Max Weber, Émile Durkheim and George Herbert Mead
the linguistic philosophy and speech act theories of Ludwig Wittgenstein, J. L. Austin, P. F.
Strawson, Stephen Toulmin and John Searle the developmental psychology of Jean Piaget
and Lawrence Kohlberg the American pragmatist tradition of Charles
Sanders Peirce and John Dewey the sociological social systems theory of
Talcott Parsons and Niklas Luhmann Neo-Kantian thoughtJürgen Habermas considers
his major contribution to be the development of the concept and theory of communicative
reason or communicative rationality, which distinguishes itself from the rationalist
tradition, by locating rationality in structures of interpersonal linguistic communication
rather than in the structure of the cosmos. This social theory advances the goals of human
emancipation, while maintaining an inclusive universalist moral framework. This framework
rests on the argument called universal pragmatics—that all speech acts have an inherent telos (the
Greek word for “purpose”)—the goal of mutual understanding, and that human beings possess
the communicative competence to bring about such understanding. Habermas built the framework
out of the speech-act philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein, J. L. Austin and John Searle,
the sociological theory of the interactional constitution of mind and self of George Herbert
Mead, the theories of moral development of Jean Piaget and Lawrence Kohlberg, and the
discourse ethics of his Frankfurt colleague and fellow student Karl-Otto Apel.
Habermas’s works resonate within the traditions of Kant and the Enlightenment and of democratic
socialism through his emphasis on the potential for transforming the world and arriving at
a more humane, just, and egalitarian society through the realization of the human potential
for reason, in part through discourse ethics. While Habermas has stated that the Enlightenment
is an “unfinished project,” he argues it should be corrected and complemented, not discarded.
In this he distances himself from the Frankfurt School, criticizing it, as well as much of
postmodernist thought, for excessive pessimism, radicalism, and exaggerations.Within sociology,
Habermas’s major contribution was the development of a comprehensive theory of societal evolution
and modernization focusing on the difference between communicative rationality and rationalization
on one hand and strategic / instrumental rationality and rationalization on the other. This includes
a critique from a communicative standpoint of the differentiation-based theory of social
systems developed by Niklas Luhmann, a student of Talcott Parsons.
His defence of modernity and civil society has been a source of inspiration to others,
and is considered a major philosophical alternative to the varieties of poststructuralism. He
has also offered an influential analysis of late capitalism.
Habermas perceives the rationalization, humanization and democratization of society in terms of
the institutionalization of the potential for rationality that is inherent in the communicative
competence that is unique to the human species. Habermas contends that communicative competence
has developed through the course of evolution, but in contemporary society it is often suppressed
or weakened by the way in which major domains of social life, such as the market, the state,
and organizations, have been given over to or taken over by strategic/instrumental rationality,
so that the logic of the system supplants that of the lifeworld.===Reconstructive science===
Habermas introduces the concept of “reconstructive science” with a double purpose: to place the
“general theory of society” between philosophy and social science and re-establish the rift
between the “great theorization” and the “empirical research”.
The model of “rational reconstructions” represents the main thread of the surveys about the “structures”
of the world of life (“culture”, “society” and “personality”) and their respective “functions”
(cultural reproductions, social integrations and socialization). For this purpose, the
dialectics between “symbolic representation” of “the structures subordinated to all worlds
of life” (“internal relationships”) and the “material
reproduction” of the social systems in their complex (“external relationships” between
social systems and environment) has to be considered.
This model finds an application, above all, in the “theory of the social evolution”, starting
from the reconstruction of the necessary conditions for a phylogeny of the socio-cultural life
forms (the “hominization”) until an analysis of the development of “social formations”,
which Habermas subdivides into primitive, traditional, modern and contemporary formations.
“This paper is an attempt, primarily, to formalize the model of “reconstruction of the logic
of development” of “social formations” summed up by Habermas through the differentiation
between vital world and social systems (and, within them, through the “rationalization
of the world of life” and the “growth in complexity of the social systems”). Secondly, it tries
to offer some methodological clarifications about the “explanation of the dynamics” of
“historical processes” and, in particular, about the “theoretical meaning” of the evolutional
theory’s propositions. Even if the German sociologist considers that the “ex-post rational
reconstructions” and “the models system/environment” cannot have a complete “historiographical
application”, these certainly act as a general premise in the argumentative structure of
the “historical explanation””.===The public sphere===In The Structural Transformation of the Public
Sphere, Habermas argues that prior to the 18th century, European culture had been dominated
by a “representational” culture, where one party sought to “represent” itself on its
audience by overwhelming its subjects. As an example of “representational” culture,
Habermas argued that Louis XIV’s Palace of Versailles was meant to show the greatness
of the French state and its King by overpowering the senses of visitors to the Palace. Habermas
identifies “representational” culture as corresponding to the feudal stage of development according
to Marxist theory, arguing that the coming of the capitalist stage of development marked
the appearance of Öffentlichkeit (the public sphere). In the culture characterized by Öffentlichkeit,
there occurred a public space outside of the control by the state, where individuals exchanged
views and knowledge.In Habermas’s view, the growth in newspapers, journals, reading clubs,
Masonic lodges, and coffeehouses in 18th-century Europe, all in different ways, marked the
gradual replacement of “representational” culture with Öffentlichkeit culture. Habermas
argued that the essential characteristic of the Öffentlichkeit culture was its “critical”
nature. Unlike “representational” culture where only one party was active and the other
passive, the Öffentlichkeit culture was characterized by a dialogue as individuals either met in
conversation, or exchanged views via the print media. Habermas maintains that as Britain
was the most liberal country in Europe, the culture of the public sphere emerged there
first around 1700, and the growth of Öffentlichkeit culture took place over most of the 18th century
in Continental Europe. In his view, the French Revolution was in large part caused by the
collapse of “representational” culture, and its replacement by Öffentlichkeit culture.
Though Habermas’ main concern in The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere was to
expose what he regarded as the deceptive nature of free institutions in the West, his book
had a major effect on the historiography of the French Revolution.According to Habermas,
a variety of factors resulted in the eventual decay of the public sphere, including the
growth of a commercial mass media, which turned the critical public into a passive consumer
public; and the welfare state, which merged the state with society so thoroughly that
the public sphere was squeezed out. It also turned the “public sphere” into a site of
self-interested contestation for the resources of the state rather than a space for the development
of a public-minded rational consensus. His most known work to date, the Theory of
Communicative Action (1981), is based on an adaptation of Talcott Parsons AGIL Paradigm.
In this work, Habermas voiced criticism of the process of modernization, which he saw
as inflexible direction forced through by economic and administrative rationalization.
Habermas outlined how our everyday lives are penetrated by formal systems as parallel to
development of the welfare state, corporate capitalism and mass consumption. These reinforcing
trends rationalize public life. Disfranchisement of citizens occurs as political parties and
interest groups become rationalized and representative democracy replaces participatory one. In consequence,
boundaries between public and private, the individual and society, the system and the
lifeworld are deteriorating. Democratic public life cannot develop where matters of public
importance are not discussed by citizens. An “ideal speech situation” requires participants
to have the same capacities of discourse, social equality and their words are not confused
by ideology or other errors. In this version of the consensus theory of truth Habermas
maintains that truth is what would be agreed upon in an ideal speech situation.
Habermas has expressed optimism about the possibility of the revival of the public sphere.
He discerns a hope for the future where the representative democracy-reliant nation-state
is replaced by a deliberative democracy-reliant political organism based on the equal rights
and obligations of citizens. In such a direct democracy-driven system, the activist public
sphere is needed for debates on matters of public importance and as well as the mechanism
for that discussion to affect the decision-making process.====Criticism====
Several noted academics have provided various criticisms of Habermas’s notions regarding
the public sphere. John B. Thompson, a Professor of Sociology at the University of Cambridge
and a fellow of The College of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Saint John the Evangelist and
the glorious Virgin Saint Radegund, near Cambridge, also known as Jesus College, has claimed that
Habermas’s notion of the public sphere is antiquated due to the proliferation of mass-media
communications.Michael Schudson from the University of California, San Diego argues more generally
that a public sphere as a place of purely rational independent debate never existed.Nancy
Fraser, the Henry A. and Louise Loeb Professor of Political and Social Science and professor
of philosophy at The New School in New York City, is a noted feminist critic of Habermas’
work on the public sphere, arguing for the existence of multiple spheres and counterpublics.==Habermas versus postmodernists==
Habermas offered some early criticisms in an essay, “Modernity versus Postmodernity”
(1981), which has achieved wide recognition. In that essay, Habermas raises the issue of
whether, in light of the failures of the twentieth century, we “should try to hold on to the
intentions of the Enlightenment, feeble as they may be, or should we declare the entire
project of modernity a lost cause?” Habermas refuses to give up on the possibility of a
rational, “scientific” understanding of the life-world.
Habermas has several main criticisms of postmodernism: The postmodernists are equivocal about whether
they are producing serious theory or literature; Habermas feels that the postmodernists are
animated by normative sentiments but the nature of those sentiments remains concealed from
the reader; Habermas accuses postmodernism of a totalizing
perspective that fails “to differentiate phenomena and practices that occur within modern society”;
Habermas asserts that postmodernists ignore that which Habermas finds absolutely central
– namely, everyday life and its practices.==Key dialogues=====Historikerstreit (Historians’ Quarrel)
===Habermas is famous as a public intellectual
as well as a scholar; most notably, in the 1980s he used the popular press to attack
the German historians Ernst Nolte, Michael Stürmer, Klaus Hildebrand and Andreas Hillgruber.
Habermas first expressed his views on the above-mentioned historians in the Die Zeit
on 11 July 1986 in a feuilleton (a type of culture and arts opinion essay in German newspapers)
entitled “A Kind of Settlement of Damages”. Habermas criticized Nolte, Hildebrand, Stürmer
and Hillgruber for “apologistic” history writing in regard to the Nazi era, and for seeking
to “close Germany’s opening to the West” that in Habermas’s view had existed since 1945.Habermas
argued that Ernst Nolte, Michael Stürmer, Klaus Hildebrand and Andreas Hillgruber had
tried to detach Nazi rule and the Holocaust from the mainstream of German history, explain
away Nazism as a reaction to Bolshevism, and partially rehabilitate the reputation of the
Wehrmacht (German Army) during World War II. Habermas wrote that Stürmer was trying to
create a “vicarious religion” in German history which, together with the work of Hillgruber,
glorifying the last days of the German Army on the Eastern Front, was intended to serve
as a “kind of NATO philosophy colored with German nationalism”. About Hillgruber’s statement
that Hitler wanted to exterminate the Jews “because only such a ‘racial revolution’ could
lend permanence to the world-power status of his Reich”, Habermas wrote: “Since Hillgruber
does not use the verb in the subjunctive, one does not know whether the historian has
adopted the perspective of the particulars this time too”.Habermas wrote: “The unconditional
opening of the Federal Republic to the political culture of the West is the greatest intellectual
achievement of our postwar period; my generation should be especially proud of this. This event
cannot and should not be stabilized by a kind of NATO philosophy colored with German nationalism.
The opening of the Federal Republic has been achieved precisely by overcoming the ideology
of Central Europe that our revisionists are trying to warm up for us with their geopolitical
drumbeat about “the old geographically central position of the Germans in Europe” (Stürmer)
and “the reconstruction of the destroyed European Center” (Hillgruber). The only patriotism
that will not estrange us from the West is a constitutional patriotism.”The so-called
Historikerstreit (“Historians’ Quarrel”) was not at all one-sided, because Habermas was
himself attacked by scholars like Joachim Fest, Hagen Schulze, Horst Möller, Imanuel
Geiss and Klaus Hildebrand. In turn, Habermas was supported by historians such as Martin
Broszat, Eberhard Jäckel, Hans Mommsen and Hans-Ulrich Wehler.===Habermas and Derrida===
Habermas and Jacques Derrida engaged in a series of disputes beginning in the 1980s
and culminating in a mutual understanding and friendship in the late 1990s that lasted
until Derrida’s death in 2004. They originally came in contact when Habermas invited Derrida
to speak at The University of Frankfurt in 1984. The next year Habermas published “Beyond
a Temporalized Philosophy of Origins: Derrida” in The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity
in which he described Derrida’s method as being unable to provide a foundation for social
critique. Derrida, citing Habermas as an example, remarked that, “those who have accused me
of reducing philosophy to literature or logic to rhetoric … have visibly and carefully
avoided reading me”. After Derrida’s final rebuttal in 1989 the two philosophers did
not continue, but, as Derrida described it, groups in the academy “conducted a kind of
‘war’, in which we ourselves never took part, either personally or directly”.At the end
of the 1990s, Habermas approached Derrida at a party held at an American university
where both were lecturing. They then met at Paris over dinner, and participated afterwards
in many joint projects. In 2000 they held a joint seminar on problems of philosophy,
right, ethics, and politics at the University of Frankfurt. In December 2000, in Paris,
Habermas gave a lecture entitled “How to answer the ethical question?” at the Judeities. Questions
for Jacques Derrida conference organized by Joseph Cohen and Raphael Zagury-Orly. Following
the lecture by Habermas, both thinkers engaged in a very heated debate on Heidegger and the
possibility of Ethics. The conference volume was published at the Editions Galilée (Paris)
in 2002, and subsequently in English at Fordham University Press (2007).
In the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, Derrida and Habermas laid out their individual
opinions on 9/11 and the War on Terror in Giovanna Borradori’s Philosophy in a Time
of Terror: Dialogues with Jürgen Habermas and Jacques Derrida. In early 2003, both Habermas
and Derrida were very active in opposing the coming Iraq War; in a manifesto that later
became the book Old Europe, New Europe, Core Europe, the two called for a tighter unification
of the states of the European Union in order to create a power capable of opposing American
foreign policy. Derrida wrote a foreword expressing his unqualified subscription to Habermas’s
declaration of February 2003 (“February 15, or, What Binds Europeans Together: Plea for
a Common Foreign Policy, Beginning in Core Europe”) in the book, which was a reaction
to the Bush administration’s demands upon European nations for support in the coming
Iraq War. Habermas has offered further context for this declaration in an interview.===Religious dialogue===
Habermas’ attitudes toward religion have changed throughout the years. Analyst Phillippe Portier
identifies three phases in Habermas’ attitude towards this social sphere: the first, in
the decade of 1980, when the younger Jürgen, in the spirit of Marx, argued against religion
seeing it as an “alienating reality” and “control tool”; the second phase, from the mid-1980s
to the beginning of the 21st Century, when he stopped discussing it and, as a secular
commentator, relegated it to matters of private life; and the third, from then until now,
when Habermas has recognized the positive social role of religion.In an interview in
1999 Habermas had stated: For the normative self-understanding of modernity,
Christianity has functioned as more than just a precursor or catalyst. Universalistic egalitarianism,
from which sprang the ideals of freedom and a collective life in solidarity, the autonomous
conduct of life and emancipation, the individual morality of conscience, human rights and democracy,
is the direct legacy of the Judaic ethic of justice and the Christian ethic of love. This
legacy, substantially unchanged, has been the object of a continual critical reappropriation
and reinterpretation. Up to this very day there is no alternative to it. And in light
of the current challenges of a post-national constellation, we must draw sustenance now,
as in the past, from this substance. Everything else is idle postmodern talk.
The original German (from the Habermas Forum website) of the disputed quotation is, as Christentum ist für das normative Selbstverständnis
der Moderne nicht nur eine Vorläufergestalt oder ein Katalysator gewesen. Der egalitäre
Universalismus, aus dem die Ideen von Freiheit und solidarischem Zusammenleben, von autonomer
Lebensführung und Emanzipation, von individueller Gewissensmoral, Menschenrechten und Demokratie
entsprungen sind, ist unmittelbar ein Erbe der jüdischen Gerechtigkeits- und der christlichen
Liebesethik. In der Substanz unverändert, ist dieses Erbe immer wieder kritisch angeeignet
und neu interpretiert worden. Dazu gibt es bis heute keine Alternative. Auch angesichts
der aktuellen Herausforderungen einer postnationalen Konstellation zehren wir nach wie vor von
dieser Substanz. Alles andere ist postmodernes Gerede. This statement has been misquoted in a number
of articles and books, where Habermas instead is quoted for saying: Christianity, and nothing else, is the ultimate
foundation of liberty, conscience, human rights, and democracy, the benchmarks of Western civilization.
To this day, we have no other options. We continue to nourish ourselves from this source.
Everything else is postmodern chatter. In his book Zwischen Naturalismus und Religion
(Between Naturalism and Religion, 2005), Habermas stated that the forces of religious strength,
as a result of multiculturalism and immigration, are stronger than in previous decades, and,
therefore, there is a need of tolerance which must be understood as a two-way street: secular
people need to tolerate the role of religious people in the public square and vice versa;In
early 2007, Ignatius Press published a dialogue between Habermas and the then Prefect of the
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith of the Holy Office Joseph Ratzinger (elected
as Pope Benedict XVI in 2005), entitled The Dialectics of Secularization. The dialogue
took place on January 14, 2004 after an invitation to both thinkers by the Catholic Academy of
Bavaria in Munich. It addressed contemporary questions such as: Is a public culture of reason and ordered
liberty possible in our post-metaphysical age?
Is philosophy permanently cut adrift from its grounding in being and anthropology?
Does this decline of rationality signal an opportunity or a deep crisis for religion
itself?In this debate a shift of Habermas became evident—in particular, his rethinking
of the public role of religion. Habermas stated that he wrote as a “methodological atheist,”
which means that when doing philosophy or social science, he presumed nothing about
particular religious beliefs. Yet while writing from this perspective his evolving position
towards the role of religion in society led him to some challenging questions, and as
a result conceding some ground in his dialogue with the future Pope, that would seem to have
consequences which further complicated the positions he holds about a communicative rational
solution to the problems of modernity. Habermas believes that even for self-identified liberal
thinkers, “to exclude religious voices from the public square is highly illiberal.”
Though, in the first period of his career, he began as a skeptic of any social usefulness
of religion, he now believes there is a social role and utilitarian moral strength in religion,
and notably, that there is a necessity of Judeochristian ethics in culture.In addition,
Habermas has popularized the concept of “post-secular” society, to refer to current times in which
the idea of modernity is perceived as unsuccessful and at times, morally failed, so that, rather
than a stratification or separation, a new peaceful dialogue and coexistence between
faith and reason must be sought in order to learn mutually.===Socialist dialogue===
Habermas has sided with other 20th century commentators on Marx such as Hannah Arendt
who have indicated concerns with the limits of totalitarian perspectives often associated
with Marx’s apparent over-estimation of the emancipatory potential of the forces of production.
Arendt had presented this in her book The Origins of Totalitarianism and Habermas extends
this critique in his writings on functional reductionism in the life-world in his Lifeworld
and System: A Critique of Functionalist Reason. As Habermas states: … traditional Marxist analysis … today,
when we use the means of the critique of political economy … can no longer make clear predictions:
for that, one would still have to assume the autonomy of a self-reproducing economic system.
I do not believe in such an autonomy. Precisely for this reason, the laws governing the economic
system are no longer identical to the ones Marx analyzed. Of course, this does not mean
that it would be wrong to analyze the mechanism which drives the economic system; but in order
for the orthodox version of such an analysis to be valid, the influence of the political
system would have to be ignored.==Awards==
1974: Hegel Prize. 1976: Sigmund Freud Prize.
1980: Theodor W. Adorno Award. 1985: Geschwister-Scholl-Preis for his work,
Die neue Unübersichtlichkeit. 1986: Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize.
1987: The Sonning Prize awarded biennially for outstanding contributions to European
culture 1995: Karl Jaspers Prize.
1999: Theodor Heuss Prize. 2001: Peace Prize of the German Book Trade.
2003: The Prince of Asturias Foundation in Social Sciences.
2004: Kyoto Prize in Arts and Philosophy (50 million Yen).
2005: Holberg International Memorial Prize of the Norwegian Ludvig Holberg Memorial Fund
(520,000 Euro). 2006: Bruno Kreisky Award
2008: European Prize of Political Culture (Hans Ringier Foundation) at the Locarno Film
Festival (50,000 Euro). 2010: Ulysses Medal, University College Dublin.
2011: Viktor Frankl Award. 2012: Georg-August-Zinn-Prize.
2012: Heinrich Heine Prize. 2012: The Munich Culture Award.
2013: Erasmus Prize. 2015: Kluge Prize==
Major works==The Structural Transformation of the Public
Sphere (1962) ISBN 0-262-58108-6 Theory and Practice (1963)
On the Logic of the Social Sciences (1967) Toward a Rational Society (1967)
Technology and Science as Ideology (1968) Knowledge and Human Interests (1971, German
1968) Legitimation Crisis (1975)
Communication and the Evolution of Society (1976)
On the Pragmatics of Social Interaction (1976) The Theory of Communicative Action (1981)
Moral Consciousness and Communicative Action (1983)
Philosophical-Political Profiles (1983) The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity (1985)
The New Conservatism (1985) The New Obscurity: The Crisis of the Welfare
State (1986) Postmetaphysical Thinking (1988)
Justification and Application (1991) Between Facts and Norms: Contributions to
a Discourse Theory of Law and Democracy (1992) On the Pragmatics of Communication (1992)
The Inclusion of the Other (1996) A Berlin Republic (1997, collection of interviews
with Habermas) The Postnational Constellation (1998)
Rationality and Religion (1998) Truth and Justification (1998)
The Future of Human Nature (2003) ISBN 0-7456-2986-5 Old Europe, New Europe, Core Europe (2005)
ISBN 1-84467-018-X The Divided West (2006)
The Dialectics of Secularization (2007, w/ Joseph Ratzinger)
Between Naturalism and Religion: Philosophical Essays (2008)
Europe. The Faltering Project (2009) The Crisis of the European Union (2012)==See also==
The 2005 Global Intellectuals Poll Constellations
Foucault–Habermas debate Positivism dispute==References====Further reading==
Gregg Daniel Miller, Mimesis and Reason: Habermas’s Political Philosophy. SUNY Press, 2011.A recent
analysis which underscores the aesthetic power of intersubjective communication in Habermas’s
theory of communicative action.Jürgen Habermas: a philosophical—political profile by Marvin
Rintala, Perspectives on Political Science, 2002-01-01
Jürgen Habermas by Martin Matuštík (2001) ISBN 0-7425-0796-3
Postnational identity: critical theory and existential philosophy in Habermas, Kierkegaard,
and Havel by Martin Matuštík (1993) ISBN 0-89862-420-7
Thomas McCarthy, The Critical Theory of Jürgen Habermas, MIT Press, 1978.A highly regarded
interpretation in English of Habermas’s earlier work, written just as Habermas was developing
his full-fledged communication theory.Raymond Geuss, The Idea of a Critical Theory, Cambridge
University Press, 1981.A clear account of Habermas’ early philosophical views.J.G. Finlayson,
Habermas: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford University Press, 2004.A recent, brief introduction
to Habermas, focusing on his communication theory of society.Jane Braaten, Habermas’s
Critical Theory of Society, State University of New York Press, 1991. ISBN 0-7914-0759-4
Andreas Dorschel: ‘Handlungstypen und Kriterien. Zu Habermas’ Theorie des kommunikativen Handelns’,
in: Zeitschrift für philosophische Forschung 44 (1990), nr. 2, pp. 220-252. A critical
discussion of types of action in Habermas. In German.
Erik Oddvar Eriksen and Jarle Weigard, Understanding Habermas: Communicative Action and Deliberative
Democracy, Continuum International Publishing, 2004 (ISBN 082647179X).A recent and comprehensive
introduction to Habermas’ mature theory and its political implications both national
and global.Detlef Horster. Habermas: An Introduction. Pennbridge, 1992 (ISBN 1-880055-01-5)
Martin Jay, Marxism and Totality: The Adventures of a Concept from Lukacs to Habermas (Chapter
9), University of California Press, 1986. (ISBN 0-520-05742-2)
Ernst Piper (ed.) “Historikerstreit”: Die Dokumentation der Kontroverse um die Einzigartigkeit
der nationalsozialistschen Judenvernichtung, Munich: Piper, 1987, translated into English
by James Knowlton and Truett Cates as Forever In The Shadow Of Hitler?: Original Documents
Of the Historikerstreit, The Controversy Concerning The Singularity Of The Holocaust, Atlantic
Highlands, N.J.: Humanities Press, 1993 (ISBN 0391037846) Contains Habermas’s essays from
the Historikerstreit and the reactions of various scholars to his statements.
Edgar, Andrew. The Philosophy of Habermas. Мontreal, McGill-Queen’s UP, 2005.
Adams, Nicholas. Habermas & Theology. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2006.
Mike Sandbothe, Habermas, Pragmatism, and the Media, Online publication: sandbothe.net
2008; German original in: Über Habermas. Gespräche mit Zeitgenossen, ed. by Michael
Funken, Darmstadt: Primus, 2008. Müller-Doohm, Stefan. Jürgen Habermas. Frankfurt,
Suhrkamp, 2008 (Suhrkamp BasisBiographie, 38).
Moderne Religion? Theologische und religionsphilosophische Reaktionen auf Jürgen Habermas. Hrsg. v.
Knut Wenzel und Thomas M. Schmidt. Freiburg, Herder, 2009.
Luca Corchia, Jürgen Habermas. A bibliography: works and studies (1952-2013): With an Introduction
by Stefan Müller-Doohm, Arnus Edizioni – Il Campano, Pisa, 2013.
Corchia, Luca (February 2016). Jürgen Habermas. A Bibliography. 1. Works of Jürgen Habermas
(1952-2015). Department of Political Science, University of Pisa (Italy), 156 pp..
Corchia, Luca (February 2016). Jürgen Habermas. A bibliography. 2. Studies on Jürgen Habermas
(1962-2015). Department of Political Science, University of Pisa (Italy), 468 pp..
Peter Koller, Christian Hiebaum, Jürgen Habermas: Faktizität und Geltung, Walter de Gruyter
2016.==External links==Extensive article in the Internet Encyclopedia
of Philosophy Extensive article in the Stanford Encyclopedia
of Philosophy Towards a United States of Europe, by Jürgen
Habermas, at signandsight.com, published March 27, 2006
How to save the quality press? Habermas argues for state support for quality newspapers,
at signandsight.com, published May 21, 2007 Habermas links collected by Antti Kauppinen
(writings; interviews; bibliography; Habermas explained, discussed, reviewed; and other
Habermas sites; updated 2004) Habermas, the Public Sphere, and Democracy:
A Critical Intervention by Douglas Kellner Jurgen Habermas, On Society and Politics
Juergen Habermas gives Memorial Lecture in honor of American Philosopher, Richard Rorty
on November 2, 2007 5pm Cubberley Auditorium, at Stanford University. Transcript available
here. Habermas Forum by Thomas Gregersen; updated
bibliography, news and literature on Habermas Philosophy in a Time of Terror: Dialogues
with Jürgen Habermas and Jacques Derrida

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