Table of Contents Acknowledgements Preface Prologue: The Other among his Peers Part I: Catastrophe and Emancipation Chapter 1: Disaster Years as Normality. Childhood and Youth in Gummersbach Born in 1929 Turning point: 1945 Chapter 2: At University in Goettingen, Zurich and Bonn Doctorate on the philosophy of Schelling Speaking out as a freelance journalist The beginnings of a career as a public intellectual Part II: Politics and Critique Chapter 3: Education intellectuelle in Cafe Marx Mutual trust between Habermas and the Adornos Horkheimer's animosities towards the `dialectical Mr H.' The `most promising intellectual' Chapter 4: Under the Aegis of Conflicting Personalities: Abendroth and Gadamer A man of the democratic left Positions in the dispute over the right form of critique and good politics Chapter 5: Back in Frankfurt. Torn between Academic Work and Political Practice In search of an epistemological foundation for critique Thinking with the protest movement against the protest movement In the line of fire from his own side A new track in philosophical thought Chapter 6: In the Ivory Tower of Social Scientific Research Between Academic Management and Research A theory about the impossibility of not learning The minefield of political interpretations in the `German Autumn' Resignation Part III: Science and Commitment Chapter 7: Genius Loci: In Frankfurt for the Third Time The major work The theory of action System and lifeworld Everyday life in Frankfurt Chapter 8: New Projects Under the spell of the philosophy of law Morality and law Chapter 9: Battles over the Politics of Ideas Opinion leader of the new left? The historians' debate Habermas as a sceptic towards reunification Chapter 10: Against Germanomania and Nationalism Habermas's ambiguous attitude towards military interventions The Asylum Debate A memorial to the murdered Jews Part IV: Cosmopolitan Society and Justice Chapter 11: Critique as a Vocation. The Transition into the Third Millennium A plea for freedom of the will and the inviolability of the person The philosopher as globetrotter Many honours and an affair Chapter 12: The Taming of Capitalism and the Democratization of Europe Democratic politics D a counterbalance to capitalism? European integration On the way to a democratically constituted world order Chapter 13: Philosophy in the Age of Postmetaphysical Modernity What can I know? - Linguistic pragmatics as a form of naturalism and realism What should I do? From the demand of virtue to the assumption of rationality What may I hope? Religion in a post-secular society What is Man? Language and Intersubjectivity Chapter 14: Books at an Exhibition Consciousness-Raising and Rescuing Critique Epilogue: The Inner Compass Notes Appendix Genealogy Chronology List of Habermas's lectures and seminars Bibliography List of archives Illustration credits Index
Stefan Muller-Doohm, born in 1942, studied in Frankfurt under Theodor W. Adorno and Max Horkheimer and is now Professor Emeritus of Sociology and Director of the Research Centre for the Sociology of Intellectuals at the University of Oldenburg. His other works include Adorno: A Biography.
"This [book] makes for fascinating reading" The Guardian "Habermas is a biography of an accomplished living intellectual whose audience is extended much beyond the academic world. Stefan Muller-Doohm is a perfect storyteller and he tells the story of Habermas in such a way that you will not be able to put it down before you finish it. Nobody knows the art of biography better than Muller-Doohm." The Washington Book Review "Few would contest the verdict that Habermas has achieved in both his philosophical work and in his role as a public intellectual a place of enduring significance that surpasses that of any other thinker in our time. The definitive new biography by Stefan Muller-Doohm lays out the evidence for this conclusion with great care and enormous sympathy for its protagonist." The Nation "Heidegger s lapidary biographical summation, The man was born, he worked, and then died, may have been appropriate for Aristotle, but is woefully inadequate for the philosopher who is arguably our era s version of the great Greek polymath, Jurgen Habermas. For not only is he still very much alive and producing new work at a vigorous pace, but it is also the case that his voluminous contributions to philosophy, sociology, political theory, and cultural criticism demand to be read in the context of his remarkable career as a committed public intellectual. As his masterful biography of Adorno already demonstrated, Stefan Muller-Doohm shows himself to be fully up to the task of discerning figures in the intricately woven carpet of a major thinker s life and work." Martin Jay, University of California Berkeley