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Pathologies of Reason


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Table of Contents

Preface 1. The Irreducibility of Progress: Kant's Account of the Relationship Between Morality and History 2. A Social Pathology of Reason: On the Intellectual Legacy of Critical Theory 3. Reconstructive Social Criticism with a Genealogical Proviso: On the Idea of "Critique" in the Frankfurt School 4. A Physiognomy of the Capitalist Form of Life: A Sketch of Adorno's Social Theory 5. Performing Justice: Adorno's Introduction to Negative Dialectics 6. Saving the Sacred with a Philosophy of History: On Benjamin's "Critique of Violence" 7. Appropriating Freedom: Freud's Conception of Individual Self-Relation 8. "Anxiety and Politics": The Strengths and Weaknesses of Franz Neumann's Diagnosis of a Social Pathology 9. Democracy and Inner Freedom: Alexander Mitscherlich's Contribution to Critical Social Theory 10. Dissonances of Communicative Reason: Albrecht Wellmer and Critical Theory Appendix: Idiosyncrasy as a Tool of Knowledge: Social Criticism in the Age of the Normalized Intellectual Notes Bibliography

Promotional Information

This volume is a significant contribution to the debates over the history of the Frankfurt School and the contemporary relevance of critical social theory. Axel Honneth's work provides a subtle reading of history that is less concerned with putting its products in their place--though he does do that in an exemplary fashion--than in highlighting what is living and vibrant in those products for contemporary thought. -- Christopher F. Zurn, University of Kentucky These essays reflect a deep familiarity with each individual author while also serving to advance the particular approach characterizing Axel Honneth's work: a focus on the theme of suffering and moral struggle as the point of departure for a more ambitious, 'reconstructive' form of social criticism. As such, this volume makes a very significant contribution to the continuing relevance of the critical theory of the Frankfurt School for contemporary forms of social criticism. -- Kenneth Baynes, Syracuse University

About the Author

Axel Honneth is professor of philosophy at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University of Frankfurt and director of the Institute for Social Research. He is the author of The Struggle for Recognition: The Moral Grammar of Social Conflicts , Philosophical Interventions in the Unfinished Project of Enlightenment , The Critique of Power: Reflective Stages in a Critical Social Theory , and Communicative Action: Essays on Jurgen Habermas's "The Theory of Communicative Action." James Ingram is an assistant professor of political science at McMaster University. He has translated works by Reinhart Koselleck, Christoph Menke, Hauke Brunkhorst, Jacques Derrida, and Etienne Balibar, among others.


"John Holt's book is an impressive work of scholarship." Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society "This is a scholarly but eminently readable and accessible study of the multilayered resonance of Sri Lankan culture... Highly Recommended." Choice I highly recommend it to all those interested in social justice. It offers a sophisticated, exceptionally well-crafted answer to a highly pertinent question: what social scientific criteria are there for making normative judgements about why and how Western civilization should change? -- Ronjon Paul Datta Studies in Social Justice

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