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Studies in Contemporary German Social Thought

The Science Wars, Argumentation Theory, and Habermas

Recent years have seen a series of intense, increasingly acrimonious debates over the status and legitimacy of the natural sciences. These “science wars” take place in the public arena--with current battles over evolution and global warming--and in academia, where assumptions about scientific objectivity have been called into question. Given these hostilities, what makes a scientific claim merit our consideration? In Cogent Science in Context, William Rehg examines what makes scientific arguments cogent--that is, strong and convincing--and how we should assess that cogency.

From Dêmos to Dêmoi

Today democracy is both exalted as the "best means to realize human rights" and seen as weakened because of globalization and delegation of authority beyond the nation-state. In this provocative book, James Bohman argues that democracies face a period of renewal and transformation and that democracy itself needs redefinition according to a new transnational ideal.

Critical Theory between Past and Future

In Critique and Disclosure, Nikolas Kompridis argues provocatively for a richer and more time-responsive critical theory. He calls for a shift in the normative and critical emphasis of critical theory from the narrow concern with rules and procedures of Jürgen Habermas's model to a change-enabling disclosure of possibility and the enlargement of meaning.

Political Equality and the Welfare State

Since the Reagan and Thatcher revolutions of the 1980s, there has been little consensus on what welfare ought to do or how it ought to function. At the same time, post-Wall continental Europe searches for a "third way" between state-planned socialism and laissez-faire capitalism. In Reflexive Democracy, Kevin Olson takes on this contemporary conceptual crisis.

Contemporary critical social theories face the question of how to justify the ideas of the good society that guide their critical analyses. Traditionally, these more or less determinate ideas of the good society were held to be independent of their specific sociocultural context and historical epoch.

From Civic Friendship to a Global Legal Community

In Solidarity, Hauke Brunkhorst brings a powerful combination of theoretical perspectives to bear on the concept of "democratic solidarity," the bond among free and equal citizens. Drawing on the disciplines of history, political philosophy, and political sociology, Brunkhorst traces the historical development of the idea of universal, egalitarian citizenship and analyzes the prospects for democratic solidarity at the international level, within a global community under law.

Philosophy and the Possibility of Critical Rationality

The purely philosophical concerns of Theodor W. Adorno's negative dialectic would seem to be far removed from the concreteness of critical theory; Adorno's philosophy considers perhaps the most traditional subject of "pure" philosophy, the structure of experience, whereas critical theory examines specific aspects of society. But, as Brian O'Connor demonstrates in this highly original interpretation of Adorno's philosophy, the negative dialectic can be seen as the theoretical foundation of the reflexivity or critical rationality required by critical theory.

Jurgen Habermas has developed the theory of communicative action primarily in the context of critical social and political theory and discourse ethics. The essays collected in this volume, however, focus on the theory's implications for epistemology and metaphysics. They address two fundamental issues that have not figured prominently in his work since the early 1970s.

In this book Joseph Heath brings Jürgen Habermas's theory of communicative action into dialogue with the most sophisticated articulation of the instrumental conception of practical rationality-modern rational choice theory. Heath begins with an overview of Habermas's action theory and his critique of decision and game theory. He then offers an alternative to Habermas's use of speech act theory to explain social order and outlines a multidimensional theory of rational action that includes norm-governed action as a specific type.

The linguistic turn in German philosophy was initiated in the eighteenth century in the work of Johann Georg Hamann, Johann Gottfried von Herder, and Wilhelm von Humboldt. It was further developed in this century by Martin Heidegger, and Hans-Georg Gadamer extended its influence to contemporary philosophers such as Karl-Otto Apel and Jürgen Habermas. This tradition focuses on the world-disclosing dimension of language, emphasizing its communicative over its cognitive function.

Essays on Reason, God and Modernity

This important new volume brings together Jürgen Habermas's key writings on religion and religious belief. In these essays, Habermas explores the relations between Christian and Jewish thought, on one hand, and the Western philosophical tradition on the other. He often approaches these issues through critical encounters with the work of others, including Walter Benjamin, Martin Heidegger, Johann Baptist Metz, and Gershom Scholem.

Preliminary Studies in the Theory of Communicative Action

In 1971 Jürgen Habermas delivered the Gauss Lectures at Princeton University. These pivotal lectures, entitled "Reflections on the Linguistic Foundation of Sociology," anticipate The Theory of Communicative Action and offer an excellent introduction to it. They show why Habermas considers the linguistic turn in social philosophy to be necessary and contain the first formulation of formal pragmatics, including an important discussion of truth.

Essays in Honor of Hans-Georg Gadamer

Philosopher Hans-Georg Gadamer has made major contributions to aesthetic theory, Plato and Hegel studies, humanistic studies, and the philosophy of history. A student of Martin Heidegger, Gadamer took up and developed a number of central Heideggerian insights. He also had productive public debates with contemporaries such as Emilio Betti and Jürgen Habermas. The shape of contemporary hermeneutics is due almost entirely to Gadamer's influence, and his magnum opus, Truth and Method, is considered one of the great philosophical works of the twentieth century.

Philosophical Essays

In this collection, Jurgen Habermas engages with a wide range of twentieth-century thinkers. The essays display Habermas's appreciation for various intellectual traditions, his ability to distill the essence of other authors' work, and his outstanding critical powers.

Political Essays

Does a global economy render the traditional nation-state obsolete? Does globalization threaten democratic life, or offer it new forms of expression? What are the implications of globalization for our understanding of politics and of national and cultural identities?

Philosophy, Culture, and Agency

Are Hegel and Nietzsche philosophical opposites? Can twentieth-century Continental philosophers be categorized as either Hegelians or Nietzscheans? In this book Elliot Jurist places Hegel and Nietzsche in conversation with each other, reassessing their relationship in a way that affirms its complexity. Jurist examines Hegel's and Nietzsche's claim that philosophy and culture are linked and explicates the various meanings of "culture" in their work—in particular, the contrast both thinkers draw between ancient and modern culture.

Aesthetic Reflection in Kant and Hegel

The topic of the sublime is making a return to contemporary discourse on aesthetics and cognition. In Sublime Understanding, Kirk Pillow makes sublimity the center of an alternative conception of aesthetic response and interpretation. He draws an aesthetics of sublimity from Kant's Critique of Judgment, bolsters it with help from Hegel, and establishes its place in a broadened conception of human understanding (thus differing from the many scholars who use Hegel to dismiss Kant or vice versa).

The Irreconcilable Nature of Modernity: Essays and Lectures

A common theme of this set of thirteen essays by one of the major figures in contemporary German philosophy is the idea of a postmetaphysical modernity. In his preface Wellmer relates the title of his book, Endgames, to this common theme: The historical utopias of the Marxist tradition and the programs of ultimate justification in the Kantian tradition are both endgames within metaphysics, the deconstruction of those utopias and programs of ultimate justification are endgames played with metaphysics, and the game with an end as ultimate telos is metaphysics.

This anthology brings together for the first time, in revised or new translation, ten essays that present the main concerns of Jürgen Habermas's program in formal pragmatics. Its aim is to convey a sense of the overall purpose of Habermas's linguistic investigations while introducing the reader to their specific details.

Pluralism, Complexity, and Democracy

How can we create a vital and inclusive pluralistic democracy? In Public Deliberation, James Bohman offers answers to this question, showing how democratic theory and democratic practice can be remade to face new challenges. Arguing against the skepticism about democracy that flourishes today on both ends of the political spectrum, Bohman proposes a model of public deliberation that will allow expansions of democratic practice, even in the face of increasing pluralism, inequality, and social complexity.

On Adorno's Aesthetics

Until now, most English-language writing on Adorno has attempted to place him in various contexts and to differentiate him from other thinkers. Such work, while important, masks our failure to imaginatively appropriate Adorno's ideas. In Exact Imagination, Late Work, Shierry Weber Nicholsen begins the process of appropriation through the centrality of the aesthetic dimension.

Aesthetic Negativity in Adorno and Derrida

Recent discussions of aesthetics, whether in the hermeneutic or the analytic tradition, understand the place of art and aesthetic experience according to a model of "autonomy"—as just one among the many modes of experience that make up the realm of reason, situated beside the other "spheres of value." In contrast, Theodor Adorno and Jacques Derrida view art and aesthetic experience as a medium for the dissolution of nonaesthetic reason, an experientially enacted critique of reason.

Critical Hermeneutics after Gadamer and Foucault

Exemplifying a fruitful fusion of French and German approaches to social theory, The Power of Dialogue transforms Habermas's version of critical theory into a new "critical hermeneutics" that builds on both Gadamer's philosophical hermeneutics and Foucault's studies of power and discourse.

Essays in Adorno's Aesthetic Theory

Theodor W. Adorno died in 1969 and his last major work, Ästhetische Theorie, was published a year later. Only recently, however, have his aesthetic writings begun to receive sustained attention in the English-speaking world. This collection of essays is an important contribution to the discussion of Adorno's aesthetics in Anglo-American scholarship.

Studies in Political Theory

edited by Ciaran Cronin and Pablo De Greiff Since its appearance in English translation in 1996, J??rgen Habermas's Between Facts and Norms has become the focus of a productive dialogue between German and Anglo-American legal and political theorists.

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