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Studies in Contemporary German Social Thought

Contributions to a Discourse Theory of Law and Democracy

In Between Facts and Norms, Jürgen Habermas works out the legal and political implications of his Theory of Communicative Action (1981), bringing to fruition the project announced with his publication of The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere in 1962. This new work is a major contribution to recent debates on the rule of law and the possibilities of democracy in postindustrial societies, but it is much more.

A Contemporary Re-Examination of His Thought

Twenty Years Later
Edited by Larry May and Jerome Kohn

Hannah Arendt (1906-1975) was one of the most important political philosophers of our century. Now, twenty years after her death, this collection of fifteen essays brings her work into dialogue with those philosophical views that are at center stage today—in critical theory, communitarianism, virtue theory, and feminism. An extensive bibliography of work on Arendt in English is included as an appendix.

THE ESSAYS

- Hannah Arendt as a Conservative Thinker - Margaret Canovan

Essays on Kant's Cosmopolitan Ideal

In 1795 Immanuel Kant published an essay entitled "Toward Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Sketch." The immediate occasion for the essay was the March 1795 signing of the Treaty of Basel by Prussia and revolutionary France, which Kant condemned as only "the suspension of hostilities, not a peace." In the essay, Kant argues that it is humankind's immediate duty to solve the problem of violence and enter into the cosmopolitan ideal of a universal community of all peoples governed by the rule of law.

Critical Essays on The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity

This collection of ten essays offers the first systematic assessment of Jürgen Habermas's Philosophical Discourse of Modernity, a book that defended the rational potential of the modern age against the depiction of modernity as a spent epoch. The essays (of which four are newly commissioned, five were published in the journal Praxis International, and one—by Habermas—first appeared in translation in New Critique) are divided into two sections: Critical Rejoinders and Thematic Reformulations.

The Frankfurt School and the Rule of Law

Winner, 1996 Elaine and David Spitz Book Prize for the best book on liberal and democratic theory, Conference for the Study of Political Thought. Winner, 1994 First Book Prize, Foundations of Political Thought Organized Section, American Political Science Association.

A Study of Habermas's Pragmatics

Readers of Jürgen Habermas's Theory of Communicative Action and his later social theory know that the idea of communicative rationality is central to his version of critical theory. Language and Reason opens up new territory for social theorists by providing the first general introduction to Habermas's program of formal pragmatics: his reconstruction of the universal principles of possible understanding that, he argues, are already operative in everyday communicative practices.

The East European and East German Experience

Claus Offe has spent most of his career analyzing the inner workings (and nonworkings) of Western democracies. After the upheavals of the late 1980s, however, his attention was drawn increasingly to the East, and particularly to the transformations occurring in the former German Democratic Republic.

A Study in Psychoanalysis and Critical Theory

In this sweeping challenge to the postmodern critiques of psychoanalysis, Joel Whitebook argues for a reintegration of Freud's uncompromising investigation of the unconscious with the political and philosophical insights of critical theory. Perversion and Utopia follows in the tradition of Herbert Marcuse's Eros and Civilization and Paul Ricoeur's Freud and Philosophy.

Paradigm of a Metaphor for Existence

This elegant essay exemplifies Blumenberg's ideas about the ability of the historical study of metaphor to illuminate essential aspects of being human. Originally published in the same year as his monumental Work on Myth, Shipwreck with Spectator traces the evolution of the complex of metaphors related to the sea, to shipwreck, and to the role of the spectator in human culture from ancient Greece to modern times.The sea is one of humanity's oldest metaphors for life, and a sea journey, Blumenberg observes, has often stood for our journey through life.

The Moral Grammar of Social Conflicts

In this pathbreaking study, Axel Honneth argues that "the struggle for recognition" is, and should be, at the center of social conflicts. Moving smoothly between moral philosophy and social theory, Honneth offers insights into such issues as the social forms of recognition and nonrecognition, the moral basis of interaction in human conflicts, the relation between the recognition model and conceptions of modernity, the normative basis of social theory, and the possibility of mediating between Hegel and Kant.

East, West

Clause Offe, one of the most insightful contemporary theorists of society and politics, has contributed greatly to our understanding of social policy and the odyssey of advanced capitalism in the late twentieth century. Modernity and the State, a dozen essays written over the last decade, develops his earlier lines of interest and extends them to the new societies emerging in Central-Eastern Europe.

Selected Early Writings

Max Horkheimer is well known as the director of the Frankfurt Institute for Social Research and as a sometime collaborator with Theodor Adorno, especially on their classic Dialectic of Enlightenment. These essays receal another side of Horkheimer, focusing on his remarkable contributions to critical theory in the 1930s.

The Principle of Hope is one of the great works of the human spirit. It is a critical history of the utopian vision and a profound exploration of the possible reality of utopia. Even as the world has rejected the doctrine on which Bloch sought to base his utopia, his work still challenges us to think more insightfully about our own visions of a better world.

The Principle of Hope is one of the great works of the human spirit. It is a critical history of the utopian vision and a profound exploration of the possible reality of utopia. Even as the world has rejected the doctrine on which Bloch sought to base his utopia, his work still challenges us to think more insightfully about our own visions of a better world.

The Principle of Hope is one of the great works of the human spirit. It is a critical history of the utopian vision and a profound exploration of the possible reality of utopia. Even as the world has rejected the doctrine on which Bloch sought to base his utopia, his work still challenges us to think more insightfully about our own visions of a better world.

Its History, Theories, and Political Significance

This is the definitive study of the history and accomplishments of the Frankfurt School. It offers elegantly written portraits of the major figures in the school's history as well as overviews of the various positions and directions they developed from the founding years just after World War I until the death of Theodor Adorno in 1969.

Three Studies

This short masterwork in twentieth-century philosophy provides both a major reinterpretation of Hegel and insight into the evolution of Adorno's critical theory. The first study focuses on the relationship of reason, the individual, and society in Hegel, defending him against the criticism that he was merely an apologist for bourgeois society. The second examines the experiential content of Hegel's idealism, considering the notion of experience in relation to immediacy, empirical reality, science, and society.

Remarks on Discourse Ethics

This collection of four essays and an interview contains Habermas's most recent contributions to ethical theory. It expands and clarifies the work on discourse ethics presented in Moral Consciousness and Communicative Action.

Georgia Warnke began her career by studying the work of Hans-Georg Gadamer, the foremost contemporary proponent of hermeneutics, a philosophical approach that centers on interpretation as dialogue across times and cultures. In this book, she traces the myriad ways in which interpretive perspectives have come to prominence in modem political philosophy.

Recasting the Foucault/Habermas Debate
Edited by Michael Kelly

Which paradigm of critique—Foucault's or Habermas's—is philosophically and practically superior, especially with regard to the nature and role of power in contemporary society? In shaping this collection, Michael Kelly has sought to address this question in relation to the ethical, political, and social theory of the past two decades.

In this first serious work on the theory of civil society to appear in many years, Jean Cohen and Andrew Arato contend that the concept of civil society articulates a contested terrain in the West that could become the primary locus for the expansion of democracy and rights.

Philosophical Essays

This collection of Habermas's recent essays on philosophical topics continues the analysis begun in The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity. In a short introductory essay, he outlines the sources of twentieth-century philosophizing, its major themes, and the range of current debates. The remainder of the essays can be seen as his contribution to these debates.

Reflective Stages in a Critical Social Theory

Axel Honneth's Critique of Power is a rich interpretation of the history of critical theory, which clarifies its central problems and emphasizes the "social" factors that should provide that theory with a normative and practical orientation.

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