The Fragmented World of the Social

Essays in Social and Political Philosophy

By Axel Honneth
Edited by Charles W. Wright

Subjects: Philosophy
Series: SUNY series in Social and Political Thought
Paperback : 9780791423004, 369 pages, August 1995
Hardcover : 9780791422991, 369 pages, February 1995

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Table of contents


Author's Introduction

I. The Tradition of Critical Theory

1. Domination and Moral Struggle: The Philosophical Heritage of Marxism Reviewed

2. Work and Instrumental Action: On the Normative Basis of Critical Theory

3. A Fragmented World: On the Implicit Relevance of Lukács' Early Work

4. Critical Theory

5. From Adorno to Habermas: On the Transformation of Critical Social Theory

6. Foucault and Adorno: Two Forms of the Critique of Modernity

II. Inquiries in the French Tradition of Social Theory

7. A Structuralist Rousseau: On the Anthropology of Claude Lévi-Strauss

8. Embodied Reason: On the Rediscovery of Merleau-Ponty

9. The Struggle for Recognition: On Sartre's Theory of Intersubjectivity

10. Rescuing the Revolution with an Ontology: On Cornelius Castoriadis' Theory of Society

11. The Fragmented World of Symbolic Forms: Reflections on Pierre Bourdieu's Sociology of Culture

III. Inquiries in Contemporary Moral Theory and Social Philosophy

12. Moral Consciousness and Class Domination: Some Problems in the Analysis of Hidden Morality

13. Pluralization and Recognition: On the Self-Misunderstanding of Postmodern Social Theories

14. The Limits of Liberalism: On the Political-Ethical Discussion Concerning Communitarianism

15. Integrity and Disrespect: Principles of a Conception of Morality Based on a Theory of Recognition

16. Decentered Autonomy: The Subject after the Fall

Notes and References



The essays in this book weave together insights and arguments from such diverse traditions as German critical theory, French philosophy and social theory, and recent Anglo-American moral and political theory, offering a unique approach to the political and theoretical consequences of the modernism/postmodernism discussion. Through an analysis of central themes in classical Marxism and early critical theory, the author shows how recent work in a variety of traditions converges on the need to question familiar distinctions between material production and culture, the public and the private, and the political and the social, and to reconsider the conceptions of agency and power that have informed them.

Axel Honneth is Professor of Political Philosophy at the Free University of Berlin and is a leading figure in the Frankfurt School tradition of critical theory. He is the author of a number of books, including The Critique of Power, The Struggle for Recognition, and (with Hans Joas) Social Action and Human Nature.


"Honneth is a representative of the younger generation of critical theorists. Each of his essays is well crafted, informative, and provocative. This book will be of interest to anyone concerned with contemporary social and political philosophy—especially continental developments." — Richard J. Bernstein, New School for Social Research