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date: 20 November 2017

Abstract and Keywords

Axel Honneth’s The Struggle for Recognition develops an empirically anchored theory of social conflict based on Hegel’s theory of recognition. In this book, he argues for an intersubjective view of identity and a moral interpretation of social conflict. According to Honneth, social struggles may be normatively evaluated by the extent to which they provide the preconditions for self-realization in the form of three distinct types of recognition: love, respect, and social esteem. Honneth’s normative ideal aims to occupy a middle ground between overly abstract Kantian theories and potentially parochial communitarian theories. Although the book has been subject to a variety of criticisms, it provides the most systematic and ambitious social theory of recognition available today.

Keywords: Axel Honneth, Hegel, recognition, identity, critical theory, social theory

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