Monday, December 28, 2015

Globalization, Religion, and the Secular (video)

A video of the roundtable conversation between Jürgen Habermas, Charles Taylor and José Casanova on ”Globalization, Religion, and the Secular” at The Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs, Georgetown University, September 30, 2015:

Globalization, Religion, and the Secular (1 hour & 30 minutes)

See also Habermas's lecture at the Library of Congress, Washington DC, September 29, 2015.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

New Book: "The Original Position"

The Original Position 

Ed. by Timothy Hinton 

Cambridge University Press (2015)

292 pages


At the centre of John Rawls's political philosophy is one of the most influential thought experiments of the twentieth century: which principles of justice would a group of individuals choose to regulate their society if they were deprived of any information about themselves that might bias their choice? In this collection of new essays, leading political philosophers examine the ramifications and continued relevance of Rawls's idea. Their chapters explore topics including the place of the original position in rational choice theory, the similarities between Rawls's original position and Kant's categorical imperative, the differences between Rawls's model and Scanlon's contractualism, and the role of the original position in the argument between Rawls and other views in political philosophy, including utilitarianism, feminism, and radicalism. This accessible volume will be a valuable resource for undergraduates, as well as advanced students and scholars of philosophy, game theory, economics, and the social and political sciences.

Contents [pdf] [preview]

Introduction [pdf] - Timothy Hinton

1.   Justice as Fairness, Utilitarianism, and Mixed Conceptions [pdf] - David O. Brink
2.   Rational Choice and the Original Position [pdf] - Gerald Gaus & John Thrasher
3.   The Strains of Commitment - Jeremy Waldron
4.   Our Talents, our Histories, Ourselves - John Christman
5.   Rawls and Dworkin on Hypothetical Reasoning - Matthew Clayton
6.   Feminist Receptions of the Original Position [abstract] - Amy R. Baehr
7.   G. A. Cohen's Critique of the Original Position - David Estlund
8.   Liberals, Radicals, and the Original Position - Timothy Hinton
9.   The Original Position and Scanlon's Contractualism - Joshua Cohen
10. The "Kantian Roots" of the Original Position - Andrews Reath
11. Stability and the Original Position from Theory to Political Liberalism - Paul Weithman
12. The Original Position in The Law of Peoples - Gillian Brock

Timothy Hinton is Professor of Philosophy at North Carolina State University, Raleigh. 

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Peter Niesen on Discourse Ethics

Professor Peter Niesen (University of Hamburg) has uploaded a new paper on Habermas's discourse ethics:

"Discourse Ethics"

(Forthcoming in Cambridge History of Moral Philosophy ed. by Jens Timmermann & Sacha Golob (Cambridge University Press).

From the introduction:

Discourse ethics in both its generic and specific sense is perhaps best understood by focusing on its most influential formulation, that of Jürgen Habermas, in its revised version in and after Between Facts and Norms. In this work, Habermas continues and transforms the early modern program of “moral philosophy”, leading up to Kant's Metaphysics of Morals and comprising politics, natural law, morality and personal virtue. Habermas's discourse theory attempts to formulate a general account of various complementary normative orders, based on a single discourse principle (D). Practical normativity then is specified along two dimensions, along the lines of the types of reasoning employed (pragmatic, ethical, moral) and along the lines of the practical and institutional contexts in which these processes of reasoning take place (informal, legal, political). Discourse ethics in its core sense is then assigned the study of the moral use of reason in informal, non-coercive contexts of interaction. In what follows, I first delineate how the idea of a discourse theory is introduced in Habermas's Theory of Communicative Action (1). Then turn to the distinction between moral and ethical discourses (2) before commenting on the discourse principle (D) as neutral between various types of normativity (3). I finally turn to its instantiation in a theory of morality, i.e. as a discourse “ethics” in the narrow sense (4).

Sunday, December 06, 2015

Jonathan White on Habermas's "The Lure of Technocracy"

In "Boston Review" (December 1, 2015), Jonathan White reviews Jürgen Habermas's "The Lure of Technocracy" (Polity Press, 2014): 

The Riptide of Technocracy. Can there be a democratic EU?


"For Habermas, a straight choice between democracy and the EU must be refused. The losses incurred by renationalization—including losses to democracy itself—would simply be too great. “The national scope for action that has already been lost and is still shrinking can be made good only at the supranational level.” Only re-regulation “within an economic region of at least the size and importance of the Eurozone” can be effective in bringing market forces to heel. A more democratic order must proceed via, not in repudiation of, the interdependent condition in which Europe finds itself." (.....)

"Habermas consistently emphasizes national institutions as the legitimizing pillar of transnational politics. Repeatedly we are told that nation-state democracy is an achievement that, even if insufficient to the demands of the global economy, must not be sacrificed in the building of a transnational order. Popular hostility for the EU is cast as rightful recognition of this fact: “the fear of a superstate mainly betrays the desire to hold on to the democratic substance guaranteed by one’s own nation-state.” A significant passage in the book is devoted to a constitutional thought-experiment intended to clarify the proper balance between national and supranational sources of authority. With the concept of a “double sovereign,” he evokes a compound image of the EU in which the national and the supranational are mutually supporting. (......)"

"For Habermas and the wider Frankfurt School, political philosophy is not about imagining a better world from first principles: it must always proceed from the ideas and practices of the existing order. Rather than reflect on abstract ideals, it must look for the logic that is already present, however imperfectly, in existing institutions and explore how they may be reformed to better express it. It is a deliberately non-utopian approach and reflects a conscious rejection of grand theorizing. Indeed, for all the skepticism of Streeck and others, it may signal too great a concession to realism."

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Workshop in Berlin on "Global Constitutionalism"

The relationship between "Global Constitutionalism” and Critical Theory is the subject of an international workshop organized by Mattias Kumm, Rainer Forst and Seyla Benhabib on December 11 in Berlin. 

Has the globalization of public law, that claims to be guided by basic commitments to human rights, democracy andthe rule of law, helped to realize the emancipatory potential of the constitutionalist tradition? Or has constitutionalist rhetoric merely legitimated new or helped to cover up old forms of repression? Furthermore, what role is there for legal scholarship that is critically guided by basic constitutionalist principles? As a practice that draws on the internal reflexivity of the law, to what extent might global constitutionalism serve as a framework for a critical theory of law?

Program [pdf]:

"Legitimacy, Democracy and Justice: On the Reflexivity of Normative Orders” [draft]
by Rainer Forst (Goethe University, Frankfurt)
Commentators: Seyla Benhabib (Yale), Mattias Kumm (Berlin/New York)

"New Border and Citizenship Constellations: Implications for Law and Justice”
by Ayelet Shachar (Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Göttingen)
Commentators: Christoph Möllers (Berlin), Peter Niesen (Hamburg)

"Democracy Under Siege – Global Constitutionalization as Structural Transformation of the Public 
Sphere: the European Case"
by Hauke Brunkhorst (University of Flensburg)
Commentators: Cristina Lafont (Evanston), Antje Wiener (Hamburg)

"On Political and Pathological Self-Determination"
by Alexander Somek (University of Vienna)
Commentators: Richard Bellamy (Florence), Christopher McCrudden (Belfast/Michigan)


A report from the workshop:
Maximilian Steinbeis & Robert Poll: Krise, Kritik und Globaler Konstitutionalismus, VerfBlog, 2015/12/18.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Habermas on the terrorist attacks in Paris

A short interview with Jürgen Habermas in "Le Monde" (November 22, 2015):

"Le djihadisme, une forme moderne de réaction au déracinement"

An English translation:

"The Paris Attack And Its Aftermath"
(Social Europe, November 26, 2015)


I’m confident that the French nation will set an example as it did after the attack on Charlie Hebdo. There’s no need here for repulsing a fictive danger such as the looming “subjection” to an alien culture. The danger is much more concrete. Civil society must beware of sacrificing individual liberty, tolerance towards the diversity of life-styles and readiness to take on the perspective of the other – all these democratic virtues of an open society – on the altar of an imaginary stage of security that we cannot reach anyway. 
Given the fortified Front National that’s easier said than done. But there are good reasons over and above exhortations. The most important is staring us in the face: prejudice, mistrust and seclusion of Islam, fear of it and a preventive fight against it, are also down to sheer projection. For jihadi fundamentalism expresses itself in religious codes but it is no religion. Under other circumstances it could use any other religious language, indeed any other ideology to hand, that promises redemptive justice. The world’s great religions have roots going back a long way. On the other hand, jihadism is a thoroughly modern form of reaction to uprooted ways of life. Of course, a prophylactic pointer to the background of failed social integration or faltering social modernisation does not absolve the perpetrators of their personal guilt.

A summary in German (dpa):

Der Frankfurter Philosoph Jürgen Habermas warnt davor, dass durch schärfe Sicherheitsmaßnahmen nach den Terroranschlägen in Paris Werte verloren gingen. "Die Zivilgesellschaft muss sich davor hüten, alle demokratischen Tugenden einer offenen Gesellschaft auf dem Altar der Sicherheit zu opfern", sagte er in einem am Sonntag veröffentlichten Interview der Tageszeitung "Le Monde". Dazu gehörten auch die Toleranz gegenüber anderen Lebensweisen und die Bereitschaft, die Perspektive des Anderen einzunehmen.
Mit Blick auf eine verbreitete Islamfeindlichkeit mahnte Habermas, der dschihadistische, also der auf einen Heiligen Krieg bezogene Fundamentalismus der Terroristen des Islamischen Staats (IS), benutze zwar eine religiöse Sprache, sei aber selbst keine Religion. Während die großen monotheistischen Religionen vor vielen Jahrhunderten entstanden seien, sei der Dschihadismus eine sehr viel jüngere Erscheinung. Der Frankfurter Philosoph und Soziologe sieht darin "eine absolut moderne Form der Reaktion auf Lebensbedingungen, die von Entwurzelung geprägt sind".
Für die barbarischen Taten der Terroristen gebe es keine Entschuldigung, sagte Habermas. Es müsse nun aber auch nach dem "Versagen der Integration in den sozialen Brandherden unserer Großstädte" gefragt werden.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Robert Brandom on Habermas and Hegel

Robert Brandom has uploaded a new paper at

"Towards Reconciling Two Heroes: Habermas and Hegel"
(Published in "Argumenta: The Journal of the Italian Society for Analytic Philosophy", 2015)


"I describe my engagement with Habermas’s ideas, and sketch way of reading of
Hegel that I take to be consonant with the deepest lessons I have learned from
Habermas. I read Hegel as having a social, linguistic theory of normativity, and
an exclusively retrospective conception of progress and the sense in which history
exhibits teleological normativity."

Sunday, November 01, 2015

Habermas - In Memory of Ulrich Beck

A short article by Jürgen Habermas on the German sociologist Ulrich Beck (1944-2015)

"Wer fehlt. Im Gedenken an Ulrich Beck"
("Süddeutsche Zeitung", October 29, 2015)


"Heute fehlt er. Mehr als zwei Jahrzehnte lang hatte er mit theoretisch ausgreifenden Untersuchungen, mit Zeitungsartikeln und Büchern, mit schriller werdenden Appellen eine Erweiterung jenes Denkhorizontes, der immer noch in nationalen Erfahrungsräumen verwurzelt ist, eingefordert und eingeübt. In der rührenden Ohnmacht von Politikern und Bürgern, die vergeblich nach Zäunen und Transitlagern, nach einer flotten Schließung der Grenzen rufen, spiegelt sich nostalgische Sehnsucht. Der souveräne, seine Grenzen kontrollierende und übersichtliche Verhältnisse garantierende Staat ist obsolet geworden - erst recht in Europa.

Wir sind heute mit einer neuen Sorte von "Ausweglosigkeiten" konfrontiert. Darüber schrieb Ulrich Beck schon 1988, zwei Jahre nach dem gelungenen Wurf der "Risikogesellschaft". Natürlich muss die Politik schnell und pragmatisch handeln, aber Auswege werden sich in Europa nur auf dem Wege eines polarisierenden Umdenkens öffnen. Diesen Weg hat Ulrich Beck schon mit den Titeln seiner Bücher, den Stichworten seiner Interventionen hartnäckig abgesteckt; immer waren es "Nachrichten aus der Weltinnenpolitik": "Die Opposition zwischen einem ,Wir', das hier lebt, und ,den anderen', die dort leben, die geografische, kulturelle, gesellschaftliche und politische Trennung zwischen dem ,Eigenen' und dem ,Fremden' zerbricht de facto." Was andere Akteure längst lernen mussten - beispielsweise "Migranten, Konzerne, religiöse Gemeinschaften, Menschenrechtsbewegungen, Wissenschaftler, Arbeiter, Lehrer, aber auch Kriminelle und nicht zu vergessen Neonationalisten und Al-Qaida-Terroristen" - das müssen nun Politiker und Bürger nachholen: Sie müssen "ihren Wahrnehmungs- und Aktionshorizont erweitern, aktiv vergleichen, fremde Perspektiven einnehmen und für die eigenen Zwecke koordinieren." So gestand die Kanzlerin in einem Fernsehgespräch, ihre Regierung habe nicht rechtzeitig bedacht, dass uns die Folgen des Bürgerkrieges im fernen Syrien hautnah betreffen könnten."

See also 

- Anthony Giddens's tribute to Ulrich Beck 

-  Links to obituaries on Ulrich Beck.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Blair’s failure to legitimize the Iraq War

James Strong, London School of Economics and Political Science, has uploaded an interesting paper:

"Understanding Tony Blair’s failure to legitimize the Iraq War: A deliberative approach" [pdf]

The paper was presented at a conference on "Failure and Denial in World Politics", London, October 17-18, 2015.


Tony Blair often gets the blame for the legitimacy deficit surrounding Britain’s war in Iraq. This article uses a conceptual framework derived from the social theory of Jürgen Habermas to gauge how far Blair deserves the criticism he gets. It considers how truth fully he made his case for war, how open he was to the widest possible public debate and whether he showed flexibility in the face of opposition. It follows Blair in treating legitimacy as an intersubjective sociological phenomenon rather than an abstract normative principle, but uses Habermasian thought to bridge the gap between the two. It finds Blair centrally culpable for the failure of his legitimization efforts. He tried too hard to be persuasive, and as a result presented his case for war in the wrong way. The way he tried to legitimize his war ensured it was illegitimate. It also made his arguments less persuasive in turn. This article both demonstrates exactly how and why Blair failed, and shows the value of a Habermasian approach. 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

New book: Critical Theory From a Cosmopolitan Point of View


Critical Theory From a Cosmopolitan Point of View

by Brian Milstein

(Rowman & Littlefield)

328 pages


Since the end of the Cold War, there has been a wealth of discussion and controversy about the idea of a ‘postnational’ or ‘cosmopolitan’ politics. But while there are many normative theories of cosmopolitanism, as well as some cosmopolitan theories of globalization, there has been little attempt to grapple systematically with fundamental questions of structure and action from a ‘cosmopolitan point of view.’ Drawing on Kant‘s cosmopolitan writings and Habermas‘s critical theory of society, Brian Milstein argues that, before we are members of nations or states, we are participants in a ‘commercium’ of global interaction who are able to negotiate for ourselves the terms on which we share the earth in common with one another. He marshals a broad range of literature from philosophy, sociology, and political science to show how the modern system of sovereign nation-states destructively constrains and distorts these relations of global interaction, leading to pathologies and crises in present-day world society


Preface - Nancy Fraser

Introduction: Idea for a Critical Theory Conceived with a Cosmopolitan Intention

Part I: Habermas’s Critical Theory of Society
1. The Theory of Communicative Action
2. The Postnational Constellation

Part II: Lifeworld and Commercium
3. Kant, Commercium and the Cosmopolitan Problematic
4. The ‘Boundaries’ of the Lifeworld
5. Commercium Beyond Kant

Part III: The Demospathic State and the International System
6. Systematic Approaches to International Relations
7. Between Functionalism and Path-Dependence
8. The Reifying Effects of Reciprocal Force

Part IV: The Tasks of a Critical Theory Conceived with a Cosmopolitan Intention
9. Critique and Crisis in World Society

Brian Milstein is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Goethe University Frankfurt. In 2011, he received his PhD from the New School for Social Research in New York with a dissertation entitled "Commercium", for which he was awarded the Hannah Arendt Award in Politics.

See also two of Brian Milstein's papers:

* "Kantian Cosmopolitanism beyond ‘Perpetual Peace’: Commercium, Critique, and the Cosmopolitan Problematic" [pdf]

* "Thinking Politically about Crisis: A Pragmatist Perspective" [pdf]


"Frankfurt critical theorists have had much to say in the last two decades about globalization. Yet Brian Milstein's creative new book takes many of the debates at hand to new and higher intellectual levels. Offering creative rereadings of Kant and many other important cosmopolitan theorists, Milstein treads where many contemporary critical theorists have feared to tread: the harsh realities of our violence-prone international or interstate political system. This is an important contribution to international political and social theory." - William E. Scheuerman

"In his original and important contribution to the debate about cosmopolitanism, Brian Milstein uses Kant’s concept of “commercium” to reconstruct the many ways in which we already live in a globalized world. But one, as Milstein shows with great clarity, in which we have not yet found the legal and political forms for organizing this life in a justifiable way. This book shows the power of a critical theory that combines normative and sociological reflection. A great achievement." - Rainer Forst

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Jeremy Waldron on Habermas's "The Lure of Technocracy"

In "The New York Review of Books" (October 22, 2015), Professor Jeremy Waldron reviews Jürgen Habermas's book "The Lure of Technocracy" (Polity Press, 2014):

"The Vanishing Europe of Jürgen Habermas"

Here are some excerpts from the review:

Habermas is Europe’s most formidable political philosopher. (.....) He is one of our most important theorists of democracy but the democracy he calls for is “post-national democracy” (.....) He brings to his analysis of the EU an understanding of democracy that is deeper than that of most intellectuals. The Lure of Technocracy is a small book, but behind it loom large volumes of Habermas’s more abstract writings on the principles that inspire democratic procedures. Habermas’s philosophical writing is not the clearest in the history of political thought, and his ideas are convoluted and difficult. By contrast, his thoughts on Europe are incisive and direct. I suspect this makes them less interesting to those whose allegiance to the great man has something of the character of an esoteric cult, of which they are oracles. Outside the charmed circle, however, readers may be tempted to neglect Habermas’s philosophy altogether. That would be a pity, if only because his complex position on the EU and Greece is unintelligible apart from the depth of his commitments in democratic theory. (.....)

Habermas’s model begins with something that entranced Immanuel Kant and Jean-Jacques Rousseau before him: the idea of self legislation or political autonomy.In a democracy, laws are supposed to have legitimacy because the people to whom they are addressed are also their authors.(.....)

To this model of people making laws for themselves, Habermas adds three additional layers. First, he frames the democratic process by emphasizing “deliberation”. (.....) We make law for ourselves in the company of others - all others who are going to be obligated - and if we are to meet democratic standards we convince ourselves that a given set of laws is necessary, if it is, by listening respectfully to what others say about the interests and values of theirs that are at stake in the matter. (.....)

A second layer concerns Habermas’s idea of rationality and values. When people talk to each other, they are not, as he conceives such conversation, just engaged in instrumental reasoning. They are presenting to each other everything that is important to them about the matters under discussion, including ultimate values and concerns that go way beyond the economic considerations that pervade technocratic thinking. (.....)

The third thing that distinguishes Habermas’s model is an insistence that democratic deliberation may be understood entirely in terms of the processes that it involves. (....) What we see on nearly every page he has ever written is a commitment to the view that when we idealize democratic procedures - when we try to define “an ideal speech situation” for political deliberation that respects everyone as a potential contributor - our theory is to be built up out of nothing but procedural concerns. Habermas’s theory “attributes legitimizing force to the process of democratic opinionand will-formation itself.” The crucial questions for Habermas are: Who is included, who is not included? Who is being silenced or browbeaten? Whose interests are being allowed to distort the process of communication? Political legitimacy for Habermas comes from respectful and thorough answers to questions like these... (.....)

If democracy is so important, then why not treat the undemocratic character of the EU as a ground for Euroskepticism? Why not scramble back to “the reliable shelter of the nation-state,” where at least something like democratic governance is available? (.....) 

The answer, for Habermas, is that particular nations no longer have the sort of control of their own destiny that would make this reversion worthwhile. “It is counterproductive,” he says, “to cling to the state-centered tradition of modern political thought.” (.....) Some of the passion behind his post-national vision is for the institutions of social justice and social welfare that have been fostered by national democracies. But that achievement now needs democratic stewardship at a global or at least a regional level. And he wants to strengthen, not weaken, that stewardship in Europe. “I do not see how a return to nation states that have to be run like big corporations in a global market can counter the tendency towards de-democratisation and growing social inequality,” he told The Guardian recently. (.....)

In many respects, the US works as an exemplar for Habermas (.....). He takes the American experience as encouraging evidence that people, in a country of immigrants, can hold layered and incompletely integrated political identities. His well-known theory of constitutional patriotism explains the growth of a “we, the people” mentality as a nonethnic basis for American identity. A similar kind of patriotism is crucial for what Habermas has in mind for Europe. European constitutional patriotism, as he envisages it, will no doubt differ in some respects from the US version. It will look to principles that would be challenged by some powerful social and political forces in the US, principles such as "secularism, the priority of the state to the market, the primacy of social solidarity over “merit,”. . . rejection of the law of the stronger, and the commitment to peace as a result of the historical experience of loss". But the form is supposed to be the same: an identity organized around a constitution rather than around a particular ethnicity.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Interview with Habermas - "Critique and communication"

The August/September issue of the French journal "Esprit" features articles on Jürgen Habermas - "Habermas, le dernier philosophe" - including a new interview with Jürgen Habermas:

"Critique et communication : les tâches de la philosophie"

The German orginal is available at "Eurozine":

"Kritik und kommunikatives Handeln" (PDF)

An English translation is now available:

"Critique and communication: Philosophy' missions"


Die Philosophie, die übrigens in ihren platonischen Ursprüngen selbst einmal, ähnlich wie der Konfuzianismus, so etwas wie ein religiöses Weltbild gewesen ist, hat wie gesagt von den religiösen Weltbildern die wichtige, sogar lebenswichtige Funktion übernommen, in aufklärender Absicht und auf rationale Weise zur Selbstverständigung des Menschen über sich und die Welt beizutragen. Ich möchte diesen Satz in zwei Hinsichten erläutern. 

Unter Prämissen nachmetaphysischen Denkens hat die Philosophie heute, anders als Mythen und Religionen, keine Weltbild erzeugende Kraft mehr. Sie navigiert zwischen Religion und Naturwissenschaften, Sozial- und Geisteswissenschaften, Kultur und Kunst, um zu lernen – und im bestehenden Selbstverständnis Illusionen zu tilgen. Nicht mehr, aber auch nicht weniger. Philosophie ist heute ein parasitäres, von fremden Lernprozessen zehrendes Unternehmen. Aber gerade in dieser sekundären Rolle eines reflexiven Bezugnehmens auf andere, vorgefundene Gestalten des objektiven Geistes ist es die Philosophie, die das Ganze des Gewussten und Halbgewussten kritisch in den Blick nehmen kann. "Kritisch" heißt "in aufklärender Absicht". Dieses eigentümliche Aufklärungsvermögen hat übrigens die christliche Philosophie des Mittelalters im Verlaufe einer Jahrhunderte langen Diskussion über "Glauben und Wissen" erworben. Die Philosophie kann uns über ein falsches Selbstverständnis "aufklären", indem sie uns das, was ein Zuwachs an Wissen über die Welt für uns bedeutet, zu Bewusstsein bringt. Insofern hängt das nachmetaphysische Denken von wissenschaftlichen Fortschritten und von neuen, kulturell erschlossenen Perspektiven auf die Welt ab, ohne – als eine im wissenschaftlichen Geist betriebene Tätigkeit – selber zu einer wissenschaftlichen Disziplin unter anderen zu werden. Sie hat sich als Fach etabliert, aber sie gehört zur wissenschaftlichen Expertenkultur, ohne den vergegenständlichenden und methodisch auf einen bestimmten Gegenstandsbereich eingeschränkten Blick einer Fachwissenschaft anzunehmen. Anders als die Religion, die in Erfahrungen einer kultischen Gemeindepraxis verwurzelt ist, darf sie die Aufgabe, unser Welt- und Selbstverständnis rational zu klären, allein mithilfe von Argumenten erfüllen, die ihrer Form nach den falliblen Anspruch auf allgemeine Anerkennung erheben dürfen.

Sodann halte ich die Funktion der Selbstverständigung auch für lebenswichtig, denn diese war stets mit einer sozialintegrativen Funktion vorkoppelt. Das war solange der Fall, wie die religiösen Weltbilder und metaphysischen Lehren die kollektiven Identitäten von Glaubensgemeinschaften stabilisiert haben. Aber auch nach dem Ende des "Zeitalters der Weltbilder" behält in modernen Gesellschaften die pluralisierte und individualisierte Selbstverständigung der Bürger ein integratives Moment. Mit der Säkularisierung der Staatsgewalt wird die Religion von der Aufgabe, die politische Herrschaft zu legitimieren, entlastet. Damit verschiebt sich die Bürde der Integration der Bürger von der Ebene der sozialen auf die Ebene der politischen Integration, und das heißt: von der Religion auf die Grundnormen des Verfassungsstaates, die in eine gemeinsame politische Kultur eingebettet sind. Diese Verfassungsnormen, die den Rest eines kollektiven Hintergrundeinverständnisses sichern, ziehen ihre Überzeugungskraft aus den immer wieder erneuerten philosophischen Argumentationen des Vernunftrechts und der politischen Theorie.

Heute klingt allerdings der schriller werdende Appell der Politiker an "unsere Werte" immer hohler – schon die Verwechslung von "Prinzipien", die begründungs-bedürftig sind, mit "Werten", die mehr oder weniger attraktiv sind, ärgert mich maßlos. Wir können fast in Zeitlupe verfolgen, wie unsere politischen Einrichtungen im Zuge der technokratischen Anpassung an globalisierte Marktimperative immer weiter ihrer demokratischen Substanz beraubt werden. Unsere kapitalistischen Demokratien schrumpfen zu Fassadendemokratien. Diese Entwicklungen verlangen nach einer wissenschaftlich informierten Aufklärung. Aber keine der einschlägigen Fachwissenschaften – weder die Ökonomie, noch die Politikwissenschaft oder die Soziologie – kann, je für sich genommen, diese Aufklärung leisten. Die vielfältigen Beiträge dieser Disziplinen müssen vielmehr unter dem Gesichtspunkt einer kritischen Selbstverständigung verarbeitet werden. Seit Hegel und Marx ist genau das die Aufgabe einer kritischen Gesellschaftstheorie, die ich nach wie vor als Kern des philosophischen Diskurses der Moderne betrachte.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Hugh Baxter on Habermas's Theory of Law

Professor Hugh Baxter has uploaded four papers on Jürgen Habermas:

* Habermas's Discourse Theory of Law and Democracy 
(Buffalo Law Review, vol. 50 (2002) pp. 205-340)

* Habermas's Sociological and Normative Theory of Law and Democracy: A Reply to Wirts, Flynn, and Zurn 
(Philosophy and Social Criticism, vol. 40 (2014) pp. 225-234; A symposium discussion on Hugh Baxter's book on Habermas)

* System and Lifeworld in Habermas's Theory of Law 
(Cardozo Law Review, vol. 23 (2002) pp. 473-615)

* System and Life-World in Habermas's 'Theory of Communicative Action' 
(Theory and Society, vol. 16 (1987) pp. 39-86)

Hugh Baxter is Professor of Law and Philosophy at Boston University. He is the author of "Habermas. The Discourse Theory of Law and Democracy" (Stanford University Press, 2011). See my post on Baxter's excellent book here

A new book on "Habermas and Law" is forthcoming on Ashgate Press, edited by Hugh Baxter.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Interview with Habermas in "Handelsblatt"

In the German newspaper "Handelsblatt" (October 1, 2015), Moritz Koch interviews Jürgen Habermas:

"Dann sind wir verloren, dann ist Europa kaputt"


Vor der Flüchtlingskrise war die Griechenlandkrise: Europa wurde zuletzt oft, gerade von amerikanischen Intellektuellen, ein Scheitern prophezeit. Schöpfen Sie Zuversicht aus der Tatsache, dass die angeblich dem Untergang geweihte EU immer noch existiert?

Nun ja. Lassen Sie mich zunächst zu Griechenland sagen: Ich hätte mir gewünscht, dass die griechische Regierung in dem halben Jahr der Verhandlungen mit der EU in dem Sinne klüger gewesen wäre, dass sie ihre Reformbereitschaft auf den Gebieten, wo sie notwendig und unvermeidlich ist - Staatsapparat, Finanzverwaltung und so weiter - sehr viel klarer zum Ausdruck gebracht hätte. Denn dann hätten die Griechen die Regierungen der Euro-Zone vorführen können. Das ist nicht geschehen.

Glauben Sie, dass Griechenland mit dem neuen Kreditprogramm eine Chance hat, sich ökonomisch zu stabilisieren?

Eigentlich nicht. Wenn das Programm buchstäblich umgesetzt wird, ist das die Fortführung einer falschen und vorhersehbar scheiternden Politik. Ich denke auch, dass Merkel und Finanzminister Schäuble das wissen. Wir werden sehen. Ohne die Flüchtlingskrise wäre ich nicht vollständig pessimistisch gewesen, sondern hätte gehofft, dass sich die Politik in den nächsten Jahren ändern wird. Aber durch die Flüchtlingskrise stehen wir vor einer Situation, die aus meiner Sicht Voraussagen außerordentlich schwer macht.

Weil Griechenland und Euro-Krise nun aus dem Fokus der Politik verschwinden?

Nicht nur das. Was geschieht jetzt mit den innenpolitischen Konflikten, die die Flüchtlingskrise nach sich zieht? Wie werden die Regierungen damit fertig? Wenn Nicolas Sarkozy in Frankreich oder Horst Seehofer in Bayern wie üblich darauf reagieren und den Rechten nachlaufen, dann sind wir wirklich verloren. Dann ist auch Europa kaputt.

An English translation of the interview here.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Habermas and Taylor at the Kluge Prize Ceremony

Jürgen Habermas and Charles Taylor received the John W. Kluge Prize for Achievement in the Study of Humanity at a ceremony at the Library of Congress in Washington, September 29, 2015.

See the speeches by director Jane McAuliffe, professor Jürgen Habermas (after 9 minutes) and professor Charles Taylor (after 38 minutes):

See my previous post on the event here.

In an interview with "Deutsche Welle" in Washington, DC, Jürgen Habermas commented on the current refugee crisis in Europe:

"The right to asylum is a human right and everyone who applies for political asylum should be treated fairly and, if appropriate, be taken in with all of the associated consequences," said Habermas. In Europe, the situation was overlooked until now, he added.

It has long been necessary for Germany and France to develop a common European stance that leads to cooperation in refugee policies, according to Habermas. Though he has often been critical of the German government, he says he currently takes a positive view of Germany's approach: "For many years I haven't been as satisfied with the government in Germany as I have been since the end of September."

See also the interview with Habermas in the German newspaper "Handelsblatt": "Dann sind wir verloren, dann ist Europa kaputt“.

The German radio station "Das Erste" has a short interview with Habermas here.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

John Rawls's lectures on John Stuart Mill (audio)

The secord part of John Rawls's lectures from 1984 on "Modern Political Philosophy" has now been published by the Harvard Philosophy Department. This part consists of 12 lectures (Lecture 12 - 23), which were delivered at Harvard University in the spring semester of 1984.

[See my post on the first part of Rawls's lectures (Lecture 1-11) here.]

Here are John Rawls's four lectures on John Stuart Mill:

Lecture 14

John Stuart Mill (I). Utilitarianism.

See John Rawls's "Lectures on the History of Political Philosophy" (Belknap Press, 2007) pp.  251-265, 270-271, 278.

Lecture 15

John Stuart Mill (II). Moral Rights. The Principle of Liberty. 

See John Rawls's "Lectures on the History of Political Philosophy" (Belknap Press, 2007) pp.  275-280, 284-293.

Lecture 16

John Stuart Mill (III). Mill's Doctrine as a Whole.

See John Rawls's "Lectures on the History of Political Philosophy" (Belknap Press, 2007) pp.  290-293, 297-313.

Lecture 17 (Incomplete)

John Stuart Mill (IV). Free Institutions. The First Principle of Justice.

See John Rawls's "Lectures on the History of Political Philosophy" (Belknap Press, 2007) pp. 297-313, and John Rawls's "Political Liberalism" (Columbia University Press, 1993), pp. 332ff.

Four of the other lectures (Lecture 19 - 21) are on Karl Marx.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

New Book: "Transformations of Democracy"

Transformations of Democracy
Crisis, Protest and Legitimation

Edited by Robin Celikates, Regina Kreide and Tilo Wesche

(Rowman & Littlefield, 2015)

290 pages


Is democracy in crisis? On the one hand, it seems to be decaying under the leadership of political elites who make decisions behind closed doors. On the other hand, citizens are taking to the streets to firmly assert their political participation across the globe. Drawing on a range of theoretical and empirical perspectives, this collection examines the multiple transformations which both the practice and the idea of democracy are undergoing today. It starts by questioning whether there is a crisis of democracy, or if part of this crisis lies in the inadequacy of social and political theory to describe current challenges. Exploring a range of violent and non-violent forms of resistance, the book goes on to ask how these are related to the arts, what form of civility they require and whether they undermine the functioning of institutions. In the final section of the book, the contributors examine the normative foundations of democratic practices and institutions, especially with regard to the tension between human rights and democracy and the special character of democratic authority.

Contents [preview]

Introduction - Robin Celikates, Regina Kriede & Tilo Wesche

Part I: Democracy in Crisis?

1. The European Crisis: The Paradoxes of Constitutionalising Democratic Capitalism [video] [podcast] - Hauke Brunkhorst
2. Democracy in Crisis: Why Political Philosophy Needs Social Theory (draft) - Regina Kreide
3. Radical Philosophy Encounters the Uprisings: Lessons from Greece - Costas Douzinas
4. Citizenship, Democracy and the Plurality of Means, Forms and Levels of Participation [podcast] -Andreas Niederberger

Part II: Disobedience, Protest, and the Public Sphere

5. Being Agitated – Agitated Being: Art and Activism in Times of Protest - Oliver Marchart
6. An Ethics of Public Political Deliberation - Simone Chambers
7. Resisting Resistance [podcast] - Jane Mansbridge
8. Digital Publics, Digital Contestation [draft] - Robin Celikates

Part III: Democracy Revisited: New Normative Foundations for Democracy?

9. Is There a Human Right to Democracy? [paper] - David Miller
10. Democracy and Moral Rights - Stefan Gosepath
11. Normative Sources of Democratic Deliberation - Tilo Wesche
12. Democratic Autonomy and Democratic Authority - Henry S. Richardson

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Dissertation on Habermas's view on religion

A comprehensive dissertation on Jürgen Harbernas's view on religion:

"Postmetaphysical Reason and Postsecular Consciousness: Habermas' Analysis of Religion in the Public Sphere" [pdf] (Stony Brook University, December 2012)

by  Javier Aguirre


"My dissertation is an exegetical, reconstructive and critical project on Jürgen Habermas' recent account of the role of religion in the public sphere. It is an exegetical dissertation insofar as it interprets Habermas' account as presented in his article Religion in the Public Sphere. It is reconstructive since it develops an analysis of Habermas' previous works as well as his new thoughts related to the key concepts involved in his argument. Finally, it is critical because it offers as well, based on the previous exegesis and reconstruction, a critical perspective of some of the weakness and deficiencies of Habermas' account.
Among the potential philosophical contributions that I attempted to obtain with the development of my project I count, at least, the following. First, by developing a philosophical-political analysis of the relevance of religion, I hope to be able to problematize, from a Habermasian perspective, questions like (and related to) the following: Do my epistemic beliefs or attitudes toward religion condition my belonging to a democratic-political community? Second, my dissertation will offer an integral and systematic interpretation of Habermas' work hoping to provide solid basis to understand his recent approach on religion. Clearly, an integral interpretation is in a better position to assess, and produce, fair critiques of any philosophical perspective, in this case, Habermas' account of the role of religion in the public sphere. As a consequence, thirdly, I expect my dissertation to produce enough conceptual tools to develop a critique of Habermas' view. This critique, to be sure, will refer to the main conceptual foundations of Habermas' account. Nevertheless, it will also be especially applied to Habermas' argument on liberal eugenics and PGD (preimplantation genetic diagnosis); an argument that, in fact, he presents as a case in point for understanding the potential contribution of religious doctrines for public debates within a democratic society."

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Habermas and Taylor to share Kluge Prize from Library of Congress

Jürgen Habermas and Charles Taylor will share the prestigious $1.5 million John W. Kluge Prize 2015 for Achievement in the Study of Humanity awarded by the Library of Congress. 

See the press release from the Library of Congress here.

Why Awarded

Jürgen Habermas is one the world's most important living philosophers. His contributions to philosophy and the social sciences have gained world-wide influence, and for a half-century he has acted as a public conscience of the German nation and Europe as a whole. Translated into more than 40 languages, his work has contributed to epistemology, philosophy of language, philosophy of religion, democractic theory, jurisprudence and social theory. He has written and co-authored hundreds of books, articles, papers, speeches and chapters, and is widely read and cited both inside academia and beyond it.

Charles Taylor is one of the most prominent, influential and powerful active philosophers on the world stage. Best known for his contributions to political philosophy, the philosophy of social science, the history of philosophy and intellectual history, his work has received international acclaim and has influenced academia and the world at-large. Published in 20 languages, his writings link disparate academic disciplines and range from reflections on artificial intelligence to analyses of contemporary multicultural societies to the study of religion and what it means to live in a secular age.

A ceremony will be held on September 29 in Washington.

Among the previous prize winners are Leszek Kolakowski and Paul Ricoeur.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Interview with Nancy Fraser on "Transnationalization the Public Sphere"

At "New Books in Critical Theory", an interview with Nancy Fraser on her book "Transnationalization the Public Sphere" (Polity Press, 2014):

Interview with Nancy Fraser (audio, 1 hour).

The interview covers the history and formation of public sphere theory, the currents and forces in the "postnational constellation" that demands its rethinking, critical theory, what normative legitimacy and political efficacy look like on the transnational scale.

See my post on Nancy Fraser's book here. The first chapter is available here.

See also this interview with Nancy Fraser in "Eurozine": An astonishing time of great boldness (pdf).

Nancy Fraser is Professor of Political and Social Science at the New School for Social Research, NYC. She is the author of "Unruly Practices: Power, Discourse and Gender in Contemporary Social Theory" (Polity Press, 1989), "Redistribution or Recognition? A Political-Philosophical Exchange" (Verso, 2003) [co-authored with Axel Honneth] and "Scales of Justice: Reimagining Political Space in a Globalizing World" (Polity Press, 2008).

Saturday, August 01, 2015

Habermas: The German reaction was shameful

A German version of an interview with Jürgen Habermas in the weekly French news magazine "L'Obs" (July 30, 2015):

"Die Reaktion der deutschen Regierung war schändlich"

The interview was conducted by Odile Benyahia-Kouider.


Q: Meinungsumfragen zeigen, dass eine deutliche Mehrheit der Deutschen den Positionen der Bundesregierung von Angela Merkel zustimmt, obwohl die Verhandlungen für Griechenlands Regierung erniedrigend waren. Bedeutet das, die Deutschen haben an Europa als einem politischen Projekt kein Interesse mehr?

A: Was erwarten Sie von einer Bevölkerung, die von ihren Regierungen nie ernsthaft mit europäischen Fragen konfrontiert worden ist? Bei uns gibt es ein Sprichwort: Wie man in den Wald hineinruft, so schallt es heraus. Die Europapolitik, die von Anbeginn über die Köpfe unserer Bevölkerungen hinweg betrieben worden ist, ist das Paradebeispiel für den allgemeinen Trend einer Austrocknung der politischen Öffentlichkeit. Regierungen, die ihre Wähler eher einlullen als aufscheuchen möchten, werden von einer Presse unterstützt, die lieber Kunden betreut statt Konflikte aufzugreifen und aufzuklären. Die deutschen Wähler haben von der Krisenpolitik der letzten Jahre Schlagworte wie "Solidarität gegen Solidität" im Ohr. Ihnen ist das Gefühl gegeben worden, dass sie die Kanzlerin, die ihr Geld zusammenhält, nur machen lassen sollen. Die CDU hat die sogenannte "Transferunion" zum Schreckgespenst aufgeplustert; und jetzt haben alle Parteien Angst, diese selbstgebastelte Hürde zu nehmen. Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel hat soeben noch vor dem Bundestag ihr Mantra wiederholt: "Mit mir wird es keinen Schuldenschnitt geben". Dabei weiß sie so gut wie der IWF, dass eine zügige Rekonstruktion der griechischen Schulden ganz unvermeidlich ist. Statt ihren Wählern unangenehme politische Alternativen zu erklären, kaufen die politischen Eliten Zeit mit Milliardenkrediten.
Lassen Sie mich auf Ihre Frage zurückkommen. Abgesehen davon, dass die verteufelten Transfers längst stattfinden, gibt es durchaus empirische Anhaltspunkte dafür, dass eine hartnäckige, informierte öffentliche Debatte über die Notwendigkeiten und die längerfristigen Vorteile einer gemeinsamen Fiskal-, Wirtschafts- und Sozialpolitik in Deutschland zu einem Meinungsumschwung führen können.

Q: Hat diese griechische Krise gezeigt, dass die EU ohne politische Einheit nicht überleben wird?

A: Ja, ohne die zusammenführenden Kräfte einer politischen Union werden unsere nationalen Wirtschaften weiter auseinanderdriften. Die europäische Währungsgemeinschaft ist zu heterogen zusammengesetzt. Wir können deshalb nur noch zurück- oder vorangehen. "Der Stillstand ist der Tod", sagt ein Filmtitel meines Freundes Alexander Kluge. Ich glaube, dass die Auflösung der Eurozone wohl nur als Konsequenz einer  unbeabsichtigten Kettenreaktion eintreten könnte. Dann müsste gerade die Linke für das Zurück zum Nationalstaat einen hohen Preis zahlen. Denn ohne eine supranational handlungsfähige Euro-Union müsste sie jede Hoffnung auf eine politische Reregulierung der aus dem Ruder gelaufenen Finanzwirtschaft fahren lassen. Aber auch der andere Weg ist riskant. Starke Interessen zielen auf eine technokratische Banken-, Fiskal- und Wirtschaftsunion, die ohne demokratische Geräusche Marktimperative geräuschlos umsetzt. Daher wird alles darauf ankommen, dem Europäischen Parlament die gleichen Rechte einzuräumen wie dem Rat. Das funktioniert wiederum nur, wenn es gelingt, ein europaweites Parteiensystem aufzubauen und die Bevölkerungen selbst in einen politischen Prozess einzubeziehen, der bisher an ihnen vorbeiläuft. Vor wenigen Wochen haben der französische und der deutsche Wirtschaftsminister, Macron und Gabriel, ein Papier lanciert, das in dieser Hinsicht doch noch sehr ambivalent ist. Ein "europäischer Finanzminister" ist keine Lösung.

See the French translation of the interview in "L'Obs": "La réaction abrupte de l'Allemagne a été indigne". 

See also Gregor Dotzauer's article on Habermas in "Der Tagesspiegel" (July 31, 2015): "Der deutsche Deutschen-Kritiker".

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Habermas and Scharpf on Transnational Democracy in Europe

"Leviathan: Berliner Zeitschrift für Sozialwissenschaft" (vol. 43, no. 2, 2015) contains a new text by Jürgen Habermas:

Der Demos der Demokratie – eine Replik

"Fritz Scharpf assumes that national economic cultures and lifestyles within the European Monetary Union are too heterogeneous to allow a common democratic legislation on the basis of informal generalizable interests. Even if this were feasible, a democratically constituted Euro-Union is not even desirable. This variant of the well-known no-demos thesis relies implicitly on a political theory that the acceptance of democratic majority decisions is always dependent on an intact socially-inclusive implicite consensus of the citizens. The criticism is directed against both the philosophical presuppositions of this theory as well as against the application of the principle of the indisputable legal protection of cultural identities of unique national economic cultures. The common elements in a civil society which define its identity change not only as part of social evolution processes, they are formed by democratic involvement in civil societal processes of self-understanding. An expansion of the monetary union to a political union could stop the undemocratic connection of apparent nation-state sovereignty with the actually enforced technocratic compliance to market imperatives „without alternatives“. A return to national currencies, on the other hand, would mean resigning the progressingly political self-emasculation of policy to the globalized financial markets."

Habermas's comments are a response to Fritz Scharpf's "Das Dilemma der supranationalen Demokratie in Europa" (Leviathan vol. 43 no. 1, 2015), where Scharpf criticized Habermas's article ”Warum der Ausbau der Europäischen Union zu einer supranationalen Demokratie nötig und wie er möglich ist” (Leviathan vol. 42 no. 4, 2014). [An English translation of Habermas's article is available here.] 

Scharpf is responding to Habermas's comments in the same issue of Leviathan: "Deliberative Demokratie in der europäischen Mehrebenenpolitik – eine zweite Replik".

Essays on Honneth's "Freedom's Rights"

The current issue of "Critical Horizons: A Journal of Philosophy and Social Theory" (May 2015) features essays on Axel Honneth's book "Freedom's Right" (Columbia University Press, 2014) and a response by Honneth:

Misdevelopments, Pathologies, and Normative Revolutions [pdf] - Jörg Schaub

Honneth on Social Pathologies: A Critique [pdf] - Fabian Freyenhagen

Social Freedom and Self-Actualization [pdf] - David N. McNeill

Social Freedom and Progress in the Family - Lois McNay

Is the Market a Sphere of Social Freedom? [pdf] - Timo Jütten

Rejoinder - Axel Honneth

Friday, July 17, 2015

Habermas on the EU/Greece debt deal

A short interview with Habermas, published by "The Guardian" (July 16, 2015):

Habermas on the EU-Greece debt deal.

See reports in

- New York Times

- Liberation

See also Habermas's article on the Greek debt crisis (June 2015).

Friday, July 10, 2015

Kenneth Baynes on Habermas - A New Introduction


by Kenneth Baynes

(Routledge, August 2015)

256 pages


In this introduction Kenneth Baynes engages with the full range of Habermas’s philosophical work, addressing his early arguments concerning the emergence of the public sphere and his initial attempt to reconstruct a critical theory of society in Knowledge and Human Interests. He then examines one of Habermas’s most influential works, The Theory of Communicative Action, including his controversial account of the rational interpretation of social action. Also covered is Habermas’s work on discourse ethics, political and legal theory, including his views on the relation between democracy and constitutionalism, and his arguments concerning human rights and cosmopolitanism. The final chapter assesses Habermas’s role as a polemical and prominent public intellectual and his criticism of postmodernism in The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity, in addition to his more recent writings on the relationship between religion and democracy.


1. Life and Works 
2. Habermas’s Initial Attempts at a Critical Theory of Society 
3. The Theory of Communicative Action: Habermas’s Model of a Critical Social Science 
4. Habermas’s "Kantian Pragmatism" 
5. Locating Discourse Morality 
6. Democracy and the Rechtsstaat: Habermas’s Between Facts and Norms 
7. Deliberative Democracy, Public Reason, and Democracy Beyond the Nation-State 
8. A "Sobered" Philosophy: Postmodernism, Postmetaphysical Thinking, and Postsecularism 
9. Conclusion

Kenneth Baynes is Professor of Philosophy at Syracuse University, USA. He is the author of "The Normative Grounds of Social Criticism: Kant, Rawls and Habermas" (State University of New York Press, 1992) and co-editor (with Rene von Schomberg) of "Discourse and Democracy. Essays on Habermas's Between Facts and Norms" (State University of New York Press, 2002).


"An exceptionally valuable introduction and guide to the career of Jürgen Habermas. Baynes links Habermas’s work to debates in recent American analytic philosophy, as well as to that of prominent European thinkers, whose significance Baynes clearly explains. This book will inform professional philosophical discussion, and also serve as an accessible and always reliable guide for graduate and advanced undergraduate courses." - Hugh Baxter, Boston University.

"Baynes' book is at once an up-to-date synthesis centered on the leitmotif of Kantian pragmatism, a summary of Habermas’s debates with major interlocutors in Continental and Analytic philosophy, a probing critique of his social and political theory, and a lucid, concise, and accessible introduction suitable for teaching. It is the most successful overview of Europe’s most prominent philosopher and social thinker now available." - Matthew Specter, Central Connecticut State University.

"Baynes really knows his Habermas and he writes clearly and fluidly. Accessible and sophisticated at the same time, scholar and undergraduate alike will find this book a worthwhile read." - Simone Chambers, University of Toronto.

Other introductions to Habermas:

James Gordon Finlayson - Habermas: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2005)

Lasse Thomassen - Habermas: A Guide for the Perplexed (Continuum, 2010)

David Ingram - Habermas - Introduction and Analysis (Cornell University Press, 2010)

Monday, June 29, 2015

Oxford Studies in Political Philosophy

Oxford Studies in Political Philosophy, Volume 1

Ed. by David Sobel, Peter Vallentyne & Steven Wall

(Oxford University Press, 2015)

336 pages


This is the inaugural volume of Oxford Studies in Political Philosophy (OSPP). Since its revival in the 1970s political philosophy has been a vibrant field in philosophy, one that intersects with jurisprudence, normative economics, political theory in political science departments, and just war theory. OSPP aims to publish some of the best contemporary work in political philosophy and these closely related subfields. 

Contents [preview]

Introduction [preview] - Steven Wall

Part I. Democracy

1. Justice, Political and Social - Philip Pettit 
2. Voting and Causal Responsibility [video] - Geoffrey Brennan & Geoffrey Sayre-McCord 

Part II. Political Liberalism and Public Reason

3. Political Liberalism: Its Motivations and Goals - Charles Larmore 
4. Political Liberalism, Political Independence and Moral Authority [draft] - Dale Dorsey 
5. Against Public Reason [paper] - David Enoch

Part III. Rights and Duties

6. Territorial Rights: Justificatory Strategies [draft] - A. John Simmons
7. Can Reductive Individualists Allow Defense Against Political Aggression?  - Helen Frowe 
8. Elbow Room for Rights - Eric Mack 
9. Rights and Responsibilities - Jonathan Quong & Rebecca Stone 
10. What is Wrongful Exploitation? [draft] - Thomas Christiano

Part IV. Method

11. Value Freeness and Value Neutrality in the Analysis of Political Concepts - Ian Carter