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Revista Brasileira de Ciências Sociais

Print version ISSN 0102-6909On-line version ISSN 1806-9053


HOLMES, Pablo. Recognition and normativity: hermeneutical transformation of the critical theory. Rev. bras. Ci. Soc. [online]. 2009, vol.24, n.69, pp.129-145. ISSN 1806-9053.

This article attempts to analyze, with a special focus on the modern society's legal dimension of social integration, the central points of disagreement between the Jürgen Habermas's theory of discourse and the Axel Honneth's theory of recognition. The "communitarianist" critic raised by Honneth against Habermas forces a reformulation of the traditional theory of modernization in the sense of a cultural theory of modernity. Within this framework, we have to face the fact that the social changes, which led our societies to the institutionalization of the legal principle of equality, ought to be seen as the result of processes of social struggle founded on moral interpretations. Although this new approach tends to change many suppositions of a critical theory itself, we try to defend that Honneth's theory of recognition keeps a normative core that can still furnish a critical theory of society.

Keywords : Critical social theory; Jürgen Habermas; Axel Honneth; Hermeneutics; Social evolution.

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