The principle of the universalization in Rawls and Habermas: a critical view

The aim of this paper is to present an analysis of the so called principle of the universalization as it appears in the works of John Rawls and Jürgen Habermas. The universal is a revered concept in almost all societies as far as it means a prevalence of the general interests over the particular ones. It prevails under certain historical conditions when the less privileged classes have access to some of the patterns of life of the upper classes. This ascent however has a negative counterpart: The intellectual elites present the norms that must rule through an abstract discourse preventing those that do not have access to this form of symbolic capital to benefit from the new circumstances. This work will try to show that the works of rawls and habermas may be characterized as this form of abstract universalization.

Abstract and concrete universalization; Intellectual elites; Symbolic capital; Skole


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