Axel Honneth

He will present the methodological foundation for his entire book.

Axel speaks with a smart German accent. Wow, he is reading his work. Not paraphrasing, but actually reading it.

The political changes have not been beyond social criticism. Wow, he just mentioned Foucault’s work.
Critical theory is out of the Hegelian tradition. The historical past should be understood in an historical way. Positive form in Horkheimer or Marcuse or negative in Adorno or Benjamin.

One of the main tasks today is to develop an alternative concept of justice (not a Kantian way), but rather from a Hegelian concept. From Hegel, the theory of justice is immediately an analysis of society. With Kant, there is a split between analysis and a concept of justice.

Division of left and right Hegelians, and the sense that existing institutions should be given moral legitimacy. In Germany, the revived sense of Hegelian justice. Axel wants to reconstruct Hegel’s theory of right. This can not be resurrected as is, but will need to look at it in light of current society and history.

Axel is concentrating of four premises:

  1. Specific concept of society to presuppose of justice. The ordering of society shape the actions of its members into mechanism of different social practices in different spheres. The members of society normally follow the norms that have been established. The economically subsystem as a normative aspect of society. The idea that we should understand society as objective spirit. The notion of objective spirit as an analysis of all of society.
  2. Justice as imminent claim of all societies. For Hegel and those in his tradition, such as Marx, the notion of justice indicates the binding intention to render everybody his or her due. Thus, others should be treated in a manner required by different aspects, dependent on the differences of people. What is just is what produces actions in a given society with an ethical distribution of labor. All people produce different amounts and are complementary way. In taking up Hegel’s approach we have to refrain from taking up structures in society before judging them. This immanent approach
  • liveblogging is tough when the content is tough. Not much of the this is what I will say, here I am saying it, and this is what I said!
  • Normative reconstructioin in opposition of normative
  • how critiique worjs on these four
  • ahhh, the Welcome Is Outside

    No wonder the Symposium has not yet started; that welcome is outside the room where the presentations will take place. I have no energy to go out there, so will sit here and type and check email. Isn’t liveblogging interesting? It is like longer Twittering. Perhaps Twitter (without formatting or image inserts or tags) is really a liveblogging application?

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    Nancy Fraser’s Introduction of the Symposium

    The symposium was started in 1980 by Reiner Shurmann, the chair of the philosophy department at the time. The purpose was to look at the contemporary issues that were important to Hannah Arendt’s thinking. Reiner chaired the philosophy department for many years, especially during the time when the administration was considering eliminating the program.

    It was through his efforts that the philosophy department exists and thrives today.

    Nancy Fraser gave the introduction.

    Many important thinkers have spoken at this symposium.

    Critical Theory Today is the theme for this year. It is narrow in that it is associated with the thinkers of the Frankfurt School (even the New School

    there is also a broader meaning of critical theory, which also has connections with the NSSR, that include reflections on what(ever) meanings of emancipation means.

    Critical theory, in both senses, is at a crossroads, as it is a time for cross-disciplinary work and dialogue for what critical theory should be. The hard and fast lines between the Frankfurt School and french post-structuralism, and critical theory is becoming much more inter-disciplinary sense–incuding historians and sociologists. To foster this cross-disciplinary and cross-paradigm was to bring together the five most interesting thinkers as people who can be identified with charting a path in critical theory today.

    This is thus a symposium to get a glimpse at some possible futures.

    Axel Honneth Introduced by Jay Bernstein

    Jay Bernstein introduced Axel Honneth, the director of the Institute of Critical Theory in Frankfurt. Jay said he has made a distinctive contribution within critical theory. Axel has innovated and provided a vision for making critical theory sensitive and applicable to a variety of cases. He is the image of where critical theory will go after Habermas. 

    Introduction of the Political Philosophy Symposium

    Here I am liveblogging again. I was finally able to connect to the New School wireless network (the instructions for doing so were well hidden on their website, locatable only via a Google search), and thus am hoping to be able ot post this in real time as well.

    I did not think I was going to be able to make it today, as I have not been feeling very well today (too much work this week while suffering from Thanksgiving overload with the eating that accompanied it). Nevertheless, I am now beginning to feel a bit better, so decided to go for a walk in the beautiful and sunny but chilly day today. I recalled the symposium is today, so thought it might be nice to listen here, so here I am. 

    Waiting for the event to begin. The welcome and introduction was supposed to begin 18 minutes ago, not that I am counting. But as of yet, nothing.


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    Symposium in Political Philosophy

    Tomorrow is the Hannah Arendt / Reiner Schurmann Symposium in Political Philosophy at the New  School for Social Research. The theme for this year’s symposium is Critical Theory Today, and speakers include Axel Honneth, Dipesh Chakrabarty, Luc Boltanski, Judith Butler, and Etienne Balibar.

    In the words of Jay Bernstein, the chairperson of the Philosophy Department, the symposium promises to expose its listeners to ideas that will challenge their perceptions and make them uncomfortable. That is one of the very reasons to do philosophy–to  bump into ideas that make us uncomfortable and thereby force us to think through our lives in different and more critical ways.

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    Michael at the Met

    Michael Storrings signed his Christmas ornaments, dessert plates and mugs, coasters, and placemats for the fourth night in a row last night at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. Even though it was raining during the 8th Annual Winter’s Celebration in and around the Tree Lighting at Lincoln Center, people still came out to meet with Michael.  

    Michael Storrings at the Metropolitan OperaMichael Storrings at the Metropolitan OperaMichael Storrings at the Metropolitan Opera

    I wish I could have attended the entire event, but I was teaching last night, and attended after my class ended. The few pictures I was able to take are available on Flickr.

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