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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intricate but essential reading, 3 Aug 2010
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This review is from: Disrespect: The Normative Foundations of Critical Theory (Paperback)
Honneth's 'Struggle for Recognition' was a masterpiece of sociology - if you haven't encountered either of these two texts, SfR is where you might want to begin. Honneth fairly powerfully establishes the relationship of recognition (in three distinct flavours) as the basic social unit, in a way that is potentially liberating for social critique.

With Disrespect, Honneth surveys the wider socio-philosophical landscape and the history of such theory, shedding new light on the normative gaps disabling contemporary critical theory, to position his recognition thesis as the logical heir of Hegel and Habermas. It's another dramatic intervention from an original and inspiring mind - one which cuts its own, subtle path, regardless of the historical trend towards simplistic or naturalistic accounts of the human condition. Honneth locates a very interesting set of implications in the role played by the experience of "labour" in realising the third component of recognition.

The translation allows a sense of Honneth's very German style of argumentation to come through, like the construction of a wristwatch - meticuluous, complex, mechanical, relentless. If you're not afraid to re-read the occasional paragraph, and you have a fair grasp of the main terms in play, it does repay the effort.
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