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Falling short of Marx: Habermas

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Chapter Summary

Habermas occupies a significant, emblematic position today as the philosopher of social democracy. Marx is constantly referred to in The Transformation of the Public Sphere (1962), which evokes the Marxian perspective of emancipation. The concept of 'sub-systems of rational-purposive action' restores the ideological unity of the category of 'productive force', the artificial unity that was shattered by Marx's analysis. Legitimation Crisis attests to the impact of Marxism. The distinctive concepts of historical materialism only feature negatively, in the form of the 'problems confronting systems' and the legitimation they demand. Contrary to Marx's antiliberal and anti-positivist breakthrough, Habermas's conceptual intervention once again separates and disjoins economics and politics.

Keywords: Habermas; historical materialism; Marxian



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