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Recognition Today The Theoretical, Ethical And Political Stakes Of The Concept

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Chapter Summary

We are today witnessing in the public space of democratic societies an explosion of demands for and expectations of recognition. The notion of recognition seems to be as much involved in demands that are formulated within the public space as those which concern the private sphere. In the cases of Descartes and Kant, the 'ability to identify', from the point of view of the judgement or the synthesis of recognition, possesses the status of a confirmation: something that one knows or whose nature is anticipated in an uncertain manner, is confirmed by an operation of subsumption by which one places the thing to be known beneath the jurisdiction of a concept: the concept of the true, or the concept of unity of consciousness. Conversely, recognition only becomes effective if it is crystallised in a set of promises, debts, undertakings, symbols and rituals that structure the circulation of gifts and counter-gifts.

Keywords: Descartes; gifts; Kant; public space; recognition



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