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Recognition And The Dynamics Of Intersubjectivity

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Chapter Summary

Axel Honneth's political philosophy evolves from his insight that relations of recognition are fundamental to the formation of identity and to democratic practices. In Honneth's view, human beings are dependent upon the social responsiveness of others; the nature of these responses crucially determines the structure of human subjectivity. Colwyn Trevarthen uses the term "primary intersubjectivity" to describe this early form of relating to other human beings, a term that makes clear both the extent to which infants are oriented to affective interactions from the beginning of life and distinguishes early from later expanded forms of intersubjective interactions. In order to make clear how crucial is the impact of these affective and psychological relationships on the development of socially and morally important relational abilities, the author turns to the literature on attachment disorder, and describe and reflect on what is known about attachment-disordered children.

Keywords: attachment disorder; Axel Honneth; Intersubjectivity; political philosophy



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