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Power, Recognition, And Care: Honneth’s Critique Of Poststructuralist Social Philosophy

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Chapter Summary

This chapter says that Axel Honneth's critique of poststructuralist social philosophy offers a productive perspective for further developing the ethics of recognition, but also that the latter could benefit from a critical appropriation of certain aspects of poststructuralist thought. It begins with an examination of Honneth's critique of Foucault's analysis of power, in particular the tension between action-theoretic and system-theoretic perspectives that Honneth identifies as the crucial impasse in Foucault's theory of society. The chapter then turns to Honneth's critical confrontation with poststructuralist critiques of the modern subject, in particular his criticism of the Nietzschean-aestheticist concept of freedom. Finally, it considers Honneth's critical engagement with post-structuralist approaches to ethics, in particular his claim that Derrida's Levinasian ethics of care for the singular other presents a moral perspective that challenges Habermasian discourse ethics.

Keywords: Axel Honneth; care; poststructuralist social philosophy; power; recognition



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