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First Things First: Redistribution, Recognition And Justification

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Chapter Summary

This chapter explains why representatives of the first approach like Nancy Fraser do not frame their critique of society as a critique of its 'pathologies', trying to avoid carrying the burden to prove what a 'healthy' form of social life would be - a burden that Axel Honneth tries to reformulate and make less metaphysically weighty in his comprehensive theoretical endeavour, yet one he believes one must carry to avoid settling for a reduced mode of critique that does not address the totality of a 'false' form of life. This difference may be the basic issue the author is confronted with when he looks at the debate about 'recognition' and 'redistribution'; it is more than just another debate about justice. It is, to borrow a phrase from Fraser's recent work (out of context), a debate about the proper "frame" of critical thinking.

Keywords: Axel Honneth; justification of justice; Nancy Fraser; transformative strategies of recognition; transformative strategies of redistribution



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