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The Struggle for Recognition: The Moral Grammar of Social Conflicts


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The Struggle for Recognition: The Moral Grammar of Social Conflicts

Axel Honneth

ISBN: 978-0-745-61160-0 May 1995 Polity 240 Pages


In this book Axel Honneth re-examines arguments put forward by Hegel and claims that the 'struggle for recognition' should be at the centre of social conflicts.
Translator's Note.

Translator's Introduction.



Part I: An Alternative Tradition in Modern Social Theory: Hegel's Original Idea:.

1. The Struggle for Self-Preservation.

2. Crime and Ethical Life.

3. The Struggle for Recognition.

Part II: A Systematic Renewal: The Structure of Social Relations of Recognition:.

4. Recognition and Socialization.

5. Patterns of Intersubjective Recognition.

6. Personal Identity and Disrespect.

Part III: Social-philosophical Perspectives: Morality and Societal Development:.

7. Traces of a Tradition in Social Philosophy.

8. Disrespect and Resistance.

9. Intersubjective Conditions for Personal Integrity.




"Using the young Hegel's 'struggle for recognition' as a basis, Honneth ... has written a remarkable book. Honneth's book is accessible to - and deserving of - a wide readership. Recommended for upper-division undergraduates and above and the general reader." Choice

"This is a most remarkable book. The exposition and critical discussion are conducted with exemplary clarity. It may change intellectual lives; it will certainly attract a great deal of attention for many years to come." William Outhwaite, University of Sussex

"This far-ranging study illuminates one of the most important and puzzling features of modern politics, the demand for recognition. Honneth not only traces its origins in the thought of the last two centuries, but also shows how differently the need for recognition has been conceived. Honneth's book casts a flood of light on what has been an area of darkness, the place where the philosophical tradition and modern politics meet and interweave. Since neither is really comprehensible without the other, this work is essential reading for those who would understand either. It is a path-breaking study, which ought to be at the centre of the debate for many years to come." Charles Taylor, McGill University

"Axel Honneth's The Struggle for Recognition is remarkable for the skill with which he synthesizes a wide range of perspectives - sociological, psychoanalytical and philosophical - into a powerful and original model of social identity and social conflict. It represents a major step towards the development of a new 'post-linguistic' paradigm for critical theory." Peter Dews, University of Essex

"The Struggle for Recognition is an ambitious and rewarding book, at the intersection of a number of important debates." Radical Philosophy

"Honneth's book should attract a wide audience ... [it] represents a major contribution to an exciting new research programme in critical social theory." Political Studies

"[A] clearly written and impressively structured amalgamation of political thought, social psychology, and current social philosophy." Simon Kow, University of Toronto

  • A major contribution to scholarship on Hegel, moral philosophy and critical theory
  • An original approach from a well known author, moving smoothly between philosophy and social theory
  • Draws together a wide variety of themes and concerns.