File spoon-archives/habermas.archive/habermas_2001/habermas.0101, message 74


Date: Fri, 26 Jan 2001 12:44:35 -0600
Subject: Re: HAB: The German intellectual context IS relevant to America.



	This is just a brief response to Mr. E's sweeping comments 
about Critical Theory.  Not all critical theorists are concerned 
solely with the ostensibly 'German' problem of constituting a fully 
democratic society (although we have a ways to go here in America on 
that one).  Some of the most interesting Critical Theorists writing 
today are deeply engaged in what Mr. E might feel are American 
problems, such as multiculturalism, identity politics, racism, 
domestic violence, etc.  Two recent authors come immediately to mind, 
Axel Honneth (Habermas's 'successor') and Alessandro Ferrara.

	Honneth's most important book, The Struggle for Recognition, 
is a reinterpretation of Hegel which is designed to give us the 
theoretical resources we need to think about issues of identity, 
race, and cultural survival (etc).  It is highly interdisciplinary. 
(Mr. E seems to imply that only Americans write interdisciplinary 
texts and that the Critical Theorists are still hung up on attacking 
Karl Popper!)

	Ferrara has written extensively about 'authenticity' in his 
book Reflective Authenticity: Rethinking the Project of Modernity, 
and in doing so, he has reconstructed the work of Kant, Aristotle, 
Psychoanalytic Theory, and Social Theory.  His work does speak to the 
contemporary American scene and it goes without saying that it is 
interdisciplinary.


	I am not cheerleading for these authors.  I just wanted to 
say that Mr. E should look more carefully at the exciting new 
developments in Critical Theory, rather than assume that BFN is the 
last, best word.

	I know that Joel Anderson (sp) has recently written a piece 
on some of the new developments in Critical Theory, but I cannot 
locate the source. Perhaps someone out there could help with a 
citation if we want to pursue this further.

Regards,

Tony Lack
Sociology and Philosophy
Lee College
Baytown, TX 77520


	This is just a brief response to Mr. E's sweeping comments about
Critical Theory.  Not all critical theorists are concerned solely with
the ostensibly 'German' problem of constituting a fully democratic
society (although we have a ways to go here in America on that one). 
Some of the most interesting Critical Theorists writing today are
deeply engaged in what Mr. E might feel are American problems, such as
multiculturalism, identity politics, racism, domestic violence, etc. 
Two recent authors come immediately to mind, Axel Honneth (Habermas's
'successor') and Alessandro Ferrara.   


	Honneth's most important book, <underline>The Struggle for
Recognition</underline>, is a reinterpretation of Hegel which is
designed to give us the theoretical resources we need to think about
issues of identity, race, and cultural survival (etc).  It is highly
interdisciplinary.  (Mr. E seems to imply that only Americans write
interdisciplinary texts and that the Critical Theorists are still hung
up on attacking Karl Popper!) 


	Ferrara has written extensively about 'authenticity' in his book
<underline>Reflective Authenticity: Rethinking the Project of
Modernity</underline>, and in doing so, he has reconstructed the work
of Kant, Aristotle, Psychoanalytic Theory, and Social Theory.  His work
does speak to the contemporary American scene and it goes without
saying that it is interdisciplinary.



	I am not cheerleading for these authors.  I just wanted to say that
Mr. E should look more carefully at the exciting new developments in
Critical Theory, rather than assume that BFN is the last, best word.


	I know that Joel Anderson (sp) has recently written a piece on some of
the new developments in Critical Theory, but I cannot locate the
source. Perhaps someone out there could help with a citation if we want
to pursue this further. 


Regards,


Tony Lack

Sociology and Philosophy

Lee College

Baytown, TX 77520 



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