Monday, February 12, 2024

Habermas on Oskar Negt (1934-2024)

Jürgen Habermas on Oskar Negt (1934-2024): 

"Bildung als Erfahrung"

(Soziopolis, February 12, 2024)

See also:

* Jörg Später - "Der sozialistische Praktiker der Kritischen Theorie" (Soziopolis, 12-02-2024)

* Thomas Schmid - "Gegen die Mode der Bürgerkinder" (Die Welt, 06-02-2024)

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

New book on Habermas' history of philosophy: "Okzidentale Konstellationen zwischen Glauben und Wissen"

New book: 

Okzidentale Konstellationen zwischen Glauben und Wissen. Beiträge zu Jürgen Habermas’ "Auch eine Geschichte der Philosophie" 

Ed. by Rudolf Langthaler & Hans Schelkshorn 

(Darmstadt: WBG Academic, forthcoming). 

Open access.

The book is available as a PDF file. Prof. Hans Schelkshorn (University of Vienna) has published a link on his website. 

It contains a comprehensive response from Jürgen Habermas with comments on the individual chapters (pp. 363-411).



Friedrich Wilhelm Graf - Was Theologen von Jürgen Habermas lernen können 

Hans Schelkshorn - Von den Weltbildern der Achsenzeit zum nachmetaphysischen Denken der Moderne? Zu Habermas’ genealogischer Verteidigung des Projekts der Aufklärung

Heiner Roetz - Auch eine Geschichte der Philosophie Chinas? Zu Jürgen Habermas’ "Auch eine Geschichte der Philosophie"

Christoph Markschies - Auch eine Geschichte der Philosophie oder: das antike Christentum bei Jürgen Habermas

Leo Kobusch - Achsenzeit, Spätantike, Spätmittelalter – sind sie notwendige Elemente der Genealogie des nachmetaphysischen Denkens?

Maximilian Forschner - Die Provokation des Aristotelismus – Jürgen Habermas über Thomas von Aquin

Ludger Honnefelder - Paradigmenwechsel im philosophischen Denken: Johannes Duns Scotus. Zu Jürgen Habermas’ Deutung der Wende in der mittelalterlichen Philosophie

Notger Slenczka - Die Verselbständigung des Glaubens und ihre Folgen – Luther in der Philosophiegeschichte 

Gerardo Cunico - Habermas’ Auseinandersetzung mit Hume und Kant

Rudolf Langthaler - „… dass der Kredit, den Kant der Postulatenlehre einräumt, nicht gedeckt ist“: Zu Habermas’ Kritik der kantischen Postulatenlehre

Maureen Junker-Kenny - Der Ort Friedrich Schleiermachers als Sprachtheoretiker und als Theologe der Moderne im nachmetaphysischen Denken. Eine subjektivitätstheoretische Analyse

Joachim Ringleben - Der Blick auf die neuere Theologie: Schleiermacher und Kierkegaard

Thomas M. Schmidt - Geist, Sprache, Leiblichkeit. Hegel, Herder und Feuerbach über die Verkörperung der Vernunft 

Ludwig Nagl - Erwägungen zur Pragmatismusrezeption bei Habermas: Religion bei Peirce, Royce, James und Putnam 

Eduardo Mendieta - Postmetaphysical + Postsecular = Post-Christian? On Habermas and the "Querelle" on Secularization

Jürgen Habermas - Eine Antwort auf die Kommentare.

Sunday, January 07, 2024

Seyla Benhabib and the Future of Critical Theory

Another Universalism

Seyla Benhabib and the Future of Critical Theory

Ed. by Stefan Eich, Anna Jurkevics, Nishin Nathwani & Nica Siegel

(Columbia University Press, 2024)

446 pages

From the introduction:

"For Benhabib, any universalism today must emerge from the concrete struggles of individuals navigating the fractured lifeworlds of our global society. Embracing that idea, the essays in this volume cover a broad terrain of debates that are the forefront of critical theory today: the relationship between democracy and cosmopolitanism, the role of law in emancipatory struggles, the task of deprovincializing the European approach to critical theory, man's domination of nature, and the ever-elusive relationship between Hannah Arendt and the Frankfurt School. It is a testament to the range of Benhabib's oevre that all of these themes should emerge from engagements with her work." (Anna Jurkevics)



Introduction: In Search of Another Universalism - Anna Jurkevics

Part I: Critique, Norm, and Utopia

1. Benhabib and Habermas on Discourse and Development - Thomas McCarthy

2. Normativity and Reality: Toward a Critical and Realistic Theory of Politics - Rainer Forst

3. Loss of World, Not Certainty - Carmen Lea Dege

4. Nature as a Concrete Other - Umur Basdas

5. “To Burst Open the Possibilities of the Present” [paper] - Bernard E. Harcourt

Part II: Thinking With and Against Arendt

6. “Thinking With and Against” as Feminist Political Theory - Patchen Markell

7. Arendt and Truth - Gaye İlhan Demiryol

8. Understanding Eichmann and Anwar - Sonali Chakravarti

Part III: Democratic Iterations and Cosmopolitanism

9. Democracy Without Shortcuts - Cristina Lafont

10. Another Republicanism: Dissent, Institutions, and Renewal - Christian Volk

11. Three Models of Communicative Cosmopolitanism - Peter J. Verovšek

12. At the Borders of the Self - Paul Linden-Retek

Part IV: Jurisgenerativity

13. Back to the Future? Critical Theory and the Law - William E. Scheuerman

14. The Unfinished Revolution - Eduardo Mendieta

15. Genocide and Jurisgenesis - Max Pensky

16. Jurisgenerativity in the Age of Big Data - Matthew Longo

Part V: Deprovincializing Critical Theory

17. Pachamama’s Rights, Climate Crisis, and the Decolonial Cosmos - Angélica María Bernal

18. What Is the Other in Seyla Benhabib’s Another Cosmopolitanism? - Drucilla Cornell

19. Border Deaths as Forced Disappearances [paper] - Ayten Gündoğdu

20. Gender Trouble - Shatema Threadcraft & Brandon M. Terry

Part VI: Philosophy and Friendship

21. Fragments of an Intellectual Autobiography - Seyla Benhabib

22. Swimming - Carolin Emcke

Sunday, December 24, 2023

Rebekka Habermas (1959-2023)


Nils Minkmar - "Zum Tod von Rebekka Habermas: Sie war eine Erscheinung" (Süddeutsche Zeitung, 22-12-2023).

Michael Hesse - "Deuterin der Kolonialgeschichte" (Frankfurter Rundschau, 23-12-2023).

Richard Hölzl - "Entdecken heißt nicht erobern" (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 27-12-2023).

Thursday, December 14, 2023

The Institute for Social Research at 100 [updated]

The next issue of "Constellations" (vol. 40, no. 4) features articles on The Institute for Social Research (Frankfurt am Main) and the Frankfurt School:

"The Institute for Social Research at 100: Continuity and Transformation"

Eleven articles are now available online:

* Axel Honneth - "The Institute for Social Research on its 100th birthday. A former director's perspective"

Excerpt: "There are deeper, less superficial reasons for being skeptical today with regard to the potential of this tradition to guide us in our social–theoretical attempts to comprehend the present situation in a fruitful way, both philosophically sound and empirically productive. In the following, I want to discuss three challenges resulting from structural changes in our social and intellectual environment that make it more and more difficult to preview a fruitful, productive, and energizing future for Critical Theory in its traditional form. These three challenges stem from (1) the growing awareness of the endurance of the colonial past of Western societies, (2) the unmistakable importance of the ecological question, and, finally, (3) the growing uncertainties about the exact format and arrangement of interdisciplinary research."

* Rainer Forst: "The rational critique of social unreason. On critical theory in the Frankfurt tradition"  [open access]

Excerpt: "In my view, then, critical theory must be reconfigured as a critique of relations of justification. This calls, on the one hand, for a critical social scientific analysis of social and political relations of domination that includes cultural and, not least, economic structures and relationships. In this regard, two dimensions of domination must be distinguished: subjugation to unjustifiable norms and institutions, and subjugation to conditions that prevent practices of justification. Such critical analysis must be combined with a discourse-theoretical, genealogical critique of the justifications and justification narratives that confer legitimacy on unjustifiable relations. On the other hand, we must pose the constructive question of how a “basic structure of justification” can be conceived as a requirement of fundamental justice and be realized in social practice - not as an ideal or a model to be imposed on societies, but as a normative order to be developed autonomously. Essentially, a theory we call critical ought to be based on the principle of criticism itself. Its medium is reason striving for practices of autonomous justification among equals."

* Alessandro Ferrara - "If Foucault, why not Rawls? On enlarging the critical tent"

Excerpt: "It is undeniably among the aims of critical theory to envisage a society in which diversity can exist in the absence of oppression. Now, it’s all too easy to merely invoke the ideal of equals living together with their diversity (ethnic, ethical, religious, cultural, or of gender, lifestyle, sexual preference) and without oppression. Deconstructionists, post-colonial theorists, and theorists of recognition often emphatically do so. However, when it comes to specifying concretely which institutions should form the basic structure of such a society, how they should relate to one other, what rights and liberties (and how limited and balanced) citizens should have, and what democratic legitimacy means, it is a whole different story.On the nuts and bolts of an oppression-free society the entire first generation had little to offer, to say nothing of the cauldron of the “verwaltete Welt” (Adorno). Habermas has quite a lot to say, in Between Facts and Norms and in his exchange with Rawls. Among the younger critical theorists who long for reviving the earlier program of the Frankfurt School, few even attempt to say anything. This is the problem, instead, on which [John Rawls's] Political Liberalism, not A Theory of Justice, offers an elaborate theory unmatched by any other to date (....) Critical theory can only gain from enlarging its tent to include also some of Rawls’s concepts - reasonability, civility, reciprocity - and from launching empirical research on the conditions of the possibility for them to maintain traction in the challenging decades ahead of us."

* Maeve Cooke - "Social theory as critical theory: Horkheimer's program and its relevance today"

Excerpt: "Since formalist models of politics abstain from critique of the prevailing deep-seated ethical-existential values and from recommendation of alternatives, they are conducive toward unquestioning acceptance of the ethical-existential values undergirding the established political procedures, facilitating the reproduction of the political status quo. Against this, I take the view that contemporary critical theory must engage with ethical-existential questions, not least if it is to meet the challenges posed by our disastrous ecological situation. This requires it, in turn, to engage with the question of ethical-existential validity. Given the challenge of value pluralism, therefore, a key task for contemporary critical theory is to elaborate a conception of ethical validity that is at once universalist and attentive to the plurality of ethical values and worldviews."

* Samuel Moyn - "Critical theory's generational predicament" [Link]

Excerpt: "(....) it seems clear that the principal cause of the lack of interest in critical theory for younger generations - the lack of zeal to perpetuate or even study it - is that the votaries of the tradition conformed unreflectively to “the end of history” in the 1990s. They had essentially nothing to say about American unipolarity and the militarism that has so clearly accompanied it. Worse, for one-time Marxists, they never formulated an analysis or critique of economic neoliberalism. Yet these are the causes at the center of the activism and theorizing of many who lived through the past decade and forging a critical perspective on their times."

* Martin Saar - "Rethinking Critique and Theory" [open access]

Excerpt: "Benjamin’s partisanship for the perspective of the defeated in historiography, Adorno’s and Horkheimer’s insistence on the deep ambivalence of enlightenment ideals, and Marcuse’s clear-sighted perception of the central role of the excluded and marginalized, whom the capitalist system cannot even properly exploit, are starting points for a radical self-critique of the Western liberation movements, which have yet to admit their own entanglement in domination elsewhere and thus should actually make way for an even more radical, decentered enlightenment and liberation."

* Frank I. Michelman - "Totality, morality, and social philosophy"

Excerpt: "We thus see the Institute for Social Research, at a signal moment in its early history, posing for itself the dialectic of human individual agency and environing social totality - with neither element placed at the other’s disposal - as a main topic for pursuit by social philosophy and its connected program of social research. It is by pursuit of that topic that the Institute’s engagements over the decades of my own academic career have figured, importantly for me, in my work (not generally classified as “Frankfurt School”) on liberal constitutional theory. Most pointedly it has done so in undertakings by Jürgen Habermas to explicate a moral point of view from which citizens in a political society encounter one another as each a free and equal person commanding full respect as such - but to explicate that morality, as I have sought to explain, not as a view “that philosophy independently discovers,” but rather as one that lies embedded in a historically particular social totality."

* Cristina Lafont - "The return of the critique of ideologies" [open access]

Excerpt: "(....) I shall focus on just one issue: the recent revival in critiques of ideology. In my view, this type of critique is an important task of critical theory and remains one of its most significant legacies. Yet, if one focuses on the work of critical theorists over the past decades, this statement is far from obvious. In fact, the second generation of the Frankfurt school,most notably Habermas in his Theory of Communicative Action, explicitly rejects ideology critique as obsolete in the context of contemporary societies. Even though in the 1960s and 1970s, he had embraced the classicalMarxist approach to ideology critique, he ultimately rejected it. It was the explicit attempt to rebut objections that had plagued this approach that brought about the so-called “democratic turn” of critical theory characteristic of Habermas’s work from the 1980s onward and in which the critique of ideologies no longer plays a role."

* Christopher F. Zurn -  "We're not special: Congratulations!"

Excerpt: "It is fine, then, to get right to work on current social movements - Occupy Wall Street and other Square movements, Black Lives Matter, the Sunrise and Third Act movements, MeToo, the Arab Spring, or the Mahsa Amini protests - and on pressing contemporary social problems - climate change and human adaptation, deepening material inequality, the erosion of constitutional democracy, artificial intelligence and human de-skilling, global migration and refugee waves, the transformation of the Westphalian international order, the resilience and resurgence of patriarchy, and so on - without worrying how to fit these movements and problems into the architectonic of Dialectic of Enlightenment or Theory of Communicative Action. To be sure, we need not ignore the conceptual resources and insights of our tradition when they are relevant and enlightening. But we need to take interdisciplinarity seriously by looking to the much broader currents of critical thought on social formations and the changing horizons of human emancipation."

* Peter E. Gordon - "The animating impulses of critical theory"

Excerpt: "For some readers, this generational shift - between the first and second generations of critical theory - is overdramatized into a stark contrast between totalizing negativism and restorationist optimism, both of which seem to hover at too great an altitude above social reality. Needless to say, this contrast does an injustice to both parties. Adorno and Horkheimer are far more committed to reason’s self-reflective possibilities, while Habermas remains far more attentive to reason’s systemic distortion. They converge at a point of dialectical mediation, whereas neither pure negativism nor pure idealism would serve as a viable groundwork for critical theory. In what follows I wish to suggest that Horkheimer’s original model of social philosophy, as animated by a rational but materialist ideal of emancipation, still has enduring merit."

* William E. Scheuerman - "Horkheimer's unrealized vision"

Excerpt: "Horkheimer’s idea of a mutually constructive exchange between philosophy and critical social science has too often been rare and ephemeral. And this should worry us if you believe, as this author does, that Horkheimer was right to see such an exchange as indispensable to critical theory. (....) Only in 1962 did Habermas, in an appropriately interdisciplinary study that relied heavily on research from legal scholars, political scientists, and sociologists, begin to revitalize Frankfurt critical theory. Not only did his landmark Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere take the social sciences seriously, but its young author seems to have implicitly grasped that critical theory could only flourish on the basis of an authentically cooperative, mutually beneficial relationship between philosophy and the social sciences. Horkheimer’s original interdisciplinary vision clearly inspired the young Habermas. When properly reconstructed, it should inspire us today as well."

Tuesday, December 05, 2023

Habermas on Martin Seel

 A new essay by Jürgen Habermas:

"Sich-bestimmen-Lassen. Zum philosophischen Grundgedanken von Martin Seel"

(Zeitschrift für Ästhetik und Allgemeine Kunstwissenschaft, vol. 68, no. 2 (2023), pp. 68-87).

The essay was written in the spring of 2020.


With a philosopher like Martin Seel, reflecting this closely on the literary form in which to present his ideas, it is not surprising that philosophy of language makes for a focus of interest. Since my own interest also points in this direction, I will start with Seel’s groundbreaking essay on literal and figurative speech (I). I will then deal with the concept of "letting oneself be determined" as the pivotal point of Martin Seel’s philosophy (II). The resulting pragmatist understanding of sociocultural forms of life has important consequences for the way in which Seel detranscendentalizes Kant’s epistemology (III). Finally, I will critically examine the conception of a practical philosophy developing aesthetics and morality out of the fundamental question of ethics (IV). In this conception, a self-image of philosophy oriented towards the unity of the true, the good and the beautiful. In my opinion, however, Martin Seel neglects history as a dimension in which reason leaves its traces (V).


"Martin Seel nimmt weder moralische Freiheit noch Emanzipation unter die Modi des Sich-bestimmen-Lassens auf. Ich vermute, dass er zu sehr Ästhetiker und zu sehr Wittgensteinianer ist, um die Dimension der Geschichte als Verlaufsform einer für Gerechtigkeit prozessierenden Vernunft angemessen zu berücksichtigen."

"Auch diese Art von Autonomie kann noch als eine Gestalt des Sich-bestimmen-Lassens verstanden werden, wenn nicht gar als dessen Modell. Denn Kant begreift Autonomie genau nach dieser Denkgur als die Freiheit, sich im Handeln von den Geboten der praktischen Vernunft "binden" zu lassen. In diesem mysteriösen Kern des "Sich-binden-Lassens" vereinigt sich allerdings das Moment des Sich-von-vernünftiger-Einsicht-bestimmen-Lassens mit der Anerkennung eines kategorischen Sollens, das über die bloße Önung gegenüber dem, was mir geschieht, hinausweist. Mit diesem überschießenden, über das Bestehende idealisierend hinausweisenden Charakter des Gesollten entsteht das Bewusstsein, dass es an uns liegt, keinen Fehler zu machen. Im Vergleich zu jener Ermächtigung und Bestimmung, die das kommunikativ handelnde Subjekt einerseits durch seine Sprachkompetenz und andererseits durch den jeweils aktuellen sowie den einsozialisierten lebensweltlichen Kontext erfährt und durch sich hindurch zur Wirkung kommen lässt, nimmt im Falle moralischer Forderungen mit der Schwelle möglicher Verfehlungen die Zumutung einer Selbstermächtigung dramatisch zu. Daher gibt es zwischen diesen beiden Alternativen der Zustimmung des subjektiven Geistes zur Ermächtigung durch den objektiven Geist auf der einen, und der Einwilligung des subjektiven Geistes in die Zumutung des objektiven Geistes auf der anderen Seite ein Mittleres, das man erst versteht, wenn man wie Marx auch den Charakter der schon angedeuteten Naturwüchsigkeit des objektiven Geistes in Rechnung stellt, der den subjektiven Geist "mit Gründen täuschen" kann. Wie sich der subjektive Geist von diesen Fesseln des objektiven Geistes befreien kann, zeigt sich freilich nur in seltenen Augenblicken der Emanzipation. Auch diese vollzieht sich im Modus des Sich-bestimmen-Lassens zugleich an und mit dem subjektiven Geist und beleuchtet sowohl in der Lebensgeschichte des Einzelnen wie auch in der Geschichte der Völker ein Mittleres zwischen den Konventionen des Alltags und den Herausforderungen zu moralisch bewusstem Handeln. Und zwar sind das die Momente einer leidenschaftlich inspirierten, jedoch zugleich getriebenen Befreiung – sei es zur Autonomie des Heranwachsenden, sei es zur Erringung institutionalisierter und rechtlich gesicherter Freiheiten. Diese Verwicklung in Prozesse einer "Freiheit im Werden" ist ein Modus des Sich-bestimmen-Lassens diesseits der Moral und des schon geltenden Rechts. Solche Momente einer durch lebensgeschichtliche oder gesellschaftliche Krisen beglaubigten und legitimierten Befreiung vergessen sich auch dann nicht, wenn eine Revolte kurzfristig scheitern sollte – wie zurzeit jene bewegenden, hartnäckig durchgehaltenen Proteste der unbeugsamen belarussischen Frauen, ja, überwiegend Frauen, die mit Blumen in den Händen den hemmungslos prügelnden Schlägern eines repressiven Regimes selbstbewusst die Stirne bieten."

Sunday, December 03, 2023

Weithman on stability in a Rawlsian theory of liberal democracy

A new paper by Paul Weithman (University of Notre Dame):

"Stability and Equilibrium in Political Liberalism" [read access]

(forthcoming in "Philosophical Studies")

Thanks to Paul Weithman for sharing!

See also: 

* Samuel Freeman - "Reasonable political conceptions and the well-ordered liberal society", in Paul Weithman (ed.),  Rawls's Theory of Justice at 50 (Cambridge University Press, 2023). [+ my blog post].

* Paul Weithman, Why Political Liberalism? On John Rawls's Political Turn (Oxford University Press, 2011). [Preview]

Sunday, November 26, 2023

Seyla Benhabib: Kantian Cosmopolitanism and its Critics

Lecture by Seyla Benhabib at the University of Vienna, October 5, 2023:

Kantian Cosmopolitanism and its Critics [Video]

* Welcome & introduction 

* Lecture 09:20 - 1:02:00

* Discussion: 1:02:00 - 1:44:00 (moderator: George Karamanolis)

Thursday, November 23, 2023

Interview with Habermas: "Europe's Mistake"

A new interview with Jürgen Habermas on Ukraine, Europe and the new geopolitical constellation:

"Europe's Mistake" (Granta, no. 165, 2023). [Open access]

The interview was conducted by Thomas Meaney on 23 July 2023.

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Habermas on the Hamas massacre, Israel’s response, and anti-Semitic sentiments [Updated]

Nicole Deitelhoff, Rainer Forst, Klaus Günther & Jürgen Habermas on the Hamas massacre, Israel’s response and anti-Semitic sentiments: 

"Principles of solidarity. A statement" (13-11-2023)

"The current situation created by Hamas‘ extreme atrocity and Israel’s response to it has led to a cascade of moral and political statements and protests. We believe that amidst all the conflicting views being expressed, there are some principles that should not be disputed. They are the basis of a rightly understood solidarity with Israel and Jews in Germany.

The Hamas massacre with the declared intention of eliminating Jewish life in general has prompted Israel to strike back. How this retaliation, which is justified in principle, is carried out is the subject of controversial debate; principles of proportionality, the prevention of civilian casualties and the waging of a war with the prospect of future peace must be the guiding principles. Despite all the concern for the fate of the Palestinian population, however, the standards of judgement slip completely when genocidal intentions are attributed to Israel’s actions.

In particular, Israel’s actions in no way justify anti-Semitic reactions, especially not in Germany. It is intolerable that Jews in Germany are once again exposed to threats to life and limb and have to fear physical violence on the streets. The democratic ethos of the Federal Republic of Germany, which is orientated towards the obligation to respect human dignity, is linked to a political culture for which Jewish life and Israel’s right to exist are central elements worthy of special protection in light of the mass crimes of the Nazi era. The commitment to this is fundamental to our political life. The elementary rights to freedom and physical integrity as well as to protection from racist defamation are indivisible and apply equally to all. All those in our country who have cultivated anti-Semitic sentiments and convictions behind all kinds of pretexts and now see a welcome opportunity to express them uninhibitedly must also abide by this."


See also Nicole Deitelhoff's comments on X/Twitter.

+ podcast from “Parallax Views” with A. Dirk Moses (City University of New York) on the Gaza War – with his comments on the statement by Nicole Deiteldorf et al. (32:35 - 38:36)

Adam Tooze, Samuel Moyn, Amia Srinivasan, Nancy Fraser et al. - "The principle of human dignity must apply to all people" (The Guardian, online 22-11-2023). Among the signatories are also Dirk Moses, Peter Verovšek, Robin Celikates, Frederick Neuhouser, Jay Bernstein, and Katrin Flikschuh.

+ Rainer Forst - "Beyond Black and White", A statement published in an article by Michael Hesse in "Frankfurter Rundschau": "Die Suche nach einem "vernünftigen Diskurs"" (25-11-2023).

Responses & reports in the press:

* Süddeutsche Zeitung (Jens-Christian Rabe), 15-11-2023 

* Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Christian Geyer), online 15-11-2023 

* Frankfurter Rundschau (Michael Hesse), online 15-11-2023 

* Die Zeit, online 14-11-2023.

* Der Spiegel, online 14-11-2023.

* Berliner Zeitung (Timo Feldhaus), online 14-11-2023 

* Die Welt, online 14-11-2023.

* Tagesspiegel (Gerrit Bartels), 14-11-2023.

* La Repubblica (Tonia Mastrobuoni), 15-11-2023.

* Il Manifesto (Roberto De Monticelli), online 19-11-2023,

* The Guardian (Philip Oltermann), online 22-11-2023,

* Spiegel Online (Tobias Rapp), online 23-11-2023.

* Tagesspiegel (Gerrit Bartels), 24-11-2023.

* Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Miguel de la Riva), 25-11-2023.

Frankfurter Rundschau (Michael Hesse), 25-11-2023.

* Berliner Zeitung (Paolo Becchi), online 26-11-2023

Die Welt (Andreas Rosenfelder), 27-11-2023.

* Nordwest-Zeitung (Stefan Müller-Doohm), 27-11-2023

Der Standard (Ronald Pohl), 28-11-2023.

* Der Spiegel Online (Hedwig Richter), 28-11-2023.

* Der Spiegel (Omri Boehm), 02-12-2023.

* Boston Review (Peter E. Gordon), 04-12-2023.

* Thomas Schmid (Blog), 08-12-2023.

New Lines Magazine (Asef Bayat), online 08-12-2023.

* Die Presse (Gerald Matt), 09-12-2023

* Frankfurter Rundschau (Seyla Benhabib), 18-12-2023

Al-Estiklal (NN), online 21-12-2023

* Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Rudolf Steinberg), 28-12-2023.

* Al-Ahram Weekly (Alieddien Hilal), 11-01-2024.

* Modern East Eye (Hamid Dabashi), online 18-01-2024 (Warning: Outrageous!).

Sunday, October 29, 2023

New book: The Archives of Critical Theory

The Archives of Critical Theory

ed. by Isabelle Aubert & Marcos Nobre

(Springer Verlag, 2023)

282 pages


On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the Institute for Social Research in Frankfurt am Main, in 1923, this book aims at shedding light on the archives of some of the key thinkers of Critical Theory of Society, also well known as “Frankfurt School”. To pay homage to this current of thought, this contributed volume aims to make the archives speak for themselves, to show the public the quantity of unpublished material still existing by the authors of the Critical Theory which are now in funds in different parts of the world (in Germany, in Italy, or in the United States), and to show that Critical Theory remains alive 100 years after its inception.

The volume starts by presenting the archives of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, the thinkers who inspired Critical Theory, and the archives of the Institute for Social Research itself. Then it dedicates separate sections to the archives of Walter Benjamin, Max Horkheimer, Theodor W. Adorno, Friedrich Pollock, Herbert Marcuse, Leo Löwenthal and Jürgen Habermas. The book is composed of chapters written by researchers and editors who worked in the different fonds, as well as chapters written by or interviews with researchers who were or are in charge of some of the archives, or who are especially familiar with the material.

Contents [preview]

Introduction: Researching the Archives of Critical Theory [preview] - Isabelle Aubert & Marcos Nobre 

Publishing Marx-Engels-Nachlass: Archive, Editions, and Theoretical Implications [preview] - Olavo Ximenes 

Into the Walter Benjamin Archive: An Interview with Ursula Marx - Fernando Bee

Benjamin Anarchivist - Antonin Wiser 

The Attitude of the German People: The Institute of Social Research Archive as Contemporary History - Dirk Braunstein & Maischa Gelhard 

The Role of Empirical Research in Theodor W. Adorno’s Thought: A Personal Experience at the Archive of the Institute for Social Research - Adriano Januário

Working on Cultural Memory: The Literary Estate of Max Horkheimer in the Frankfurt University Library - Gunzelin Schmid Noerr

The Material Part of Theory: The IfS Exile in Geneva and the Correspondence between Max Horkheimer & Juliette Favez - Olivier Voirol

Not Just Director, Methodologist, or Partner: A Brief History of the Reception of Horkheimer’s Work - Paulo Yamawake 

Adorno and the Archiving of the Ephemeral: Remarks on His Literary Estate - Michael Schwarz 

Adorno and the Post-war Artistic Debates: A Perspective Through the Archives - Raquel Patriota & Ricardo Lira da Silva 

T.W. Adorno, H. Becker, and the Challenges of Education in an “Administered World” (1955–1969): Unpublished Radio Conversations from the Theodor W. Adorno Archive - Aurélia Peyrical 

Symbiosis and Dispersion: The Friedrich Pollock Papers - Philipp Lenhard 

Leo Löwenthal and Herbert Marcuse: Analysis of the Enemy and Volumes from the Marcuse Archive - Peter-Erwin Jansen & Inka Engel 

Archive Beyond Files: A Brief Note on a Personal Experience in the Marcuse Archive - Inara Luisa Marin 

Critical Theory and Primary Source Research: Subjective Reflections on Working in the Herbert Marcuse and Max Horkheimer Archives - John Abromeit 

The Habermas Papers: An Interview with Roman Yos [preview] - Pedro Zan & Rafael Palazi 

Two Letters Between Jürgen Habermas and Karl-Otto Apel, Dated 1965: Comments on the Exchange - Roman Yos 

Letter from Jürgen Habermas to Herbert Marcuse, July 10, 1978: Translation of the Letter and Comment - Isabelle Aubert 

Appendix: Practical Information on the Archives [pdf]

Friday, October 13, 2023

A New Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere and Deliberative Politics

A New Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere and Deliberative Politics

by Jürgen Habermas

(Polity, 2023)

128 pages


1. Reflections and Conjectures on a New Structural Transformation of the Political Public Sphere

Also published in Theory, Culture & Society, vol. 39, no. 4 (2022), pp. 145-171. [Open access]

2. Deliberative Democracy. An Interview

Originally published as “Interview with Jürgen Habermas” in André Bächtiger, John S. Dryzek, Jane Mansbridge & Mark E. Warren (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Deliberative Democracy (Oxford University Press, 2018) pp. 871-882.

3. What is Meant by ‘Deliberative Democracy’? Objections and Misunderstandings

Section 2 and 3 reuses text from Habermas’s "Foreword", in Emilie Prattico (ed.), Habermas and the Crisis of Democracy. Interviews with Leading Thinkers (London: Routledge, 2022), pp. xiii-xix. [Preview here]