Tuesday, November 29, 2022

The Philosophy of Christine M. Korsgaard


Normativity and Agency
.

Themes from the Philosophy of Christine M. Korsgaard

Ed. by Tamar Schapiro, Kyla Ebels-Duggan & Sharon Street

(Oxford University Press, 2022)

304 pages



Description

This volume is a collection of twelve original essays written in honor of Christine Korsgaard, on the occasion of her retirement from teaching. These articles address questions about the foundations of morality, the nature of normativity, conceptions of the self and of agency, moral responsibility, obligations to non-human animals, constructivism in ethics, and the relations between Kant’s ethics, religion, and politics. 

Contents [Preview]

Editors' Preface

1. The Horizons of Humanity - David Sussman

2. Finite Valuers and the Problem of Vulnerability to Unmitigated Loss - Sharon Street

3. A Question of One’s Own: Concepts, Conceptions, and Moral Skepticisms - Kyla Ebels-Duggan

4. The Two Normativities - J. David Velleman

5. Self-Consciousness and Self-Division in Moral Psychology - Richard Moran

6. What Makes Weak-Willed Action Weak? - Tamar Schapiro

7. Integrity, Truth, and Value - Sigrún Svavarsdóttir

8. Shadows of the Self: Reflections on the Authority of Advance Directives [Paper] - Japa Pallikkathayil

9. Korsgaard on Responsibility - T. M. Scanlon

10. Animal Value and Right - Stephen Darwall

11. Juridical Personality and the Role of Juridical Obligation - Barbara Herman

12. The Social Conditions for Autonomy: Kant on Politics and Religion - Faviola Rivera-Castro



Friday, November 25, 2022

Habermas on Enzensberger (1929-2022)

Jürgen Habermas on the death of Hans Magnus Enzensberger (1929-2022): 

"Der Elektrisierende". Meine Erinnerung an Hans Magnus Enzensberger 

(Süddeutsche Zeitung, 2022-11-26; paywall!)


Excerpt:

"Ich habe ihn immer für den Intelligentesten unseres Jahrgangs gehalten. Und einen Vielbegabten hätte man ihn nennen können, wenn nicht dieses zweideutige Wort Zweifel weckte an der frühen und immer schon glanzvollen Realisierung seiner vielfältigen und ganz ungewöhnlichen Fähigkeiten. Die frühen, an Brecht und Benn geschulten Gedichte, die aufklärend-belesenen Pamphlete, die überraschenden Ausgrabungen, die funkelnden literarischen Essays, die gelehrten kulturkritischen Aufätze und präzisen "Einzelheiten" waren schon in der lähmenden Adenauerschen Republik ein Sprengsatz. Wer 1957 so alt war wie dieser noch kaum bekannte Autor, war vom Ton der "Verteidigung der Wölfe", von der adornesken Kritik an der "Sprache des Spiegels" und wenig später von dem anarchistischen Blick auf "Politik und Verbrechen" elektrisiert. (....)

Ich hatte 1965 Gelegenheit, die außergewöhnliche Belesenheit Hans Magnus Enzensbergers kennenzulernen - jene Nase für Produktives auf fast allen einschlägigen Gebieten, die sich in der Gründung von mehreren Zeitschriften und vor allem bei der Leitung der "Anderen Bibliothek" bewähren sollte. (....) Seit den bewegten Tagen der Studentenbewegung sind wir uns persönlich nur noch gelegentlich begegnet; aber sein Tod macht mir seine anhaltende intellektuelle Präsenz bewusst." 

Thursday, November 24, 2022

John Rawls died 20 years ago today

John Rawls died 20 years ago today. In this interview from 1991 he speaks about his career, the historical context of his "A Theory of Justice", the role of philosophy - and its limitations: 

John Rawls: For the Record [pdf]

Interview by Samuel R. Aybar, Joshua D. Harlan, and Won J. Lee

(The Harvard Review of Philosophy, Spring 1991)


Tuesday, November 22, 2022

New book: Critical Theory Today


Critical Theory Today

On the Limits and Relevance of an Intellectual Tradition

Ed. by Denis C. Bosseau & Tom Bunyard 

(Palgrave Macmillan, 2022)

279 pages



Description

This book considers whether critical theory is up to the task of addressing our contemporary crises, including the question of ‘post-truth’ discourse, psycho-social pathologies, the rise of right-wing populism, the Covid-19 pandemic, the anticolonial deficit in critical theory, and the neo-liberal management of the academy. The contributors offer a series of timely and complex reflections on the nature of critical theory, its role in contemporary society, and its various developments since the early twentieth century. In doing so, they analyse a variety of contemporary issues that, through critical reflection, can help us to navigate these problems. This volume seeks to highlight problems and possibilities within this field of thought, and endeavours to contribute towards reconsidering its capabilities and relevance.

The book is based on papers presented at a conference at the University of Brighton in November 2019: "Critical Theory in (a Time of) Crisis".

Contents [Preview

* On the Crisis of Critique: Reformulating the Project of Critical Theory; Michael J. Thompson [PDF]

* An Anticolonial Deficit in Frankfurt School Critical Theory: A Need for a Decolonial Turn; Muhammad Qasim 

* Critical Condition; David Gould 

* Critical Theory, Political Modernity and Sociological Modernity; Darrow Schecter 

* Erich Fromm and Contemporary Critical Theory; Neal Harris and Owen Brown 

* The Uses of Marx’s Value-Theoretical Concept of Reproduction for Social Reproduction Theory; Rebecca Carson 

* Abandonment or Liberation? Anorexia, Refusal of Treatment, and the Limits of Proceduralism; Jacopo Condò 

* Responding to Precarity: Ethics and Mediation in Butler and Adorno; Luke Edmeads 

* Re-thinking Social Transformation: Utopian Consciousness Within Critical Theory; Lynn Alena Roth 

* Beyond Post-Truth: Critical Theory and the Possibility of Radical Enlightenment; Roderick Howlett 

* Totality, Malaise and Agitation: Towards a Critical Theory of Authoritarian Politics; Helge Petersen and Alex Struwe 

* Adorno’s Exaggerations and the Limits of Social Pathology Critique; Paul Ingram 

* Towards a Post-capitalist Horizon of Possibility. Mark Fisher, the Renewal of Critical Theory of Society for the Twenty; Paul Ewart


Thursday, November 17, 2022

Rainer Forst on Democratic Regression

A new working paper by Rainer Forst (Goethe University Frankfurt):

"Die Herrschaft der Unvernunft. Zum Begriff der (anti-)demokratischen Regression" (free access)

Abstract: In aktuellen Analysen der Krise der Demokratie wird in Verbindung mit dem Aufkommen autoritärer Populismen der Begriff der demokratischen bzw. antidemokratischen Regression verwendet. In diesem Text werden die normativen Voraussetzungen diskutiert, die den Gebrauch dieses Begriffs, verstanden als Diagnose der "Herrschaft der Unvernunft", rechtfertigen. Diese Klärung erlaubt es, einige Fehler in der diesbezüglichen Diskussion zu vermeiden: den der Status quo ante-Fixierung, den der Reduktion des Begriffs der Demokratie sowie den der falschen Einordnung von Demokratiekritik. Diese Überlegungen münden in eine eigene Einschätzung der Ursachen demokratischer Regression und der Paradoxien unserer Zeit.



Monday, November 14, 2022

Frank Michelman on the Constitutional Theory of Political Liberalism


Constitutional Essentials.

On the Constitutional Theory of Political Liberalism

by Frank I. Michelman 

(Oxford University Press, 2022)

232 pages



Description

This work examines closely the constitution-centered proposition on political legitimacy, offered by John Rawls in "Political Liberalism" in response to the problem posed for government by consent by facts of deep-lying disagreement among citizens. An answer, Rawls thought, could lie in the possibility of a framework law for a society’s politics—a “constitution,” including a bill of rights—that all, despite other disagreements, could find reason to accept. The work offers explication of the thought behind Rawls’s proposal, while also placing it in relation to a duality of functions — “regulatory” and “justificatory” — for which lawyers in constitutional-democratic societies typically look to their countries’ bodies of constitutional law. Conflicts in practical implications from these functional attributions, the work suggests, can help explain the persistence of debates in constitutional-democratic venues over topics ranging from choices between “legal” and “political” — or between “written” and “unwritten” — constitutions, to thinness versus thickness in formulations of constitutional principles and guarantees, the place of constitutional fidelity among liberal political virtues, activism versus restraint in the conduct of judicial constitutional review, original-meaning versus moral-reading approaches to constitutional interpretation, and extension of constitutional substantive guarantees beyond negative restraints on the government to take in affirmative state obligations for satisfaction of the basic material needs of citizens, and for protection of them against oppression from nongovernmental social powers. The book also looks into whether some later-arriving work from Rawls signifies modification of the procedurally dependent basis for political justification than it finds in the first edition of "Political Liberalism".

Table of Contents

PART I. JUSTIFICATION-BY-CONSTITUTION

1. The Constitution as Procedural Recourse: Rawls's "Liberal Principle of Legitimacy"

2. A Fixation Thesis and a Secondary Proceduralization: Constitution as Positive Law

3. Constitutional Essentials. A Singularity of Reason, or a Space of Reasonability?

4. Constitutional Law and Human Rights: The Call to Civility

5. Constitutional Fidelity: Of Courts, Citizens, and Time

6. A Realistic Utopia?

PART II. "THE CRITERION OF RECIPROCITY"

7. Legitimacy: Procedural Compliance or Ethical Attitude?

8. Offsets to Proceduralism

PART III. SOME CHRONIC DEBATES

9. Constitutional Application: Between Will and Reason

10. Justification-By-Constitution, Economic Guarantees, and the Rise of Weak-Form Review

11. Judicial Restraint (and Judicial Supremacy)

12. Legal Formalism and The Rule of Law

13. Constitutional Rights and "Private" Legal Relations

14. Liberal Tolerance to Liberal Collapse?


Sunday, November 13, 2022

Moral Equality

The new issue of "The Journal of Contemporary Legal Issues" (Vol. 23, No. 2, 2022) contains articles on equality and morality, including:

* Richard J. Arneson - "Which Inequalities Matter?" [pdf]

* Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen - "What Is It For Us To Be Moral Equals? And Does It Matter Much If We're Not?" [pdf]

*Michael J. Perry - "Moral Equality?" [pdf]

* George Sher - "Morey and Les" [pdf]

Free access!

Friday, November 04, 2022

Peter E. Gordon on the Frankfurt School

An interview with Peter E. Gordon on the Frankfurt School (Adorno and Habermas):

"Traces of different colors" (Platypus Review, November 2022)

Excerpt:

Soren Whited: Do you see a higher degree of continuity, at least in the philosophical realm, between the two generations [of the Frankfurt School] than others are inclined to see?

Peter Gordon: Yes. I drive home this point when I’m introducing students to the tradition of critical theory. This continuity is evident when one reads Adorno and Horkheimer’s "Dialectic of Enlightenment" (1947) alongside Hambermas’s "The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere" (1962). The latter was a very early book by Habermas, and it was one that he wrote when he was close to Adorno. One can detect lines of argumentative affinity between the two books. "Public Sphere" has been denatured by more empirically minded historians, who believe that Habermas plundered history for illustrations of a thriving public sphere that we should cherish. In fact, the historical and theoretical trajectory of the book is more sobering and dialectical than that: it ends with the refeudalization of the public sphere and the reemergence of the performance of publicity before an abject public. I.e., it ends with a dialectical reversal, not unlike "Dialectic of Enlightenment": enlightenment reverts to myth. Habermas has a realistic assessment of the chances of public rationality: he’s not an exemplar of what is called “ideal theory,” because he embeds his model of communicative reason in a socio-historical framework that acknowledges how frequently that model remains unrealized. This is a continuity that is often missed by critics who insist on the chasm between the first and second generations of critical theory.


Peter E. Gordon is Professor of History at Harvard University. He is the author of "Adorno and Existence" (Harvard University Press, 2016), and "Migrants in the Profane.  Critical Theory and the Question of Secularization" (Yale University Press, 2020). He is co-editor of "The Routledge Companion to the Frankfurt School" (Routledge, 2018). 


Monday, October 31, 2022

Critical Encounters with Habermas' Legal Theory in "Between Facts and Norms"

A conference on: Critical Encounters with Habermas' Legal "Theory in Between Facts and Norms", June 3, 2023, at the University of Buffalo.

Participants: 

Seyla Benhabib (Yale University)

Isabelle Aubert (University of Paris 1, Panthéon-Sorbonne)

Philipp Hansen (University of Regina)

John McCormick (University of Chicago)

Rurion Melo (University of Sao Paulo, Brazil)

Erin Pineda (Smith College)

William Scheuermann (University of Indiana)

Matthew Specter (UC Berkeley)

John Abromeit (Buffalo State College)

Matthew Dimick (UB School of Law)

Paul Linden-Retek (UB School of Law)


Saturday, September 10, 2022

Reviews of Habermas’ “Ein neuer Strukturwandel der Öffentlichkeit" [updated]

Reviews of Jürgen Habermas’ “Ein neuer Strukturwandel der Öffentlichkeit und die deliberative Politik” (Suhrkamp Verlag, 2022):


*Mathias Brodkorb - "Diese Lücke, diese entsetzliche Lücke", Cicero, November 2022, pp. 114-115.

* Ulrich Müller-Schöll - "Rationalität in einer irrationalen Zeit", Journal21.ch, 24-10-2022.

* Georg Diez - "Schuld ist immer das Internet", Die Zeit online, 15-10-2022.

* Alexander Grau - "Verlust der kommunikativen Basis", Die Weltwoche, 13-10-2022.

* Markus Schwering - "Die Gefahr bleibt unverändert", Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger, 11-10-2022. 

* Matthias Nöther - "Gegner sind besser als Feinde", Berliner Morgenpost, 02-10-2022.

* Stefan Lüddemann - "Netz macht alle zu „potenziellen Autoren“", Die Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung, 29-09-2022. 

* Peter Neumann - "Lernt schnell besser schreiben!", Die Zeit, 22-09-2002

* Hendrikje Schauer - "Selbstgestrickt und ferngetrollt", Der Tagesspiegel, 21-09-2022.

* Robert Misik - "Geschnatter „unserer redseligen Spezies“", Falter, 38/22, 21-09-2022.

Andreas Barthelmess & Stefan Börnchen - "Einfach mal den Finger stillhalten", taz – die Tageszeitung, 20-09-2022. (The online version of the review is entitled "Social Media essen Diskurs auf")

* Ronald Pohl - "Im Echoraum der Querulanten", Der Standard, 20-09-2022. (The online version of the review is entitled "Jürgen Habermas' Sorge um die demokratische Öffentlichkeit").

* Daniel Binswanger - "Ohne Diskurs keine Demokratie", republik.ch, 17-09-2022.

* Thomas Ribi - "Jürgen Habermas macht sich Sorgen", Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 16-09-2022.

* Arno Widmann - "Jürgen Habermas: Die neue, erst noch entstehende Öffentlichkeit", Frankfurter Rundschau, 16-09-2022.

* Andreas Bernard - "Geschlossene Systeme", Süddeutsche Zeitung, 15-09-2022. (The online version of the review is entitled "Der inklusive Sinn von Öffentlichkeit verblasst")

* Jörg Phil Friedrich - "Viel Neuland für ihn", Der Freitag, 15-09-2022.

* Karl Gaulhofer - "Dabei müsste Habermas Twitter doch lieben", Die Presse, 13-09-2022.

* Moritz Rudolph - "Das Ende der Deliberation", Philosophie Magazin (online), 12-09-2022.

* Conrad Lay - "Jürgen Habermas: „Ein neuer Strukturwandel der Öffentlichkeit“" [interview/podcast], Deutschlandfunk, 12-09-2022.

* Christian Schüle - "Jürgen Habermas fällt zum „Neuen Strukturwandel der Öffentlichkeit“ leider nicht mehr viel ein" [radio broadcast], BR Bayern 2, 12-09-2022.

* Sebastian Sevignani & Anna-Verena Nosthoff - "Digitale Plattformen: Manipulation statt Diskussion?" [interview/podcast, 40 minutes], Deutschlandfunk Kultur, 11-09-2022.

* Guido Kalberer - "Mit 92 analysiert er die sozialen Medien", Tages-Anzeiger (online), 11-09-2022.

* Patrick Bahners - "Ganz schön ausgeflippt", Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, 11-09-2022.

* Jürgen Kaube - "Arbeit am Phantomschmerz", Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 10-09-2022. 

* Stefan Reinecke - "Diskurs oder Barbarei", taz – die Tageszeitung, 10-09-2022.

* Konstantin Sakkas - "Jürgen Habermas: Der demokratische Diskurs muss in Zeiten von Social Media neu gelernt werden" [podcast], SWR2, 10-09-2022.

* Norman Marquardt - "Der zwanghafte Zwang des besseren Posts", Deutschlandfunk Kultur, 10-09-2022.

* Martin Bauer - "Strukturwandel 2.0", Soziopolis, 09-09-2022

* Mladen Gladić - "Jürgen Habermas schreibt seinen Klassiker neu", Welt am Sonntag, 04-09-2022.


Summaries of some of the reviews are available at "Perlentaucher" here.

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Honneth on Habermas's "Auch eine Geschichte der Philosophie"

Axel Honneth's critique of Jürgen Habermas's "Auch eine Geschichte der Philosophie" (Suhrkamp, 2019):

"Secular Reason? A Minor Query about a Major Work(New German Critique, vol. 49, no. 2 (2022), pp. 1-14). Free access.

The article originally appeared in "Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie", vol. 69, no. 2 (2021).

Friday, August 12, 2022

New book by Habermas on deliberative democracy


Ein neuer Strukturwandel der Öffentlichkeit und die deliberative Politik

by Jürgen Habermas

(Suhrkamp Verlag, September 2022)

109 pages



Table of Contents [Preview]

1. Vorwort

2. Überlegungen und Hypothesen zu einem erneuten Strukturwandel der politischen Öffentlichkeit (pp. 9-67)

A revised version of an essay originally published in Martin Seeliger & Sebastian Sevignani (eds.), Ein neuer Strukturwandel der Öffentlichkeit? (Baden-Baden: Nomos, 2021), pp. 470-500. English: "Reflections and Hypotheses on a Further Structural Transformation of the Political Public Sphere", Theory, Culture & Society, vol. 39, no. 4 (2022), pp. 145-171.

3. Deliberative Demokratie. Ein Interview (pp. 69-87)

An abridged version of "Interview with Jürgen Habermas", in: André Bächtiger, John S. Dryzek, Jane Mansbridge & Mark E. Warren (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Deliberative Democracy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018) pp. 871-882.

4. Was heißt "deliberative Demokratie"? Einwände und Missverständnisse (pp. 89-109)

A revised version of "Foreword", in: Emilie Prattico (ed.), Habermas and the Crisis of Democracy. Interviews with Leading Thinkers (London: Routledge, 2022), pp. xiii-xix.