Saturday, August 21, 2010

New critical introduction to Jürgen Habermas

Introduction and Analysis

by David Ingram

(Cornell University Press, 2010)

384 pages


Ingram's book addresses the entire range of Habermas's social theory, including his most recent and widely discussed contributions to religion, freedom and determinism, global democracy, and the consolidation of the European Union. Recognizing Habermas's position as a highly public intellectual, Ingram discusses how Habermas applies his own theory to pressing problems such as abortion, terrorism, genetic engineering, immigration, multi-culturalism, separation of religion and state, technology and mass media, feminism, and human rights. He also presents a detailed critical analysis of Habermas's key claims and arguments. Separate appendixes introduce and clarify such important concepts as causal, teleological, and narrative paradigms of explanation in action theory; contextualism versus rationalism in social scientific methods of interpretation; systems theory and functionalist explanation in social science; and decision and collective choice theory.


"This is a marvelous resource for anyone interested in better understanding the difficult and voluminous work of Jürgen Habermas. It is clearly written, comprehensive, and fair-minded in its exegesis; moreover, it provides at the same time a highly intelligent, critical analysis of central themes in the writings of Habermas."—Stephen K. White, James Hart Professor of Politics, University of Virginia

"This is a marvelously comprehensive and up-to-date analysis of Habermas’s intellectual contribution to contemporary philosophy."—Simone Chambers, University of Toronto

David Ingram is Professor of Philosophy at Loyola University Chicago. He is the author of "Habermas and the Dialectic of Reason" (Yale University Press, 1989).

See David Ingram's article: "Of Sweatshops and Subsistence: Habermas on Human Rights" [full text, pdf], Ethics & Global Politics, vol. 2 (2009), pp. 193-217.

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