Saturday, December 02, 2017

Rainer Forst on "Normativity and Power"

Normativity and Power
Analyzing Social Orders of Justification

by Rainer Forst

(Oxford University Press, 2017)

208 pages


In this collection of essays, Rainer Forst presents a new approach to critical theory. Each essay reflects on the basic principles that guide our normative thinking. Forst's argument goes beyond 'ideal' and 'realist' theories and shows how closely the concepts of normativity and power are interrelated, and how power rests on the capacity to influence, determine, and possibly restrict the space of justifications for others. By combining insights from the disciplines of philosophy, history, and the social sciences, Forst re-evaluates theories of justice, as well as of power, and provides the tools for a critical theory of relations of justification.

Contents [preview]

Introduction: Orders of Justification

Part I - Reason, Normativity, and Power

1. Critique of Justifying Reason: Explaining Practical Normativity
2. Noumenal Power [paper]

Part II  - Justification Narratives and Historical Progress

3. On the Concept of a Justification Narrative [paper in German]
4. The Concept of Progress

Part III - Religion, Toleration, and Law

5. Religion and Toleration from the Enlightenment to the Post-Secular Era: Bayle, Kant, and Habermas [preview of German version]
6. One Court and Many Cultures: Jurisprudence in Conflict

Part IV - Justice, Democracy, and Legitimacy

7. Justice after Marx
8. Legitimacy, Democracy, and Justice: On the Reflexivity of Normative Orders [draft] [video]

Part V - Transnational Justice

9. Realisms in International Political Theory
10. Transnational Justice and Non-Domination [preview of German version]

The German version: "Normativität und Macht" (Suhrkamp Verlag, 2015). See an excerpt here.

Rainer Forst is Professor of Political Theory and Philosophy at the Goethe University in Frankfurt. He is the author of "Contexts of Justice" (California University Press, 2002), "The Right to Justification" (Columbia University Press, 2011), "Toleration in Conflict" (Cambridge University Press, 2013), "Justification and Critique" (Polity Press, 2013). 

See also "Justice, Democracy and the Right to Justification - Rainer Forst in Dialogue" (Bloomsbury, 2014) and "The Power of Tolerance: A Debate between Wendy Brown and Rainer Forst" (Columbia University Press, 2014).

Links to papers by Rainer Forst:

* "The Point and Ground of Human Rights: A Kantian Constructivist View"
* "A Justification of Basic Rights: A Discourse-Theoretical Approach" (PDF here)
* "What Does it Mean to Justify Basic Rights?"
* "Toleration" (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
* "Transnational Justice and Democracy"

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