Habermas: A Critical Introduction

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Polity, 2009 - Philosophy - 218 pages
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This new edition of a well-regarded book provides a concise and exceptionally clear introduction to Habermas’s work, from his early writings on the public sphere, through his work on law and the state, to his more recent discussion of science, religion and contemporary Europe. Outhwaite examines all of Habermas’s major works and steers a steady course through the many debates to which they have given rise.

A major feature of the book is that it provides a detailed critical analysis of Habermas’s most important work, The Theory of Communicative Action. As well as looking at Habermas’s appraisal of figures such as Foucault and Derrida, the book also examines his resolute defence of the Enlightenment project, his work on law and democracy and its implications for the important topic of European integration.

This book quickly became established as an authoritative guide to Habermas’s work, and this updated new edition will be an invaluable critical introduction for students and scholars across the social sciences and humanities, especially sociology, politics, philosophy and social theory.

 

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Contents

Introduction
1
The Roots of Habermass Thought
5
Scientism in Theory and Practice
19
Communication and Discourse Ethics
37
Social Evolution and Legitimation
56
Rational Action and Societal Rationalization
66
The Colonization of the Lifeworld
80
The Theory of Communicative Action An Assessment
106
Modernity and Philosophy
118
Law and the State
134
Two Kinds of Post
150
Habermas and the Future of Critical Theory
163
Notes
167
Bibliography
197
Index
209
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About the author (2009)

William Outhwaite is Professor of Sociology at Newcastle University.

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