Habermas: A Very Short Introduction

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This book gives a clear and readable overview of the philosophical work of Jürgen Habermas, the most influential German philosopher alive today, who has commented widely on subjects such as Marxism, the importance and effectiveness of communication, the reunification of Germany, and the European Union. Gordon Finlayson provides readers with a clear and readable overview of Habermas's forbiddingly complex philosophy using concrete examples and accessible language. He then goes on to analyse both the theoretical underpinnings of Habermas's social theory, and its more concrete applications in the fields of ethics, politics, and law; and concludes with an examination how Habermas's social and political theory informs his writing on contemporary, political, and social problems. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
 

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Contents

1 Habermas and Frankfurt School critical theory
1
2 Habermass new approach to social theory
16
3 The pragmatic meaning programme
28
4 The programme of social theory
47
5 Habermass theory of modernity
62
the discourse theory of morality
76
ethical discourse and the political turn
91
8 Politics democracy and law
106
9 Germany Europe and postnational citizenship
122
Appendix
139
Further reading
143
Index
153
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About the author (2005)

James Gordon Finlayson is a lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Sussex, and was previously Lecturer in Post-Kantian European Philosophy at York University. He has published widely on Habermas, and contributed to Habermas: A Critical Reader (Blackwell). He is the author of a forthcomingmonograph on problems in Habermas's Discourse Ethics.