is one of the leading and one of the most
challenging social theorists of our time. During the past several
decades he has been developing a systematic critical analysis of
modernity - its historical origins, pathologies and future
prospects. He is a thinker who has been uncannily attuned to the
basic moods and vital concerns of contemporary culture. He
stubbornly resists those who claim that Western rationality is
exhausted, that the Enlightenment legacy is dead and that the
project of modernity is a failure. He has elaborated a
comprehensive theory of rationality and the rationalisation
processes of modernisation - one which highlights the
intersubjective character of communicative action. His ambitious
and carefully argues intellectual project invites - indeed commands
- rigorous critical scrutiny.
This collection of critical essays draws together leading
thinkers from a variety of fields in order to assess some of
Habermas's major theses concerning the philosophical, cultural and
social conditions of modernity. In his substantial reply to these
critics Habermas clarifies and defends his view, specifying a range
of new problems which demand further analysis.
This book is an invaluable resource for understanding Habermas's
work and an essential text for anyone who is interested in current
debates about the nature of, ad prospects for, contemporary
societies and modern culture.
Publication Dates ROW:
Publication Dates US:
Publication Dates Aus & NZ:
250 x 100 mm
9.84 x 3.94 in
* Exam copies only available to lecturers for whom the book may be suitable as a course text.
Please note: Sales representation and distribution for Polity titles is provided by John Wiley and Sons Ltd.
'This volume, culminating in Habermas's spirited response to his
critics, will be required reading for anyone concerned with the
complex dispute currently raging between `modernism' and
`post-modernism' (or between liberalism and post-liberalism).
Bernstein's introduction is easily the most lucid essay-length
discussion of this problem and of Habermas's opus available today.'
Fred R. Dallamayr
1. Reason, Utopia and the Dialectic of Enlightenment:
2. Psychic Thermidor and the Rebirth of Rebellious
Subjectivity: Jurgen Habermas.
3. Neoconservative Culture Criticism in the United States and
West Germany: An Intellectual Movement in Two Political
Cultres: Jurgen Habermas.
4. Reason Without Revolution? Habermas's Theorie des
Kommunikativen Handelns: Antony Giddens.
Part II: Symposium..
1. Habermas and Modernism: Martin Jay.
2. reason and Happiness: Some Psychoanalytic Themes in
Critical Theory: Joel Whitebook.
3. Habermas and Lyotard on Postmodernity: Ricard
4. Reflections on Rationalization in the Theory of
Communicative Action: Thomas McCarthy.
5. Questions and Counterquestions: Jurgen Habermas.
Richard J. Bernstein is T. Wistar Brown, Professor of Philosophy at Haverford College, Pennsylvania. His previous publications include Praxis and Action (1971), The Restructuring of Social and Political Theory (1976) and Beyond Objectivism and Relativism (1983). He was also editor at Praxis International from 1980 - 1984.