Jurgen Habermas

Habermas, Jürgen

Jürgen Habermas (yûr´gən hä´bûrmäs), 1929–, German philosopher. He is a professor at the Univ. of Frankfurt (emeritus since 1994) and is the best-known contemporary proponent of critical theory, which is a social theory with Marxist roots developed in the 1930s by the Frankfurt School. In the spirit of his Frankfurt School predecessors, Habermas has criticized modern industrial societies for excessive emphasis on instrumental action, i.e., on doing whatever is necessary to attain given ends. This emphasis, he argues, has prevented them from appreciating the importance of communicative action, which is understanding and coming to agreement with others. Habermas has also constructed a theory of "discourse ethics" according to which moral judgments would have validity if agreed to by agents in an ideal speech situation. His works include Knowledge and Human Interests (1968, tr. 1971), Theory of Communicative Action (2 vol. 1981, tr. 1981–84), and Moral Consciousness and Communicative Action (1983, tr. 1989).

See M. G. Specter, Habermas: An Intellectual Biography (2010); D. Rasmussen, Reading Habermas (1990); G. Finlayson, Habermas: A Very Short Introduction (2005); D. Ingram, Habermas: Introduction and Analysis (2010).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2018, The Columbia University Press.

Jurgen Habermas: Selected full-text books and articles

The Philosophy of Habermas By Andrew Edgar Routledge, 2014
Jürgen Habermas: Key Concepts By Barbara Fultner Routledge, 2001
Perspectives on Habermas By Lewis Edwin Hahn Open Court, 2000
Jürgen Habermas By Michael Pusey Routledge, 1993
The Past as Future: Vergangenheit als Zukunft By Jürgen Habermas; Max Pensky; Max Pensky University of Nebraska Press, 1994
Critical Theory: The Essential Readings By David Ingram; Julia Simon-Ingram Paragon House, 1992
Librarian's tip: "Technology and Science as 'Ideology'" by Jurgen Habermas begins on p. 117
Multiculturalism: Examining the Politics of Recognition By Charles Taylor; K. Anthony Appiah; Steven C. Rockefeller; Michael Walzer; Susan Wolf; Jürgen Habermas; Amy Gutmann Princeton University Press, 1994
Librarian's tip: "Struggles for Recognition in the Democratic Constitutional State" by Jurgen Habermas begins on p. 107
Habermas's Communicative Concepts of Power By Wong, Day Philosophy Today, Vol. 53, No. 1, Spring 2009
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
The Place of Religion in Habermas's Transformed Public Sphere By Platt, Carrie Anne; Majdik, Zoltan P Argumentation and Advocacy, Vol. 49, No. 2, Fall 2012
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Rethinking "Liberal Eugenics": Reflections and Questions on Habermas on Bioethics By Prusak, Bernard G The Hastings Center Report, Vol. 35, No. 6, November-December 2005
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Habermas: The Key Concepts By Andrew Edgar Routledge, 2006
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