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Redistribution or Recognition?: A Political-Philosophical Exchange Paperback – January 17, 2004


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Redistribution or Recognition?: A Political-Philosophical Exchange + The Struggle for Recognition: The Moral Grammar of Social Conflicts (Studies in Contemporary German Social Thought)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Verso (January 17, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1859844928
  • ISBN-13: 978-1859844922
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #483,051 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“A carefully wrought and provocative debate between philosophers with strong commitments to asking what a more just social life might be. This text will doubtless produce a spate of new and important scholarship in critical theory in its wake.”—Judith Butler

“In this exciting dialogue, Nancy Fraser and Alex Honneth do not simply explore with perfect conceptual rigor the analogies and tensions of the paradigms of ‘equal distributrion’ and ‘struggle for recognition.’ They also demonstrate why engaged theory matters for collective practice. Their speculative effort will set the agenda for transnational debates of vital importance.”—Etienne Balibar

“In this fascinating volume, two of the major theorists of our time battle it out over the question of redistribution versus recognition. The stakes are high: how might a critical theory of capitalist society be revivified in a manner that unites philosophy, politics, and social theory. This is engaged theoretical debate of the highest level.”—Simon Critchley

About the Author

Nancy Fraser is Loeb Professor of Philosophy and Politics at the New School for Social Research, Einstein Fellow of the city of Berlin, and holder of the "Global Justice" Chair at the College d'etudes mondiales in Paris. Her books include Redistribution or Recognition; Adding Insult to Injury; Scales of Justice; Justice Interruptus; and Unruly Practices.

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Emberek on February 26, 2013
Format: Paperback
The book "Redistribution or Recognition?" is a work of political philosophy. It contains an introduction and four essays, two by Nancy Fraser and two by Axel Honneth. Both Fraser and Honneth agree that recognition should not be regarded as a species of redistribution. There the agreement ends, for Fraser champions both redistribution and recognition, whereas Honneth favors recognition only.
The first essay by Fraser states that the desire to achieve social justice by redistribution (of economic resources), which dates to the nineteenth century, has recently been met by the desire in the late twentienth century to achieve justice by recognition (of cultural difference). However, in her view, recognition, championed by Axel Honneth in his book "The Struggle for Recognition," and by the Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor in an essay of his. is not enough. Recognition must be supplemented by redistribution in a framework of "perspectival dualism," a modification of Habermas's "substantive dualism" of "life world" (culture) and "system" (economics).
Axel Honneth responds in the second essay, in which he describes his "moral-theoretical monism" comprising three types of recognition, based on love, law, and achivement. Fraser, in the third essay, her rejoinder, criticizes Honneth for his theory's dependence on an account of the good life (Hegelian "Sittlichkeit"), for in her initial essay she said both "Sittlichkeit" and Kantian "Moralitaet" (morality) are both necessary.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By CB on March 28, 2013
Format: Paperback
This book is a debate between two prominent critical theorist: Nancy Fraser from the New School, and Axel Honneth, the new 'heir' to Habermas. For Fraser's writing alone, this book deserves 4.5-5 stars, but for Honneth's writing, it deserves one to two.

Axel Honneth is known for developing a normative critical theory based upon an anthropological view that mankind has built in recognition capacities, which can be expressed when entering into an inter-subjective relation. If one is not recognized to the degree they ought to be recognized (i.e., they are misrecognized), then something normatively unsatisfactory has occurred. Fraser dubs Honneth's theroy as a recognition monism. I agree with her. Honneth reduces all issues of justice and normativity into his theory of recognition, which ends up with some rather bizzare results. For instance he says the engine of social change is always recognition. But it's quite clear that social change comes about through technological advancements, that lead to changes in the lives of people who never entered any inter-subjective relationship during the process of technological development.

Fraser wants to develop a critical theory that incorporates dual systems of justice. The first being justice issues related to distribution (of economic goods, access to goods, etc), and recognition politics. She believes each field of justice, while interconnected to the other field, retains its own degree of autonomy in relation to justice. I also agree with this claim. She pushes this point of view further into a theory of the 'parity principle.' What is just is what allows for equal, or more egalitarian relations concerning distribution and recognition.
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