Philosophy Dictionary of Arguments

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Brocker I 798
Law/Honneth: Following on from Hegel (see Law/Hegel), Honneth works out the sequence of stages of a productive continuation of the struggle for recognition in modernity within the legal sphere: the material content and the social scope of status as a legal person are expanded. Liberal freedom rights, in turn, result in successive political rights of participation and finally social welfare rights. (1)
Thus, a social dynamic is inherent in the sphere of law, in which each stage of recognition that has been achieved generates new struggles for the fulfilment of as yet unfulfilled claims to equality and against forms of disregard, in particular structural forms of "deprivation of rights" (2), thus contributing to moral progress in social development.
Problem: the moral potential of the sphere of law is also limited. Honneth follows Hegel by concluding from the self-contradictions a transition to a new level of recognition problems. (3)
Problem: since in law "every person, as the bearer of the same claims, is equally respected, it ((s) the law) cannot serve precisely as a medium for respecting the particular life history of every individual". (4)


1. Axel Honneth, Kampf um Anerkennung. Zur moralischen Grammatik sozialer Konflikte, mit einem neuen Nachwort, Frankfurt/M. 2014 (zuerst 1992) p. 185-195
2. Ibid. p. 216
3. Axel Honneth, Das Ich im Wir. Studien zur Anerkennungstheorie, Berlin 2010, p. 44
4. Honneth 2014, p. 95.


Hans-Jörg Sigwart, „Axel Honneth, Kampf um Anerkennung“, in: Manfred Brocker (Ed.) Geschichte des politischen Denkens. Das 20. Jahrhundert. Frankfurt/M. 2018


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Honn I
A. Honneth
Das Ich im Wir: Studien zur Anerkennungstheorie Frankfurt/M. 2010

Honn II
Axel Honneth
Kampf um Anerkennung. Zur moralischen Grammatik sozialer Konflikte Frankfurt 2014

Brocker I
Manfred Brocker
Geschichte des politischen Denkens. Das 20. Jahrhundert Frankfurt/M. 2018


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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2019-08-18
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