Praxis, Sittlichkeit and Communicative Action: On the Connection Between Praxis, Sittlichkeit and Communicative Action in Aristotle, Hegel, Habermas and Honneth

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The concept of praxis is one of the most fundamental concepts in the history of political philosophy. The most famous example may be Marx’s statement in the eleventh thesis on Feuerbach. The close relation between praxis and polis was grounded in Aristotle’s political philosophy. Hegel leads this concept further with his concept of praxis as Sittlichkeit. Honneth and Habermas are both grounded in the young Hegel’s writings when they try to extrapolate what is essential in Hegel’s concept of praxis and generate a new concept, which may be valid for our time. Honneth is standing by Hegel’s concept of recognition, which he then is forced to leave many years later when rediscovering Hegel’s concept of Sittlichkeit. However, Honneth fails to reconcile praxis and Sittlichkeit. In contrast, Habermas sets in a hermeneutic maneuver language as a substitute for Hegel’s concept of spirit. With this new, effectively metaphysical concept, he is able to formulate a practical philosophy in which both praxis and Sittlichkeit are summarized in communicative action. Habermas’s practical philosophy follows Hegel's and extends its roots into the history of ideas, back to Aristotle’s foundation of the concept of praxis and, in a broader sense, to the antique democracy of Athens.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012
EventNordic Summer University: Towards a New Ethical Imagination in Cosmopolitan World Society - Brandbjerg Højskole, Vejle , Denmark
Duration: 27 Jul 20123 Aug 2012


ConferenceNordic Summer University
LocationBrandbjerg Højskole
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