The Mirror of Transformation: Recognition and Its Dimensions After Honneth

  • James E. Block
Part of the Political Philosophy and Public Purpose book series (POPHPUPU)


The question of recognition, while a continuing theme in radical social theory, has never been fully addressed in terms of its transformative dimensions. As a process of encountering the other—and in more complex ways oneself—recognition provides an encounter that can be experienced and investigated at many levels: at one extreme, as a reading of embeddedness in the conventions of social presentation and role performance; at the other extreme, an opportunity to engage with levels of disguised or only partly conscious drives, meanings, and aspirations that are the product of tensions, oppositions, and alternatives regarding the existing social reality. Many novelists and thinkers, including the psychoanalyst Heinz Kohut, have offered pathways into these deeper dimensions, which for radical social theory become key constituents in framing the project of social transformation.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • James E. Block
    • 1
  1. 1.DePaul UniversityChicagoUSA

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