A Metanarrative of Emancipation

  • Trevor Norris


Jurgen Habermas holds a unique place among contemporary philosophers as an original voice compelling us to reassess the accomplishments of modernity. Various critiques of the Enlightenment can he found in French postmodern and poststructural thinkers such as Derrida and Lyotard, while most Frankfurt school thinkers such as Horkheimer and Adorno share many of these criticisms. In contrast to other Frankfurt school thinkers, Habermas considers modernity to be an “unfinished project,” whose resources have not yet been exhausted, and calls us to rethink the dehumanizing elements of modernity without abandoning the Enlightenment. In his own words, “the project of modernity has not yet been fulfilled.”1 Much of Habermas s work is a critique of both the turn against modernity and the progressivist excesses of positivism and scientism.


Historical Materialism Human Interest Transference Situation Analytic Dialogue Freudian Psychoanalysis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Freud, Sigmund. (1967). “Anxiety and Instinctual Life.” In An Outline of Psychoanalysis, The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Volume 23, trans. James Strachey. London: The Hogarth Press.Google Scholar
  2. —. (1979). “Moral Development and Ego Identity.” In Communication and the Evolution of Society. : Heinemann.Google Scholar
  3. Habermas, Jurgen, (1971). Knowledge and Human Interests. Trans. Jeremy J. Shapiro. Boston: Beacon Press.Google Scholar
  4. —. Modernity versus Postmodernity. Trans. Seyla Benhahib. New German Critique 22 (Winter 1981), pp. 3–14.Google Scholar
  5. —. (1984). The Theory of Communicative Action, volume I, Reason and the Rationalization of Society. Trans. Thomas McCarthy. Beacon Press: Boston.Google Scholar
  6. Held, David. (1980). Introduction to Critical Theory: Horkheimer to Habermas. Los Angeles: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  7. Lacan, Jacques, (1983). “The Function and Field of Speech and Language in Psychoanalysis.” In Ecrits, ed. A. Sheridan. New York: Norton.Google Scholar
  8. Lyotard, Jean Francois. (1979). The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge. Trans. Geoff Bennington and Brian Massumi. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  9. Plato. (1968). The Republic. Trans. Allan Bloom. New York: Basic Books, pp. 544d–e.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Peter Pericles Trifonas 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Trevor Norris

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations