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Habermas: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions #125)

3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  127 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Jurgen Habermas is the most renowned living German philosopher. This book aims to give a clear and readable overview of his philosophical work. It analyzes both the theoretical underpinnings of Habermas's social theory, and its more concrete applications in the fields of ethics, politics, and law. Finally, it examines how Habermas's social and political theory informs his ...more
Paperback, 184 pages
Published August 1st 2005 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published May 26th 2005)
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David Berry
A fine introduction to Habermas, this book is considerably more technical than other "Very Short Introductions" I've read. But in a very short volume, the author genuinely engages with Habermas' arguments, and he points out many of their major gaps and weaknesses. The book is particularly strong on how Habermas's linguistic theory, ethics, morality, political theory, legal theory, and treatment of religion all fit together. I didn't previously realize the extent that Habermas has developed a com ...more
Jenny  Wakefield
Great introduction to Habermas. This is a great way to get introduced to his theory and thinking.
Eugene Pustoshkin
Nice introduction, many sections were extremely interesting to read. Enlightening.
Abi Rhodes
Fantastic, concise introduction to Habermas and his essential theories.
Stephen Wong
The book gets to the architectonic of Habermas's ideas influenced by critical theory and hermeneutics and then methodically exposes the Habermasian projects on pragmatic meaning, modernity, communicative action, discourse ethics, and democracy and law. What the reader begins to understand is how significant Habermas is as a thinker about communication not as theory but as fundamental logic in the structure of meaning, truth, right, society, and freedom. The author also fairly lays out criticisms ...more
A nice introduction to Habermas, though the author does tend to misrepresent the views of Habermas's critics, characterizing them as post-modern relativists.
Habermas divided into three discrete morsels: meaning, ethics, politics.

Sometimes Finlayson sneaks in some leftist attacks against Habermas, describing him as neoliberal apologist. Many times I would read some paraphrases of Habermas's thought on the right and the good and public spherin' and discourse and meaning and power and I would say to myself, "Yep. Seems about right." This makes me very suspicious!

Habermas seems like so much doxa. Now that I've been very shortly introduced, I feel no com
Neat overview of what is a difficult to sum job of a major thinker.

Overviews Habermas' take on communication and rationality as a basis for social action.

Reviews his 'Theory of Communicative Action' very briefly, his take on democracy, and his analysis of politics in the EU - a very plural federation that relates very much to his work.
I love this Very Short Introduction series. Gives you a flavor, then you decide if you want more.
Read all of this I intend to (I think), searching for the public sphere bits.
Mary-anne Clarke
Very accessable introduction to Habermas
Paul Killebrew
Will I ever read Habermas in the flesh?
Brandon Courtney
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May 23, 2015
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