Il diritto della libertà nel nostro tempo: ripercorrendo criticamente «Das Recht der Freiheit» di Axel Honneth

Consecutio Temporum 2 (3) (2012)
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This article focuses on Axel Honneth’s latest book, “Das Recht der Freiheit”: I briefly describe Honneth’s critique to constructivism, which introduces his proposal of elaborating a theory of justice through the device of «normative reconstruction». With respect to this point, I argue that, in choosing the basic principle from which to reconstruct the normative configuration of modern societies, Honneth should have accorded to the ideal of equality (at least) the same importance as to the principle of freedom. I then outline the three spheres of negative, reflexive and social freedom, and the internal articulations of this latter sphere: affective relationships, market economy, democracy. While recognising several new elements which bring Honneth’s proposal to a very high level of inclusiveness and theoretical refinement, I object to the author’s overly-irenic depiction of the sphere of family relations and point out some inconsistencies in the sphere of market economy: it is sometimes unclear, to me, if this should be understood as an intrinsically normative sphere (as in the tradition of the «moral economy»), or, on the contrary, as a sphere essentially made of systemic and supra-individual dynamics, in need of being normatively regulated “from the outside”.
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