The struggle for recognition in the philosophy of Axel Honneth, applied to the current south african situation and its call for an `african renaissance'

Philosophy and Social Criticism 29 (5):537-561 (2003)
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The paper applies insights from Axel Honneth's recent book, The Struggle for Recognition, to the South African situation. Honneth argues that most movements for justice are motivated by individuals' and groups' felt need for recognition. In the larger debate over the relative importance of recognition compared with distribution, a debate framed by Taylor and Fraser, Honneth is presented as the best of both worlds. His tripartite schema of recognition on the levels of love, rights and solidarity, explains how concerns for equality and difference are two separate needs, even though both must be satisfied. Past and ongoing struggles in South Africa can be understood as struggles for recognition.
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