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    Does contemporary recognition theory rest on a mistake?

    Giladi, Paul ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8934-3602 (2023) Does contemporary recognition theory rest on a mistake? Philosophy and Social Criticism. ISSN 0191-4537

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    My aim in this paper is to argue, contra Axel Honneth, that ‘the summons’ (Aufforderung), the central pillar of Fichte’s transcendentalist account of recognition, is best made sense of not as an ‘invitation’, but rather as a second-personal demand, whose illocutionary content draws attention to the demandingness of responsibilities towards vulnerable agents. Because of this, the summons has good explanatory force in terms of disclosing the phenomenological dynamics of psychosocially and politically significant reactive attitudes. Under my reading, then, Fichte’s position, contra Honneth’s ‘negative’ treatment of it, is anything but an empty formalism that “fails to refer to subjects of flesh and blood”.

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