The work of Jürgen Habermas (b. 1929) has been highly
influential both in philosophy and across many disciplines in the
social sciences. David Ingram here provides
an introduction to Habermas's complex thought as
it has evolved from 1953 to the present, spanning philosophy,
religion, political science, social science, and law. One of
today's most intriguing thinkers, Habermas is also notably
prolific; for students and other readers who wish to navigate the
philosopher's more than thirty books, the lucid and precise
Habermas: Introduction and Analysis is a welcome starting
point rich in insights.
Ingram's book addresses the entire range of Habermas's social
theory, including his most recent and widely discussed
contributions to religion, freedom and determinism, global
democracy, and the consolidation of the European Union. Recognizing
Habermas's position as a highly public intellectual, Ingram
discusses how Habermas applies his own theory to pressing problems
such as abortion, terrorism, genetic engineering, immigration,
multiculturalism, separation of religion and state, technology and
mass media, feminism, and human rights. He also presents a detailed
critical analysis of Habermas's key claims and arguments.
Separate appendixes introduce and clarify such important
concepts as causal, teleological, and narrative paradigms of
explanation in action theory; contextualism versus rationalism in
social scientific methods of interpretation; systems theory and
functionalist explanation in social science; and decision and
collective choice theory.
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