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The Law in Axel Honneth: elements of a critical theory of law centered on the category of recognition

Grant number: 18/00924-1
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2018
Effective date (End): May 31, 2022
Field of knowledge:Applied Social Sciences - Law - Theory of Law
Principal researcher:Samuel Rodrigues Barbosa
Grantee:Ricardo Juozepavicius Gonçalves
Home Institution: Faculdade de Direito (FD). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated scholarship(s):19/12975-2 - Social contestatory practices and struggle for recognition of rights: analysis of the motivations of students in the occupied schools in São Paulo (2015-2016), BE.EP.DR


In the book Struggle for Recognition: the moral grammar of social conflicts, Axel Honneth elaborates a social theory centered on the category of recognition. Honneth defines three spheres of recognition for the self-realization, one of them being the sphere of rights in intersubjective social relations. The meaning of rights in Axel Honneth at this point refers to the struggles for recognition of rights and social relations that refer to them, which would form a fundamental part of intersubjective recognition. However, the author does not dedicate his efforts to the institutional character of the law, or even to a possible concept of law, both remain indeterminate in his work. This research project aims to examine the treatment of law in the work Struggle for Recognition, reconstructing the Honnethian concept of recognition and the way the author observes it in the struggles for rights, at this stage of its production. In a second moment, we will examine the theoretical change developed in Freedom's Right, in which the author abandons his model centered in the recognition, conceiving the juridical freedom as being an indispensable and necessary component to a free and fair society, at the same time that exposes his preoccupation with the excessive "legalism" and "juridification" of social relations as intrinsic pathologies of modern law, presenting divergences between his previous productions. Thus, by reconstructing the concept of rights recognition and analyzing Honneth's theoretical change between the 1990s and the 2000s, we seek to delimit a concept of law based on recognition in Axel Honneth's work.

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